Friends are the best medicine. =)
A very warm “Welcome to Madrid” lunch with the whole crew.
Dom, Megan, Bri, Anthony, Me, Sarah, Viola, Nikki, Stephanie, Jackie, Dylan, Corynna, Daria, Christian, and Montana.
Nikki, Dylan, Jackie, Sarah, Me, Daria, JP, Corynna, Stephanie, Megan, Anthony, & Dom - taken by Bri.
Well this is try number 2 for this blog post since the internet cut out when I pressed the submit button and the whole post got deleted. Thanks Salamanca internet, you’re great! Anyway, when I started this blog I intended it to detail everything that happened on a day to day basis. For the five days that we’ve been here there isn’t too much to say except that I am in a beautiful town taking classes in one of the oldest universities in Europe with some of the most awesome/fun people I have ever met. I find it amazing how much we have been bonding in the past five days in Salamanca. We partied together, we laughed together, we ate together, and we almost got ran over by mopeds together. It is truly amazing how people who came with their own little groups of friends molded into one big group. There is a group of 16 of us that plan to travel together. We are going to Madrid this weekend, then Seville, and then Lisbon, Portugal. We plan to travel on a backpackers budget and our motto is the cheaper the better. I am 120% ready to make the next four months the most epic four months of my life.
My first day here in Spain was long, frustrating, and fun. Amy, Nikki, and I woke up to find out that breakfast doesn’t start until 10am in the dorms and we had to meet for orientation at 9:45pm. So at 8:15 we decided to go for a walk around to find something to eat. After passing what seemed like 100s of cafes, we realized that there was nothing open and that we had to starve until 2pm when our “pizza party” was supposed to take place.
At 9:45am, everyone met with one of our Spain leaders, Elena, and we were taken for orientation and a little tour of the city. Salamanca is like a small college town with beautiful architecture, two cathedrals, and many shops and cafes. Some of the food places that we saw included McDonalds and Burger King which I will try to stay clear of while here. Don Quijote will definitely be one of my stops however.
After our tour we were given a little bit of free time before our pizza party so we went to look for a little something to eat since we hadn’t had anything since the night before. We heard there was great ice cream or helado at this one place called Cafe Novelty. We walked into the cafe and were so confused by what to do. We didn’t have time to sit at a table and it didn’t look like you can just buy something and leave with it. Also the ice cream part of the cafe was closed so we couldn’t have that. Defeated, we decided to walk around the town to see what we could get quickly. After, walking by 1000 places similar to Cafe Novelty we found this little fast food place called Pan & Company. Nikki went up to the cashier and ordered our food in her wonderful broken Spanish that I admire so much. We shared a chocolate croissant and Amy got chicken nuggets. The croissant was SO good and I can’t even imagine what they taste like in France.
The pizza party part of our day was interesting to say the least. First they gave us orange soda that apparently was too powdery. I wouldn’t know since I don’t even like orange soda and didn’t even try it. Then the pizza came. The first pie looked normal enough. It had onions, peppers, and chicken…I think. It was not bad, but definitely not New York pizza. The second pie we got was ham. That was a little better. Finally, we were given what looked like a normal cheese pizza with basil under the cheese. Boy, were we wrong! After we stared at it for a good 5 minutes, we decided to finally try it. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. I wish I would have smelt it before eating it because then I would have found out that it was BLEU CHEESE PIZZA! The stuff under the cheese was NOT basil at all. It was mold! Pizza is definitely not Spain’s specialty.
After pizza, we took a tour of Salamanca and then we went back to Café Novelty and finally got the gelato that we heard so much about. After asking the ice cream lady in Spanglish what the flavors were we sat down and ordered. All five of us got the same exact thing: One scoop of hazelnut and one scoop of ferrero rocher (yep those little Bon Bon chocolates in gelato!). It was delicious to say the least. After gelato, we headed back to the dorms to rejuvenate for our first night out in Salamanca!
The first night out was absolutely insane. This girl Ahnjili who had been in Salamanca for 2 months became our unofficial tour guide for the night. At dinner she told everyone in our St. John’s group (like 60 people) to meet down in the residence lobby at 11:45pm because she was going to take us to a house party, a bar, and then a club. More than half of our rotation showed up (35 people) which meant that the house party was out of the question. Instead we were taken to a bar where the drinks were only 3 Euro. When we got bored of that one, we went to an amazing club called Cubic. There I danced with a few European boys and I even had a small conversation with one of them. He first asked me where I was from and then he asked, Tienes Novio? (Do you have a boyfriend?). I said no. Then he told me that I was “muy bonita” (very beautiful). He was very sweet, but then we moved onto another bar that played Bon Jovi and and Summer Nights from Grease. A couple of European boys came up to my friends and I and sang Summer Nights with us. Then we headed to yet another bar, and then another one and then another one. The last place we went to was called Camelot and I think that I will be going to that place a lot. It was so much fun. So fun in fact that when Ahnjili told us that this was considered a boring night in Salamanca, we were so surprised and we al can’t wait to find out what a “fun” night in Salamanca is like.
The trek home from Camelot was just as crazy as the rest of the night. I left with a few friends because we did not want to stay out until 7am like the rest of the group so we left around 4:30am. We thought we knew how to get back to the dorm, but we didn’t. We ended up getting lost for an hour and pretty much just walking in circles. Finally we asked a random girl who only spoke Spanish how to get to the dorm and she directed us the best she could. Luckily, we started to recognize buildings and found our way back. By time I got to bed that night it was 5:46am. Day 1 (January 14th) in Salamanca was a success.