Today was pretty interesting. The 300 level class visited the town of La Alberca as a field trip for class. It took around 2+ hours to get there via bus, but unfortunately we were not allowed to sleep on the bus. Our tour guide, Teresa, decided to start the tour on the bus by sharing some information I’m sure hardly anyone paid attention to – I was pretty tired myself, so I slept till we reached our bathroom stop on the tour. W had another group of students with us from the East coast, and we chatted with them for a bit while waiting for everyone else.
stopover before La Alberca!
the other restaurante/bar
When we arrived in La Alberca we were taken on a 10-minute hike. The trail was pretty narrow so I guess I could see why she made us walk in a single-file line, but it was still pretty weird and reminded me of Girl Scouts back in grade school. The view was really pretty, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed to continue down to the monastery because girls are still forbidden from entering.
welcome to La Alberca!
We got back on the bus to take us to town, and were separated into two groups – the other school went with Mario (our tour guide for our first 305 Spanish tour) while two of the girls from the other school came with us as Teresa’s group. Teresa was her usual self, forbidding us from taking pictures while talking, but luckily my camera has a super-zoom so I was able to take a few sneak shots while she wasn’t looking.
CC 300-level Spanish students in La Alberca
Because we didn’t have much time to spend at La Alberca, our host moms made us bocadillos for lunch – mine was a delicious cheese and cured meat sandwich, and she even packed me an apple for dessert!
bocadillo of salami and cheese!
After having lunch on the go, we continued the tour by viewing the church near La Alberca’s Plaza Mayor. The town had a cross by the plaza with a small water fountain below, but no matter how thirsty I was I wasn’t willing to drink from there. Amairani and I went inside a small tienda and bought water. I also got a small cup of vanilla ice cream pops covered in chocolate, yum!
the side entrance of the church
the fountain in the plaza
the ice cream bar
ice cream bites!
The ice cream really helped since it was such a hot day, and before I knew it, we were given free time to explore the town. Because it was famous for its honey, I decided to buy a small pot – it was difficult choosing which pot to bring home, since all the favors were so delicious! The Jalea Real that La Alberca is famous for contains nuts, so I didn’t try it, but the others said it definitely is worth it’s fame!
different kinds of honey
La Jalea Real!
I also managed to see the town’s library, as well as the statue of the boar (or was it a bull?) near the church. The houses in La Alberca were early pretty, with all the flowers and vines outside on the balconies.
the boar statue
I also managed to find a pen with my name on it – granted, it said Alejandra instead of Alessandra, but as Clara said, “it is basically the same thing” so I decided to roll with that!
the pen with my name on it!
We visited another town just a short trip away via bus, and when we got there I think most of us were pretty annoyed and tired because the town looked very similar. We also got chewed out by Teresa because apparently we were being “noodles and going everywhere” (instead of stuck together like sardines, I guess). I think most of us took offense to when she said we were rude because she learned in school that “one does not talk when another person is talking” – but if we’re asking questions, surely her job as a tour guide is to answer them?
One of the highlights of the new town were the small statue on top of an arch by the Plaza San Gines – every time they changed his clothes, new grapes were put inside his hand.
the Plaza San Gines
the statue with grapes in his hand
As we were walking through the town, we saw a picture hole for tourists consisting of a pair of Pilgrims. Professor Cara and her sister made funny faces, and I’m glad Alex (whom I lent my camera to) got a great shot!
Clara and her sister!
The highlight of this trip was definitely how Teresa celebrated Augustin’s birthday. When she called us bad students for not listening to her (for the 4th time apparently), Augustin mentioned that it was his birthday. She said he was the only good student and kissed him on both cheeks – I don’t know if he looked more shocked of horrified! Alex managed to get a picture of her pulling on his ears 21 times (one tug per year apparently), and Augustin definitely doesn’t look happy!
Teresa with poor Agustin!