On the first day of classes on Thursday, my Spanish professor started our classes by quoting, “to speak a different language is to possess another soul.” So I have come to understand that this week, and the next 4 months here, will be a long extended quest to discover my new hidden soul!
I arrived without problems in Madrid on Monday and was quickly whisked away into a week full of orientations, tours, and the beginnings of life in Madrid. This semester I will be taking an anatomy class at a local university (CEU San Pablo) and Spanish Language, Ceramics, and Spanish Art and Architecture with IES (the program I am studying with). My host parents live in an apartment – near the Moncloa metro stop for those who are familiar with Madrid. My host mom works for a dry cleaning company and my host dad helps to run a family shop (although I didn’t fully understand what kind!). They are both very nice, but confused why I go to bed so early (around midnight or 1am!).
On Saturday we went to tour the nearby city of Segovia. Segovia has many influences of both Gothic and Roman architecture. It is also home to the Alcázar which sits high and mighty as the beginning of the city. It was created as a fortress to protect the city and was built to resemble to bow of a ship. It also served as the royal palace beginning with Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand when their marriage joined together the two previous regions of Spain. Through their reigns and the ones that followed, Spain became one of the most powerful empires in the world.
We were also able to see the Roman aqueduct which was built to carry fresh water 14km from a mountain spring into the city so the people of Segovia were able to have fresh water. Along its route, it reaches heights of ~100 ft tall and is built entirely from stone. Quite amazing to see!!
That’s all for now as it’s time for Spanish class and a little more soul searching…