Tag Archives: Spain life_dreams fulfillment attitude

Avila, Spain

7 Apr
Avila-City Walls

Avila-City Walls

Avila-City Walls

Avila-City Walls

Avila has roots to fifth century BC. No wonder we were astounded by the amazing antiquity of the city and enraptured by its beauty and simplicity. It has a long and storied history of Romans, Visigoths and others who have come and gone from its earliest origins, but in the late 11th century the current wall that stands was constructed to protect the city. It is the largest fully illuminated monument in the world; you are able to walk almost half of the wall, but many parts are inaccessible, as buildings and structures are an integral part of the fortress structure, such as the Cathedral of Avila.

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-Cathedral from the City Wall

Avila-Cathedral from the City Wall

Tammy and I paid the extra three euro for the audio guide while we walked along the wall. I don’t remember much from the audio guide except that Teresa of Avila felt she had an “untamed spirit” and the nuns at the convent would help her to calm it. Maybe they could tame my hair, too, because…well, let’s just say I was not having a good hair day!

Avila-Bad hair day, you say?

Avila-Bad hair day, you say?

But the views, and the thoughts rambling through my head. I cannot believe that I walked where Teresa of Avila had once walked and worshiped.

Avila-Santa Teresa

Avila-Santa Teresa

Avila - Sculpture

Avila – Sculpture

Avila-Cathedral, view of the gardens

Avila-Cathedral, view of the gardens

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

The Cathedral was marvelous as well. Its construction began in 1107 and ended in 1350. It has the most beautiful red and white granite stones for the ceilings in walls in parts of the building and in other parts, the walls and ceiling are pure white. Such an amazing and stark contrast. Because it was Holy Week, the pasos (the large wooden ‘stages’ with the stations of the cross and other scenes from the last hours of Christ’s life depicted in sculpture) were on display in the Cathedral as well. Unfortunately, due to the weather, Tammy and I never got to see any of them during an actual procession through the streets during Holy Week; each time we prepared for a procession, the rain began and the procession was cancelled.

Avila-Los Pasos de Semana Santa

Avila-Los Pasos de Semana Santa

Avila-los pasos de la Semana Santa

Avila-los pasos de la Semana Santa

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Salamanca, Spain

7 Apr
A most interesting sculpture, Salamanca

A most interesting sculpture, Salamanca

How old do you have to be to exist in Salamanca?

How old do you have to be to exist in Salamanca?

Of the twelve cities in thirteen days I visited this past month, Salamanca has to be my favorite. What an historical and beautiful city. Every corner I turned I was amazed by another architectural wonder and feat of this city that dates back to the times of BEFORE the Romans.

View from the Hotel Room, Salamanca. Monastery

View from the Hotel Room, Salamanca. Monastery

The University of Salamanca is the oldest in Spain, constructed in 1218, and is the most culturally diverse and largest. My friend Tammy and I had the most beautiful view outside of our hotel room (of a convent/monastery) anyone could ask for and convenient to all of the Old Town of Salamanca.

La Universidad Pontifica, Salamanca

La Universidad Pontifica, Salamanca

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Universidad Pontifica, View from the Tower

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View from the tower of the Universidad de Pontifica

View from the tower of the Universidad de Pontifica

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Casa de las Conchas

We visited the Universidad Pontifica, which, with its towers, had the most spectacular views of the city and the Casa de las Conchas. The University of Salamanca is gorgeous, with its ornate structures and carvings on the facade, one of which is the infamous frog of Salamanca.

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

The Plaza Mayor of Salamanca was beyond words and rivals that of Madrid (actually, in this blogger’s opinion is BETTER than Madrid’s) and was abuzz with activity and numerous cafes and restaurants.

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El Puente Romano, Salamanca

I believe the highlight of the trip was on our way out of town as we stopped at the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge), constructed in the first century. Despite the wind, the rain and the cold, Tammy and I walked the length of the bridge and imagined ourselves being a part of a Roman procession with Roman soldiers and chariots, two thousand years ago, stepping on the same stones, walking the same paths, and feeling the same smooth cobblestone beneath our feet as those Romans did, oh so long ago.

Salamanca…City you MUST see on a trip to Spain.

 

¡Ya me voy a España!

22 May

It´s been a few days since I found out that I am going to Spain to teach at an immersion elementary school at the end of the summer. I am so excited. I wanted to run up and down the halls of the school and shout from the rooftops “Ï am going to Spain! I am going to Spain!” but had to contain my excitement. Why? you may ask. Well, my daughter, who is about to graduate from high school, was in the classroom when I found out. She began to cry because she will be a freshman in college and will be alone at the university.

She is excited for me too, yes, she is. But, she is sad because she won’t have a home to go back to on weekends when she is feeling lonely, and I won’t be around to talk to when she is stressing. This saddens me as well, as I long to be there for her as she struggles through roommate problems, the difficulties of time management, and the basic adjustments in her first year in college. Granted, with the Internet, Skype, Smart phones, IM, Twitter, Facebook and all the other apps and gadgets available to us today we will only be a fingerstroke away from each other, it is just not the same as cara a cara.

Her daddy will take care of her as will my brother who lives close by as well, but no one is the same as good ol’ mom. All of her family will be there to support her but it is not the same as coming home to her bed, in her room, with her stuff to comfort her when she needs. Her older brother assures me that he believes her to be a confident, independent woman and will do just fine.

But I digress. Living in Spain and teaching English has been my lifelong passion. Finally, after thirty years, I am going to fulfill that dream. I have lived in Germany and Alaska, traveled in Europe and Mexico and many places in the US, raised three wonderful children, met fantastic people along this journey. I would not trade any of it to have fulfilled this dream earlier in my life. Life is full of twists and turns; the choices we make form who we are and who we become. Treasure every moment you have – the good, the bad and the ugly. Take from each moment, each event, each person you meet along the way, a positive attitude and make it an experience from which you learn and grow. If you think that you will never reach your goal or achieve your dream, then you probably won’t.

But I am here to tell you, even when life deals you lemons (trust me I have had plenty), make lemonade. I make some mighty fine lemonade these days, and it has finally brought me to my dream of living in Spain…thirty years later.

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