May 21, 2011
Today we traveled to Segovia, a precious, magical town with cathedrals and castles from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Cathedral of San Martin was breathtaking, with gothic architecture, gold covered ceilings and walls, and mosaic windows. Next we walked to the Alcazar (castle) de Segovia. It was magnificent, although it’s got nothing on the splendor of the Palacio Real in Madrid, and we climbed the tower to see the incredible view. Later we met up for our last dinner in Madrid at which we ate so much food! Lots of bread, cheese, prosciutto style ham, cheese, calamari, croquetes, sangria, and torrejas de nata.
At the end of the meal, our guide Carlos took out a book of the poetry of Miguel Hernandez and we each read two lines (which another student reminded us was called a couplet, hence the title of the post). It was a great finale to our time in Madrid, but the night wasn’t over yet. We walked to Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol, where major demonstrations are going on because of the elections tomorrow and the current economic crisis in Spain. The demonstrations were peaceful but very chaotic so we headed back to the hotel after a lot of chaos and confusion. Tomorrow morning we leave for Cadiz, where we will be living for a month and working on research projects under the guidance of Professor Carla Buck. Also we’ll be five minutes from the beach. Not that it influenced my decision to come on this trip or anything…
~ Johanna Hribal
“It is not down in any map; true places never are.”- Herman Melville