This past weekend James, Kelsey and I boarded a 2 hour train headed for Ourense, which is another city in Galicia. Ourense is located southeast of A Coruña towards Portugal and Madrid. The train ride was absolutely gorgeous! I was reminded every few minutes as to how beautiful Galicia is; it reminds me of Ireland, but with mountains, gorges, rivers and quaint stone houses with red roofs. To add to the picturesque scenery, we left around 9 AM and since the sun doesn´t fully rise until 9:30, I was able to see the most beautiful sunrise. Unfortunately the train was moving too fast so I couldn´t take a picture, so I guess you will have to come to Galicia to see the most amazing sunrise for yourself!
Once we arrived in Ourense, we attempted to find the old city, which was a bit difficult, until we asked a local who gave us step by step directions to our destination. From the old city we wondered around for a few hours, looking in a few old but gorgeous churches, archaeological museums, cute gift shops, and green parks. We then stumbled upon a delicious Italian restaurant in the old city (they in fact have the same one in Coruña) and ate a huge and satisfying meal while talking for about two hours about the most random topics.
One of the most gorgeous aspects of Ourense is that it is located near several rivers, most notably the Miño-Sil river system. The bridges that cross over these rivers are also a sight, from the new millennium bridge to the ancient Romanic bridge. In addition to these rivers there are several hot springs around Ourense, some are free while others quite expensive, some are located outside of the city in the countryside and others are located in the city center! As you can tell, the three of us quite enjoyed our day trip to Ourense!
Dato Divertido: The desks in the classroom of Spanish universities are very different from those in the States. The classrooms are made up of several rows of tables that have chairs attached to them, so in order to sit you must pull down the bottom of the seat. They are similar to seats at a baseball stadium or auditorium. Hopefully that was a somewhat good description! Anyways today for some reason I forgot that these seats were like this, and thus experienced my most embarrassing moment in Spain. I was sitting in class and stood up to hand the professor the extra hand-outs that were passed around the room. As I went to sit down I forgot to pull the bottom part of the chair out and thus I immediately feel to the floor which resulted in the whole class looking at me and wondering what exactly happened. Thankfully I was not hurt so I burst out laughing and so did the other Spanish students. I am officially not a big fan of those desks.
I officially leave in 1 week for winter break. My freak out in that my study abroad experience is nearly halfway over will come with the next post so…look out!
The Millenium bridge…if you look closely you can see stairs that go up each loop at the end of the bridge! We climbed them!
Climbing up the bridge!
And the view from the top of the bridge that looks onto the Roman bridge
Kelsey and James
One of the gorgeous churches
Another gorgeous church!
A view of Ourense
James and I
So exciting! They had a fancy restaurant named after our beloved city Coruña!