In this post, Proctor en Segovia Winter 2015 travels to Barcelona, experiences Carnaval week in Segovia, and welcomes several families for Spain “family weekend”!
~ Teddy Shi
Photo credit: Gracie Hovem
Stunning views of the city (and the Mediterranean) from the top of the Sagrada Familia. Photo credit: Gracie Hovem
One of the absolute pleasures of studying and traveling in Spain is the opportunity to experience outdoor market days and indoor covered markets. Barcelona’s La Boqueria is certainly among Spain’s finest.
Purchasing fresh fruit smoothies!
Walking though Barcelona’s Gothic quarter often provides unexpected entertainment.
While the ambience in the Plaça de San Felipe Neri felt quite festive on this Friday at the beginning of Carnaval week, the walls of the Renaissance style square told a different story. At the end of the Spanish Civil War Nationalist airplanes dropped bombs here, killing over 40 people, many of them children, because of the proximity of a Catholic school that still exists today.
Barcelona’s waterfront with a statue of Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) in the distance.
Photo credit: Gracie Hovem
Photo credit: Gracie Hovem
Barcelona’s harbor. Photo credit: Gracie Hovem
Surprise visitors from the North Pole during a Monday evening history class (Carnaval week in Segovia!)
The following evening students dressed up and watched the festivities from the school balconies.
Our school has a balcony view stretching from the Gothic Cathedral to Calle Real on the other end of the Plaza. The group raced to the school’s grand seating in order to behold the view of the fully costumed marching children (a couple of us getting caught in the parade ourselves). The first parade contained kids organized by costumes with other children from their neighborhood. We watched as they marched, decked out in pirate gear, wizard apparel, Flamencan styles, or even snow-themed costumes. The second parade consisted of most of the same themed dressing but instead, the adults took part in the parade to the Plaza Mayor. In the Plaza, a number of Chefs stirred cups of hot chocolate and garlic soup for the awaiting and freezing Segovians. The gazebo of the Plaza was lit with a multitude of colors including those of the costumes of the band inside. Once the plaza had filled, we joined the friends and families surrounding the gazebo, for the fiesta in the center.
Once again for the second parade, we reconvened at the balconies and waited anxiously to see what it would bring. Some of us wore wigs, masks and face-paint to fit the essence of Carnaval (including Ryan). The parade started off with large, illuminated, inflated horses, which danced to the sound of classical music. Following them were wizards, penguins, matadors, soldiers, and more. Finally, for Ash Wednesday, Carnaval had to come to an end. The farewell parade included the burning of the sardine. Each group carried a hand made “sardine” to toss in a bonfire waiting in the Plaza. One by one, each themed group brought their sardine to the fiery wood while a brass horned band played.
~ Charlotte Hadley
On the evening of Ash Wednesday, students witnessed the “entierro de la sardina” (“burial of the sardine”) procession and ceremony in Segovia’s Plaza Mayor. Images of sardines are burned, symbolizing the burial of the past and regeneration, rebirth and hope for the future.
This week in Segovia was said to be parent’s weekend. Luckily my mom was able to make it down! She arrived on Thursday and stayed until Tuesday. It was great to be able to see her again and show off my knowledge with Spanish and my way around Segovia. I took her to my favorite cafe and translated between her and my host mother. One of my favorite days while she visited was when we were fortunate enough to join other Segovians in helping out at a charity event. Our job was to make “bocadillos” which are sandwiches with baguettes, so that the organization could then sell them to university students for their charity. The name of the charity was “Las Manos Unidos,” and the point was to give money to poverty stricken countries. The main goal is to not to directly give money to these people but to help oversee projects taken place in countries that need it. For example, this money was going towards building wells in several countries in Africa for clean, safe drinking water.
We had an assembly line with people cutting baguettes, putting toppings in them, and then wrapping. I wrapped all of the sandwiches and sent them off. The amount of bread we had was unbelievable. Massive amounts of it kept finding its way onto the table, and the supply didn’t seem to diminish. At the end it looked like we had wrapped thousands of sandwiches.
I really enjoyed doing this because my mom was able to see one of the small things that make this experience in Spain so special. I was able to practice Spanish, and see how important charity is to people in Segovia. My mom and I had a great time truly immersing ourselves in the culture, and I loved being able to show her a normal day of my life in Spain.
~ Greer Brodie-Hall
Mitch and his parents on Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona.
Charlotte’s wonderful sketches for her Introduction to Spanish Culture Through Literature and Film class final project!