Saturday, August 25, 2012

Today I woke up in SPAIN!

Last night I could hardly sleep a wink. I think I finally went to sleep at one, woke up at five and then not again until 9:45. My internal clock is  TOTALLY wacked out! When I woke up at five I was totally sweating! It was so SO hot in my room. HOW DOES PILAR NOT HAVE AC? no idea. I have a hook behind the door with like 10 scarves hanging from it... Oh how I long for weather to be able to wear those in! I mean, I don't want Wisconsin cold or anything, but haven't I sweat enough in the past five months? I am ready for a little chill! Even Jerusalem got cooler at night than it currently does here. 

I am sure my body will adjust to the temperature and the time schedule soon enough! I woke up and hurriedly took a shower. Miriam blew a fuse with her straightener, freaked Pilar out... she was speaking so fast I could barely understand her! haha Gotta love trying to make American appliances compliant with European voltages and outlets... it scares me. I think she might have blown her straightener up. whoopsie! [she still is hopeful, but I smelled the smoke, I am hoping right along with her though.]
Anyways, I got dressed... Pilar made us breakfast: toast with nutella and warm milk with hot chocolate powder [actually it's just yahoo chocolate milk powder]. haha I am going to GAIN 50 pounds if i eat that every morning. I am pretty sure that every morning we'll have milk and one piece of toast, I asked for peanut butter and a banana. That's a pretty good breakfast, right? Pilar said she likes that too. Perfect. She noticed we both only ate one piece of toast so she's going to modify that! :) I really like her, she's a bit crazy, but fun. 

After breakfast I braided Miriams hair, blew dry [took my life in my own hands hoping that it wouldn't blow a fuse, luckily it worked fine] the top of my hair and we rushed out the door. We were still a little late, but hey... that was pretty good for waking up so late. 

We met our group at the plaza at 11 and took a little walking tour through Alcala. Oh it's just the cutest little town.

This is what I imagine when I think of SPAIN... it's real life, I took this photo. The people live above these little shops. Look at the vines and window planters!!

Here are some old city walls! I am kind of akin to those after 4 months in the Holy Land. The Arabs built these walls! I also saw the site of an old Jewish Synagogue. It made me really happy... I miss Jru. 

See the storks nest atop this wall? Alcala is FAMOUS for their storks. Their nests are EVERYWHERE at the top of buildings. I probably saw 20 today.
This photo describes perfectly this street we were walking down, I didn't edit it or anything. This man was getting creative right on his doorstep and the hugh of the whole street was red! So BEAUTIFUL. I love Spain!!

After we walked through the city and identified our school and museums and churches we should check out we went to the old Universidad de Alcala founded in 1492 by Cardinal Cisneros. It's beautiful. We learned that he was an old man and wanted the university built in his lifetime so he had it build with brick and mud. Later on it was given a stone face to make it more prestigious and beautiful. The church owned the school in that day. Students were only male and were to wear robes and only speak Latin otherwise they were thrown in prison for a couple day... ya, rough I know! Luckily the prison was right on site... so convenient. There are several courtyards to this beautiful building with old arches and gates and theater rooms. 
Our whole group in front of the University. Stole this photo from Julie's facebook... Thanks, Julie!

I am loving the architecture here.

Inside the first courtyard, these used to be classrooms and dormitories, now they're just offices.

Alex and I in front of the school...

Gate in second courtyard, back in the day it opened and led to markets [oh and the jail].

3rd courtyard. 

Arches in the 3rd courtyard, there is so much detail, look at the ceiling, it's so textured and pretty.

The ceiling in the room where they had shows and where PHD students defended their thesis... if they passed the three day examination they had a fiesta, inviting the whole town. If they failed... there was a public humiliation ceremony. ... these people didn't mess around.

Scale model of the city of Alcala... two weeks ago I was looking at scale models of Jerusalem... I can't believe I am here.
The school is not built like American Universities, it is spread all throughout the town. I like that better. Alcala is on the map because of this university and there are traces of it on almost every street! This is such a beautiful place. I feel so blessed to be here! Life is really good.


BMC said...

Wait YOU blogged?! Can someone in Spain check your temperature? Miss you! Keep this up, looks like you are on an amazing adventure

Camille Richey said...

awesome post, pam! informative, lots of pictures. we'll see how long this keeps up... ;)

Traveller said...
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