It was the beginning of a very typical week, we had just gotten back from Granada and were just getting back into our daily routine. But walking back to our homestay on that Tuesday night was different. There was an unusual sound of heavy drumming in the air and crowds were filling the street. Upon getting closer you see the hooded capes of all different sizes slowly marching up to the Cathedral walls. First you would see two lines of these figures filing up the streets with large metal staffs, followed by hooded children. Then comes the incense swinging side to side and introducing the large “float” of a religious figure. Each float comes from a church and is typically either carried or pushed throughout the narrow streets to the Cathedral in the Plaza Mayor.
Waking up on a sunny Monday morning in Segovia, we met together as a group in front of the bus station, and set out for the trip to Andalucia. First taking the high-speed train to Madrid, then Antequera and finally a coach bus to the city of Granada, we have experienced the conspicuous convenience of the ground transportation in Spain. Granada is located in the very south part of Spain, close to the coastline of Mar de Alboran (the westernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea).
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.