Travels in Spain – Meike

A whole month has now past since I arrived in Villanueva. By now we have started teaching our classes, met many more students at the academia and explored more parts of the town. Over the past couple of weekends I also traveled to Toledo, Córdoba and Madrid.

I really enjoy traveling around Spain because every part of the country is vastly different. I saw a lot of Spain while studying abroad in Córdoba and I love returning to cities I’ve already visited because there is always more to see. Two weeks ago the Academia crew traveled to Toledo (it was my second time there) for a Guinness world record competition for the largest plate of ham. I was particularly excited to see what a competition like this would be like.

We arrived early in the morning and watched some of the ham cutters clean and prepare their hams. Ham cutting is definitely an art and does not look easy to do. There was a stage set up in the square right in front of the famous cathedral that would soon become the worlds largest plate of ham and once the competition started every single plate of ham that was cut was weighed and then placed on the stage. The competition lasted for about two hours. During that time we explored some of Toledo; we visited a metal sword and jewelry workshop (very common in Toledo), an underground pottery store and enjoyed the beautiful medieval views, which reminded me a lot of Granada in Andalusia. At the competition the record for largest plate was broken! We even got to try some of the ham, even though it was not of the best quality since it had been baking in the sun for two hours. It was still a really fun experience!

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