We decided to celebrate Monday afternoon by taking a trip to the beach with the students! It was finally very sunny in Oviedo, so we took the afternoon off to go back to Gijon. The students were able to enjoy the water a bit more this time since it was a bit sunnier. We spent a couple of hours there and then returned home. Tuesday was a normal day except the students at their first evaluations. They evaluated us, we evaluated them and we had individual meetings to go over how things have gone with them thus far. Most of them were terrified at first, but they calmed down once they realized we weren't going to send them back the U.S.!
Tomorrow we have regular classes and sports. It is supposed to be 34 here tomorrow. In 'English' that means 93 degrees! Yikes! Then it cools back off to normal.
Thursday and Friday we are headed to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia which is the end of the Camino de Santiago. The history of this pilgrimage is fascinating. Legend says that St. James' remains were brought by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain. In 813 the remains of Apostle St. James the Greater were found by a peasant named Pelayo (not the same guy that lead the first battles against the Moors) in a chapel in an old roman cemetery in what is now Santiago de Compostela. This helped ignite the Christian troops in the area and Alfonso II (king of the region at that time) made was is known to be the first religious pilgrimage from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela. Today, the routes can start anywhere but the most popular route starts in France. One route comes directly through Oviedo. The routes are marked with shells and yellow arrows either on the ground or on trees. Thousands make the trek every year. If you are interested in learning more about this, Charlie & Martin Sheen recently made a movie about it called 'The Way'. I am sure it can be found on Netflix.
We will go to a museum that shows the history of the Galician people, a museum about the pilgrimage, the church where the remains of St. James the Greater remain (ha ha), and we will be able to catch the pilgrim's mass that they hold every Sunday for the pilgrims. We will get to eat some traditional Galician food. It amazes me that we can travel for just a few hours and find completely different dishes to eat!