Venice, Paris…

Well, its been a pretty crazy couple of weeks. Thats for sure. Nearly two weeks ago now, I left for Venice, and had an absolute blast. Venice was/is a beautiful city. All the little tiny streets – many, if not most are no more than 4 or 5 feet wide, along with a ton of bridges, just makes for an absolutely beautiful city. San Marcos Square (or Piazzele I should say…) is absolutely beautiful. All light up at night, with the Basilica and Tower looming over everything… Music from 3 or 4 different little bands playing. Its just amazing.

For most of the time that I was in Venice, I was lost. Didn´t even have a map for the first couple days (they all cost at least 3 or 4 euros…), and then I finally found one, along with a guidebook. Made exploring a bit more interesting since I actually knew (or could at least figure out), what I was seeing/had seen. Also stumbled on a couple of nifty museums my last couple days. One was the Naval History Museum. It was very very cool… lots and lots of model ships from every time period – from the old Venetian vessels with oars all the way up to modern Italian ships. They even had one whole room dedicated to Oriental ships and such. Was just a very very cool museum.

Then of course, just this past weekend, I went to Paris. I was only back in Salamanca for barely 2 days, before leaving again. Insane. Paris too was quite cool, and very pretty. The Eifel Tower was cool, but I definetly liked Notre Dame the best. It was just soo amazing. Went up in the Towers my last morning there, and got to see all the chimeras (gargoyles) up-close, as well as an absolutely spectacular view of Paris. Its just such an incredible, beautiful building. Inside, all the rose windows, with stained glass… Its just incredible. Absolutely incredible.

So yeah. I´ve had a pretty crazy past couple of weeks. Can check out all my pictures of Paris/Venice online now (they´re all up… all 500-600 of them =). http://emilyrose.smugmug.com

Fun Stuff

Well, its been a kinda crazy past couple of weeks… I´m now (after some class and level changes/additions) taking 5 hours of school a day (25 a week)… including taking both Art History and Spanish Culture. They´re both great, and espcially nice after so much pure spanish communications/grammar for the past month (and don´t wory, I still have 3 hours of that every day too=). I´ve also managed to move up to C2 (the next to highest level of intermediate)… so I´m really learning a lot now. Next week we start on past imperfect and futuro and conditional tenses/conjugations. I´m really excited… and I absolutely love art and culture both… they´re both taught exclusively (or nearly exclusively, as occasional the teacher will use english so that you know what a new word is…) in spanish, and are very cool.

Whats honestly most exciting though (and a bit scary as well), is that tommorrow, I am leaving Salamanca for 5 days to travel – by foot, train and aeroplane to Venice, Italy. All by myself. I´m really excited about going. I´ll miss a day of school (and most upsettingly a two days of Tae Kwon Do.=(, but by doing so I save nearly 200 dollars. So I figure its probably worth it. So yeah. If anyone has any suggestions as were I should go in Venice, feel free to suggest away for the next couple of days (I come back on Monday).

And yeah, thats about it. Still taking Tae Kwon Do here, and I absolutely love it… take a total of 6 hours a week (2 hours monday, wednesday and thursday each). Helps me to practice my spanish, and also gives me something else to do in the evenings. Anyhow though, I´ll post again when I get back from Venice…

Santander

Santander. Wow. What a beautiful city. Beautiful beaches, with waves plenty big enough to surf on (proved by the fact that there were literally dozens of people out surfing on Saturday night, untill it truely got too dark to see!!).

I hung out on the beach for most of Saturday evening and night – ate a boccadillo (sub) sitting up on a rock overlooking the ocean, twas beautiful. Got up kinda early on Sunday and ate breakfast, which, quite happily was very good… all kinds of food for breakfast, including lots that we used to make sandwiches with for the ride home.

After breakfast I wandered around Santander a little bit, and then back down onto the beach again =) Around 12:30 we left the hotel and went to the ´down town´ section of Santander… wanderd around there for a while as well, and found a little market.

The markets here are kind of funny… Some of the stuff is blatantly obviously stolen. Like the table that seriously had nothing but VHS movies and DVD´s… which were obviusly from a movie rental place (as they were in the funky cases, complete with numbers…), or the other table that mostly had silverware and a remote control and other random stuff.

Then we went and visted some gardens and saw the royal palace/mansion which was pretty cool… They also have three ships that apparently crossed the Atlantic at some point on display, and they are absolutely TINY… maybe 30 feet long, at absolute most.

There was also a mini-zoo, which had penguins, sea lions and seals. It was kind of cool… penguins are awesome=)

Other than that… just the 5 hour busride back to Salamanca.

And then this morning… I had my second placement test to see which level I get to study in for the next 3 months… I really think I´ll be in Intermediate though I´m not entirely sure.. will find out here in a little bit.

Tae Kwon Do

Well, the past week sure has been pretty cool and exciting.

I started taking Tae Kwon Do classes on Wednsday and Thursday of last week, and they went very well… Everyone is both very nice and understanding.

On Friday night we all (everyone from Tae Kwon Do), went out together, first to dinner (we went to some nice place down the street where we ate tapas and drank wine for 3 hours… was very very good. Tapas are awesome!!), and then out to a couple different discotecas. The first place we went to I´d never been before, but it turned out to be very very nice. It was really cool too, cause everyone, including the instructor went out with us… I ended up going home around 4:30 or so, mostly cause´ I had to get up at 8:00 to go to Santander the next morning=)

On the way up to Santander the next morning, we stopped by the Museo de Altamira where we saw replicas of 15-18,000 year old cave paintings as well as some of the other stuff that they´ve since found in the cave (flint knives, bone tools, jewlery, etc). It was kinda cool… they also have a complete full-scale model of the cave that we got a tour through, so that was neat as well, though I wish that we could have seen the actual cave and cave paintings, but oh well. In anycase though, it was pretty cool…