Yesterday, as expected, was a very long day and we were all glad to finally return to our homes to warm up and catch some sleep. When we arrived yesterday it was rainy and windy which made for a very chilly night. Today the weather is much better. The rain has stopped, but there is a breeze. It is currently 48 degrees.
Recap of Yesterday
Yesterday, after our orientation session, we took a practical tour of the city that was guided by Carlos, the group coordinator from Mester (our school). The tour pointed out essential places like the pharmacy, the ATM, etc.
Later in the evening we ate supper at a restaurant called Don Mauro with Carlos and the CEO of the school. The meal was made up of several different courses followed by dessert. Some of the food included salad, croquettes, duck liver, pork, French fries, and raspberry ice cream. ¡Muy deliciosa!
Early this afternoon we attended another orientation session about the history of Salamanca, which served as an introduction to the monumental tour that followed. The monumental tour included the cathedrals, the university, a palace, and many more interesting places with beautiful architecture. We will be exploring some of these monumental places in depth later this week.
El Día de los Reyes Magos
Today is also a very important day in Spain. Tonight and tomorrow mark the celebration of el Día de los Reyes Magos, or Three Kings Day. The three kings represent the Magi that came to visit baby Jesus. Tonight the kings will visit the houses and leave gifts for the children. It is a similar tradition to that of Santa Claus in the U.S.
To celebrate the holiday there was a parade tonight through the city that culminated at the Plaza Mayor. It seemed like everyone in Salamanca was at the parade! The participants of the parade were dressed in costumes and there were, what we would call, “floats”. There was also a lot of Christmas music and candy. After the floats had passed through the city they entered the Plaza Mayor and the three kings, who occupied the last three floats, went up to the balcony of the plaza and a message was addressed to the crowd.
Classes start tomorrow!
Also, if you would like to view photos from our experiences you can check out our Facebook group called ¡España 2014!