It has taken me awhile to sit down and pen down my thoughts since I got back from the Global Experience Opportunity(GEO) Spain, but here I am finally to share my thoughts with all of you.
The GEO Spain Language and Culture Program has been a memorable experience that has changed my thoughts about a culture as I experience it on a personal level. Before I visited the beautiful little town of Pamplona, all I knew of the Spanish culture was the bull fights and tomantino festival, as of today, my opinions are very different, it has a rich history going back many years in time, with the many battles and palaces, the bishops playing a central role, the beautiful cathedrals and the many festivals.
The City Hall, Pamplona Spain The team in the City Hall with our Spanish Teacher
What striked me the most was the difference in lifestyles in Europe and North-America, in Spain, I found that they worked fewer hours and seemed to have a much more relaxed lifestyle, they seemed to balance work and life pretty well, people are seen relaxing with friends and family in the evenings at the many pincho bars around every nook and cranny. The food in Spain is just out of this world, its so fresh and healthy, the lack of mcdonalds and KFC’s for long distances in this town suprised me.
Pinchos (Little snacks) with drinks The team experiencing the pinchos night
Over the two weeks in Spain, we visited many beatiful historical places in the town of Pamplona, here are a few pictures :
The team at the Momumento al encierro Dining at the Cafe Iruna, one of the oldest cafes in the town
Panoramic view of the town centre in Pamplona
The palace of the King of Navarra A festival on the palace grounds
As we made our little trip to Barcelona, the number of Mcdonalds and KFC’s started to grow again, the streets were dirtier and all the toxicities of city life were back. Personally, I just loved the quite little town of Pamplona, and didnt quite like Barcelona, as it was just like any other big city in the world with thousands of tourists, although the monuments and architecture is quite astounding.
At the Placa de Carles Buigas, Barcelona
This is a picture I took on my last day at the University of Navarra, as I left the campus with a heavy heart, the little spanish that i learnt over the two-weeks did just fine for surviving in this beautiful little town, the memories of the people, the food and festivals will remain etched in my memory forever. All I can say is, language and culture is something that can only be experienced and this experience has helped me grow as an individual.
The final moments in pictures above, this trip and the town of Pamplona will always have a special place in my heart.