Nothing to 'Wine' About!

Micaela Ferguson
October 28, 2015

Time seems to be flying by here in Salamanca. Between classes, homework, and trips, it is sometimes hard to take time to write everything down. I am currently enrolled in 5 courses at IES Abroad Center and one Psychology course at a local university here called Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, or UPSA for short (pronounced “oops-uhh”). At the IES Abroad Center, I am enrolled in a religion class, an art class, a literature class, a theatre course, and a daily Spanish grammar classes. The IES Abroad class sizes are just about as small as the class sizes in Claremont. Our professors also teach at the Universidad de Salamanca (USAL).

My typical day consists of waking up early, eating breakfast, and walking to the IES Abroad Center for our 9:05am grammar class. Although I am not the biggest fan of early morning classes, the long walk to the Center definitely wakes you up. Taking the class at UPSA has helped me become friends with Spanish students. I have also taken advantage of the USAL intercambio program for opportunities to practice conversation. Intercambios are language exchanges where I, an English speaking student who wants to learn Spanish, can meet up with a Spanish speaking student who wants to learn English, and we can meet up and take time conversing in the languages we want to learn. I have noticed a significant improvement in my language skills, and I think my professors have noticed this as well.

Pictured above: one of our class excursions to the Roman bridge (Puente Romano), IES Abroad paella night, and pictures of Valor - a delicious chocolate place near the cathedral.

Pictured below: one of class excursions to the library in the University of Salamanca. It was really cool to get to go inside the library. It's sealed behind class doors and you have to have special permission to enter. Although the library itself was constructed in 16th century, the oldest book in the library dates back to 1059! We were able to see inside some of the books. When the guide showed us a manuscript, no one could believe that it was completely written by hand. It must have been a tedious job to have to write those books. I doubt anyone in today's world of technology could possibly have the patience. But being able to see so much history in one room was absolutely incredible.

Below are pictures from our trip to Toro. We were given a tour of a winery (or bodega) and were able to have a wine tasting. Toro is apparently known for their red wine. If anything, I thought the white wine was better, but, to be honest, I am not the biggest fan of wine in general. Thankfully there was also cheese which definitely made up for it. 

After Toro, we went into Zamora for a tour and some free time. The city was very pretty, but the walking was rough. After our free time it was time for lunch. We drove to a strange area that looked almost deserted. Sticking out of the ground were weird rocks that I soon realized had doors attached to them. We walked up to one, opened it, and went down narrow stairs. The restaurant was underground! It was a very quirky set up. The ceiling and walls were packed with random decorations, currency from every country, random pots and household objects, etc. The meal consisted of bread, meat, meat, and more meat. Although I do love most of the food here, I don't know if I will ever get used to eating so much meet in one meal!

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Micaela Ferguson

<p>My name is Micky Ferguson and I am a rising junior at Claremont McKenna College studying Government and Philosophy. I am from Pasadena, California, which, in 2014, was named the Snobbiest City in America. But I will be the first to say that the people who conducted the survey were probably just jealous because they know that we are better than them. I have a passion for photography, video production, and puns. I love taking portrait photography, but I like taking candid photos more - I think that photos tell more of a story when they aren&#39;t posed.</p>

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