Today, some of us went to an hour-long lecture on the Spanish Civil War. From what I gathered, it was absolutely thrilling (esto es una broma). Instead of going to the lecture (it was optional), I met up with my roommate from Luther, who is going to be studying at the University of Salamanca during spring semester. After we talked for a while, it was determined that she needed to find her apartment because she needed to have lunch with her host mom. She was lost, but I got out my handy-dandy map and helped her arrive home safely. Crazy to think that we have been here less than a week and we’re already semi-professionals at navigating the city of Salamanca!

Later on that day, our group visited El Convento de San Esteban, which is a Dominican monastery that was built in the 16th century. We were reminded by our fearless guide, Carlos, that the type of architecture was Plateresque, or plateresco. Once inside, we were in awe of the Claustro de los reyes, which was an open, centralized courtyard, or cloister. As we continued, we saw a beautiful staircase built in 1553, called the Soto Staircase. The sanctuary of the church itself was stunning, and it appeared to look like gold (it was not made of real gold, however). All in all, we learned a lot about this magnificent and historical place in Salamanca.

Some of us were having a bad case of the Mondays, but all of that changed when we went on the Tour de Tapas! In case you haven’t been keeping up, Spaniards use the name tapas to refer broadly to appetizers that they consume any and all times of the day. We were able to try out the tapas at four different restaurants that are known for their superb tapas. Here is a brief idea of what we had: bread with cheese and marmalade, bread with shrimp and tartar sauce, salmon, bread with pork, bread with chorizo (sausage), bread with cheese, and last but not least, bread with bread (just kidding, but we seriously did have bread with all the other tapas). We all had an amazing time eating, laughing, and sharing stories with each other. We definitely can’t wait for the next group meal we have together! To sum up the night, I will leave you with this quote that was on the wall in Hispania 20, one of the restaurants we went to:

“No hay un amor más sincero que el que sentimos hacia la comida” - George Bernard Shaw

…There is no love more sincere than that we feel towards food <3

Panoramic view of El Convento de San Esteban.
Carlos, our "fearless guide," explaining the details of the Convent.
Another, less pixelated, view of the Convent.
The view from the inside of the cloister, or courtyard, of the Convent. It was actually sunny for once! We're all getting so tired of the rain and cloudiness, which we've had from the day we arrived.
This is the Soto Staircase, constructed in 1553. For its day it was "new technology," since the stairs are attached to the wall only.
The inside of El Convento de San Esteban. This is the third largest church in Salamanca, trailing only the Cathedral of Salamanca, which we've also seen, and one other.
Berit and Mikayla hangin' out in El Convento.
All of us at our second restaurant on the Tour de Tapas. Behind us you can see the words, “No hay un amor más sincero que el que sentimos hacia la comida.”
Can you guess the secret ingredient in this salmon dish? Green pop rocks!