The other night, Emily, Grifin, Ian, and I were sitting at the top of the aqueduct and watching the city lights. Suddenly, Ian started to say something along the lines of, “Do you guys realize how cool this is? That we live here? That we’re sitting up here night now?” Thoughts like these had been stirring in the back of my mind for the past few weeks and I was happy to see that it had been in theirs, too.
I was very excited for our excursion to Barcelona, which ended up being one of my favorites. At this point in the term, I feel adjusted to the Spanish schedule and culture, and find myself feeling more and more at home with each day that passes. While I do miss being able to understand everything being said around me, it’s becoming easier to have day-to-day interactions, whether it’s buying a coffee at a cafe or going up to a stranger to pet their dog, which happens a lot.
Squeaking out of Boston Sunday night on a flight to Lisbon just before the biggest storm of the winter rolled across the Northeast, this was my week to visit Proctor's off-campus programs in Spain and France. I caught up with Dave and Jen and the European Art Classroom students in Madrid to wander Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, the Museo Sorolla, The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Museo del Prado to stand in front of works that ranged from Picasso's "Guernica" to Sollera's "The Horse Bath" to the black paintings of Goya.
Proctor en Segovia travels north from Segovia, passing through the medieval, reconquest-era town of Sepúlveda, visiting the majestic gothic cathedral of Burgos, and arriving in the wine region and culinary capital of La Rioja. Back in Segovia, students continue to explore the twists and turns of the old quarter and fill their afternoons with physical activity, art and volunteer work.
We arrived in Málaga after taking the two-and-a-half-hour high speed train from Madrid. We walked twenty or so minutes from the train station to our apartment in the heart of the old city. The group split up for dinner after exploring part of the city and orienting ourselves within it. People went in search of Sushi, Mexican, Spanish tapas and Italian, all with great success.
My first impression of Spain was how small the spaces are. After arriving in Segovia, Mikaela took me to my host mom Marife’s apartment. In addition to the elevator that could only fit in three people at most, my shower is located in my room and the corridor can only have one person passing each time. Marife seemed like someone that knows exactly how to enjoy life, though; there are approximately more than ten kinds of glasses and cups in the kitchen and living room, and her narrow corridor is full of organised and delicate decorations. Knowing Marife and the daily schedule in Spain, which includes a siesta (a nap about two hours in the middle of the day) and a dinner that doesn’t start until 9:30, I slowly started to process the much more relaxed lifestyle in Spain.
When I first applied to Proctor en Segovia, I did not realize that Segovia was just one small part of a much greater experience. It was not until I actually arrived in Spain that I became aware of the journey I was about to embark on. I came to the realization that Proctor en Segovia is just the title of the program, and it acts as a large doorway.