“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” -Anais Nin
Ok, ok. I know it has been forever and you thought I gave up on this blog and would never finish writing about the trips from the rest of my semester.
Well, you were wrong.
The truth is I have been in denial about being back in the United States and finishing this blog is proof that my semester abroad is over.
So I decided to take it slow and spread out my last few posts.
Now the issue is remembering everything, but the copious number of photographs I took has definitely come in handy for this!
In mid-November, I went on a day trip with school to Toledo, which is less than an hour by train from Madrid. Above is the historical entrance to the city.
Toledo is unique because it was a place where people from all faiths lived together in harmony before the Spanish Reconquista.
One of the teachers from SU Abroad gave us an in-depth tour and brought us around to various religious and historical landmarks.
First stop, a mosque.
In Islam, people and animals cannot be used for decoration, so mosques are adorned with geometric patterns.
The mosque was eventually turned into a chapel when the Christians conquered the city.
We continued winding our way through this beautiful city as we stopped at its various religious icons.
The Cathedral of Toledo.
This is my friend Megan discovering new camera angles.
The inside was exquisite.
We were given some time to get lunch and explore. My host mom had told me that Toledo is famous for its marzipan, which I had never tried before.
Let’s just say, it was love at first bite.
El Greco, meaning “The Greek” in Spanish because he was originally from Greece, was a famous artist who lived in Toledo.
We had the opportunity to see the above painting, “The Burial of Count Orgaz.”
Our last religious landmark for the day was a synagogue.
I loved the intricate patterns on this wall.
Right across from the synagogue was this incredible view. Imagine living in one of those houses on the edge?
I seriously love Spain.
On our way back to the train station, we stopped by the most popular sweet shop in Toledo. Yes, that building is made of marzipan.
Marzipan is made from almonds, eggs, and sugar. It is malleable and can be molded into shapes like the strawberries above!
I had a successful day in yet another beautiful Spanish city.
The following night, I went to see Breaking Dawn at an original version theater (the movie is played in its original language with Spanish subtitles) in Madrid with a couple other Twilight lovers. The movie was awesome, but we had an unexpected intermission that makes for an interesting story. If you know anything about Twilight, you know that it involves vampires and, therefore, blood. During the climax of the movie, which was a fairly bloody scene, nearly everyone in the theater stood up and started yelling “médico, médico…” meaning doctor. My friends and I just looked at each other unsure of what to do because even though I know enough Spanish to communicate my point, everyone else in the theater would be able to do a much better job. I hated feeling helpless, but eventually someone went over to assist the person, who we couldn’t see from our seats, and the theater paused the movie. We weren’t sure if someone threw up, had a seizure, or fainted, but when we saw a man stand up and walk out looking rather woozy and embarrassed, we realized it had been the latter. The theater rewound the movie and thankfully nobody else had any problems with the “gory” final scene.