El Torre Ieronymus

wet tiled floor on the top of Cathedral in Salamanca

people sheltering in archway on top of cathedral

Wet! Cold! We made it up the Torre Ieronymus this afternoon and just as we got to the top, the heavens opened, thunder cracked and lightning flashed  – very biblical!   It was also very exciting, but it did mean that we got very wet and we didn’t get the great view of the landscape that we had
expected!  We got glimpses through the lashing rain as we dashed across the slippery tiled floor to the shelter of the next archway.  I managed to snatch a couple of shots as we huddled against the arches …. atmospheric!   We were also lucky enough to enjoy the amazing sound of the choir wafting up from the choir stalls as we stood in the gallery high up in the cathedral.

cathedral archesClasses were interesting today; I got most of my language homework correct after spending a good hour agonising over it last night.  I think I got the grasp of it but still need more time to think before being able to produce it in general conversation, off the cuff!  Next week promises more practice and work on the subjunctive so homework this weekend is to learn verb forms and tenses.  Aargh!
terracotta roof tilesHistory is getting better and better; it really is interesting and although Concha still shouts and rattles away “sin parar” we are learning to interrupt every now and again and ask for clarification to break the flow.  I am also understanding more.  The stories she has to tell about her “abuelo” and his experiences during the Civil War and Franco’s regimes are fascinating.  He was a Republican in a Nationalist regime in a city that was loyal to Franco.  He was sent to Africa and imprisoned.  He was released and on his return to Spain all his money was confiscated, he was not allowed to work.  He had been a teacher.  Fortunately, his wife had some money so they were not destitute and eventually he retrained as a lawyer whilst also doing some personal tutoring.  It seems that his wife’s connections kept him “safe” as many other people with the same political ideology were never released or had no opportunity to rebuild their lives.
detail of window on cathedralI am looking forward to next week.  Our Literature class is also great.  I love discussing Inclan’s play “Luces de Bohemia”.  Today we worked in small groups to answer some questions Antonio had set which gave us the opportunity to split up and share ideas and language with other students.  We all learned a lot more especially since the other students are really willing to help us and explain some of the background to the literature.  The History class is also giving the literature some context as this play comments on the social and political and literary situation of the day.
spouts on cathedral roof overflowing with waterLast class with Pilar today – no change in her manner but we did manage to get lots of good inter-cultural language and social context which was great.