architecture

It´s all in the details

The lucky frog´s on top of the skull

I´ve been overwhelmed by the details of the Spanish language, but positively inspired by the details of Spanish architecture. As I wrote in a previous post, legend has it that if you find the frog in the fasçade of the University entrance you will get married in a year. Single women flock to the entrance every morning to try and find it. I found it yesterday! Haha, sorry Mike.

If you think it was an easy feat think again. The whole wall is carved with intricate flowers, animals, and decorations.

The fasçade of the University entrancen

People stare at it for hours until their necks get sore. The frog is only about an inch tall and it´s high up. I should start a business where I charge desperate women a euro for each hint as to where the frog is.

Here´s a funny side note. WordPress (the site that hosts my blog) shows me what links causes people to view my blog. My post about the dreaded lisp is the most visited, and I was wondering why. I have a picture of Megan Fox at the bottom, and then I saw that hundreds of people viewed the post because of the Megan Fox tag! That´s one way of getting visitors!

And now I will show you some pictures of the ceilings in Salamanca and Segovia. I´ve been blown away by the details.

In the castle of Segovia. This was the meeting room.

This ceiling is about 30 feet high and decorated with all the kings of Spain´s history. Below each one is a description of their rule and lineage. These figures are about 5 feet tall and about 20 feet above your head.

The throne room in the castle of Segovia

This ceiling is about 40 feet high. The walls are red velet. The carved section is about 10 feet wide. The detail is stunning. You can´t help but drop your mouth when you walk into this room.

The ceiling of the Cathedral of Salamanca

The massive columns of the Cathedral of Salamanca

A ceiling of the old library. All hand carved wood.

detail of the ceiling

Each color is a different marble or granite.

Dancing in Salamanca

Well, I landed safely in Salamanca. I slept through the entire first day because I wasn´t able to sleep on the plane at all- I was sitting in the aisle seat next to an ancient couple who needed to go to the bathroom ever half hour. Even the flight attendent thanked me for my patience.

To sum up Salamanca in one word: golden. The buildings and streets are all made from this yellow sandstone that glistens in the sun light. The weather is perfect, hot but very dry and there´s always a warm breeze. The sun light is a warm orange hue. You can hear Spanish guitar playing all the time.

The whole town is centered around the Plaza Mayor. I was sitting and enjoying a cafe con leche in the plaza when all of a sudden 200-300 Brazilians came marching through the square. I know they were Brazilian because they were wearing Brazilian soccer jerseys and flags. They were chanting a song in unison and carrying giant golden crosses. They formed three concentric circles in the middle of the plaza and began to dance. They all had tamborines or guitars.

The song went something like “ya blah da da ma Israel” The last word is the only one I can say for sure. They sang the same song for over an hour and after a while I caught myself singing along. Halfway through they came to a cresendo and I thought it would be over, but then they kept going. Soon a group of people carrying the flag of Angola came marching through the opposit entrance. The craziest part was that all of the locals ignored it – which takes a lot of focus because the dancers were really loud. It was like the locals were thinking, “oh, there goes those crazy Brazilians again.”

About half an hour after the Brazilians left (and, yes, if you´re keeping track of time I´ve been sipping my coffee for almost 2 hours by this point) about 20 people wearing orange hats and orange backpacks, that said Tanzania, started up the same dance and song. They didn´t have nearly the same enthusiasm and endurance as the Brasilians and they quickly dissapated.

Today is a holiday for some Saint. My host mother didn´t remember which one. I can only assume this show was for the Saint. He must be the Saint of flash mobs.

Will post more later. Tomorrow´s my first day of Spanish class! I´m pretty nervous. Just talking to my host mom for ten minutes gives me a massive headache. I can feel the new synampsis forming. I´m going to get some Paella now!