The first couple of weeks in Toledo were a little shock to the system but equally incredible. Yes, I hadn’t properly studied for a little while, and the constant barrage of information, old and most definitely new, was absolutely exhausting. Luckily for me, the class was actually only from 9am-1:30pm, but to be honest, in the heat, I don’t think it would be physically possible to do much more than that. On a normal day we would head back to the residence after class, have lunch, have a siesta, I would maybe do something stupid like think it cool enough to go for a run and almost die, go to the pool and relax, or take some time to explore the city. With dinner only starting at 8:30pm, the days seem to go forever, but it’s a great excuse to explore the town, do some homework, do some life admin and even sneak in a nanna nap. It’s incredible how much you can get into one day! The Spanish have it down pat. One pretty entertaining anecdote in class- we had to introduce ourselves, and explain a little about ourselves; why we are doing the course/when and why we started to learn Spanish, what else we enjoy doing etc. One young girl from China was explaining a little about herself, and our teacher was trying to explain that she wasn’t the typical Chinese young woman, as she had tattoos, in particular, one on her bicep. She was facing the class and reached behind to gesture to the tattoo on the girl’s arm, but was absolutely horrified when she turned and realised that in fact, she was actually reaching for the student’s ‘teta’- I think we can all guess what that word translates to in English…
We were treated (and by treated I mean that our course fees paid for part of this), to a trip around Toledo on the tourist train, a trip to the caves of Águila and the natural pools at Candelada. Unfortunately, I missed the following excursion due to MY SECOND EUROPEAN WEDDING for the year!! We were invited to attend Spanish dance classes, which were a lot of fun irrespective of my terrible dancing skills (of course helped by a few necessary drinks beforehand!).
In the first few weeks, I explored most of the monuments in Toledo, acting like a proper tourist, with my bright red wristband, pointing me out to all locals like having the word TOURIST printed in glitter across my forehead. I visited the Iglesia de los Jesuitas, Mezquita Cristo de la Luz, Iglesia del Salvador, Iglesia de Santo Tomé, the Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca, and the Monasterio de San Juan de Los Reyes.
I have also met some pretty awesome people whilst studying, including a group of students from Tenessee, who invited me along to celebrate the 4th of July with them. Never before have I felt SO UNWELL in class as I did on the 5th of July, but I survived and it was a lot of fun! The following day also happened to be the class photo day, where we were given our flags, and posed for pictures as a group! I and the ONE other Australian were grossly outnumbered by the few groups of USA University Students, but it was pretty awesome to see the pure number of flags and countries represented by our course group.
For a mid-course break, I was off to London to experience another wedding and catch up with some family aka MY SISTER! Couldn’t suppress my excitement!!