Friday, December 15, 2006

A wonderful journey to Salamanca...

Salamanca is a city, situated in western Spain. This city is the capital of the province of Salamanca. The population counts 160 000 inhabitants. It is a beautiful city where there are plenty of musea, monuments and places to see and visit.
One of my friends is studying translation at the University of Bruxelles. This year all students BAC3 have been obliged to go on Erasmus. Simon is studying English and Spanish and he wanted to improve his Spanish that is why he has decided to go to Salamanca.
One month ago, Simon invited Deborah and I in Salamanca. We agreed immediately and went on a trip on the sixteenth of November. We took the plane in Bruxelles-Sud and landed in Valladolid. You do not know all the difficulties you can have with your luggage. Currently a new law stipulates that all passengers cannot take liquids (no more than 100ml) in the plane. By liquids, they mean drinks, perfume, deodorant, mascara, foundation cream,... It is impossible for girls and women to leave these things at home :) In Valladolid we had to take the bus to go to Salamanca. I admit we had difficulties to know where we had to buy our tickets, where we had to wait for the bus,... It would have been easier if Spanish people could speak and understand English or if our Spanish was better. Fortunately we arrived save and sound in Salamanca. There we met the roommates of Simon: Manuel, a Spanish boy who is studying history and Henny, a German girl who is studying medicine. The main problem with Manuel and Henny was that except Spanish we had no other language in common. Fortunately they agreed to speak slowly so we understood a bit. Manuel taught us to cook Spanish food, including "tortillas": it was delicious. One evening they organised a party where we met French, Canadian, Italian, Spanish, Belgian and German people. It was really interesting to speak with students from all over the world. Except cooking and parties we wanted to visit the city. Simon was a perfect tourist guide. We visited plenty of things, including the "Plaza Mayor", the cathedral and the university.
As far as I am concerned is the "Plaza Mayor" the most beautiful one in Salamanca, especially late in the night with all the lights. This place, situated in the heart of the town, is surrounded by arcades. It was constructed by Andres Garcia de Quifiones in the 12th century. All Salamantinos arrange to meet each other on this place.
The old Romanesque cathedral has a wonderful architecture. It was constructed in the 12th century and is situated in front of the university.
The University of Salamanca is the second oldest in the world after Bologna. It was constructed in 1212. Students count for a great percentage of the population in Salamanca. Many students come to Salamanca in order to study in one of the best university of Spain. It has been said that the inhabitants of Salamanca speak the purest Spanish in Spain. Consequently many learners of the Spanish language come to Salamanca in order to improve it. In Salamanca there are also plenty of beautiful and decorated bars where students enjoy their nights. In these bars you can drink "chupitos" and eat " tapas".
This journey was wonderful: the city is beautiful, people even if they do not speak English are friendly and welcoming. It was worth going there. If you have time of if you do not know where to go on holiday I advise you to go an see Salamanca.

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