Day: January 25, 2014

Toledo

One of the prettiest things I’ve seen so far is this view from the top of Toledo. The old city is so beautiful that I don’t think this photo does it even a little bit of justice. In each direction we looked there were old yellow and orange buildings, birds circling below us, rivers and bridges, and the sound of the air moving the trees. During my time here, I would love to go back to Toledo.

Photo (L to R): Rachel, Tessa, me, Elisha, Alexa, Emily, Emily

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Observations

When you travel to another country, you’re basically traveling to an entire new world. Everything is different and new and you just have to forget everything you’re used to and adapt to the changes quickly. That said, I believe in my heart that making comparisons is how you learn to make this adaption. I’m not saying you should compare everything to your home country, but being able to locate differences may make it easier for you to adapt if you recognize the difference, and then accept it and adjust to it. I’ve made a few comparisons (more like simply taking note of a difference in the back of my brain), and I wanted to share a few because I would find them interesting if I had never come here:

  • Asking for a glass of water in a restaraunt will cost you 2.50 Euro because the standard is bottled water. If you want tap water, you have to specify that you want “agua del grifo” (water from the tap).
  • In the hotel we stayed in, in order to turn on any lights, one must put the room key into a slot in the main part of the room to activate any other electricity in the room. I’m unsure if it is like this in other hotels, but it makes sense to do this for two reasons. One–it saves electricity because people need their key when they leave so there is no chance of a light being left on and two–it helped us remember to take our key.Also, the plugs are really different looking here because of the voltage difference.
  • Everything is smaller in Spain (and I’m assuming most of Europe) except for the alcoholic beverages. Plates of food are smaller, doorways are smaller, people are smaller, cups are smaller. Cars are usually two seaters or four seaters with little space, they’re close to the ground and just generally smaller. To go along with this theme comes my next point:
  • THE ROADS ARE SO SMALL HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! When we were driving on the bus, I have no idea how we did not run over the cars next to us but each lane is incredibly narrow, enough for one car to go exactly straight and that is it. Most roads look to be one-way streets but cars go both directions on them. I also have a hard time understanding which part of the street cars are allowed to drive on, and which are reserved for pedestrians. All the streets and roads are beautiful, so I cant imagine them being for cars OR pedestrians.
    Narrow road in Toledo
  • Traffic circles are very prominent here.

Basically, these are my comparisons/observations from the past 5 days. If you have any questions, please ask them! 🙂