Student News

Spain #5: Walking in the Footsteps of Teresa of Avila

Paulina Baltazar – March 14, 2019

Quinn Soucy ’19 and Nick Ortega ’19 share an exciting day “walking in the footsteps of Teresa of Avila” through Simancas and Valladolid.

Another beautiful day in Simancas!

We started off the day going through the Spanish National Archives, located in Simancas, where we were able to touch and see documents that dated back to the 15th century. During our viewing of these documents, Valentina noticed that she may have accidentally ripped a document that dated back to the 17th century, which we learned would have put her in a Spanish prison for 7 to 9 years. Thankfully, the document was already damaged prior to her touching it.

In the castle, which held the archives, Quinn was excited about the fact that she was able to live out her childhood dream of being a princess for a day. Unfortunately, she was disappointed to learn that there was no dungeon in the basement. At the end of the tour, we were able to examine letters written by European royalty concerning Teresa of Avila. This was important because we were able to see how officials viewed Teresa and the changes she was making to the Carmelite Order.

Afterwards, we made the brief, 15-minute bus ride to Valladolid, where we bought food in an outdoor market while various students were able to practice their Spanish by asking for different vegetables and fruits. After a brief cup of espresso (which ended up being many cups of espresso), we headed to the 5 Gustos restaurant where we were given a lesson on how to prepare food that was popular during Teresa’s time. Once it was cooked, we were then able to eat the food we prepared.

Leaving the restaurant, we then listened to professors from the University of Valladolid talk about the life of Teresa, and the historical events that were taking place in Spain during Teresa’s life.

For a break before dinner, we took on the welcoming streets of Valladolid where we were able to roam shops and buy delicious treats. We then met in the square of the town where we danced to the theme song of “Friends”, and attempted to take a freeze frame photo (unfortunately we were unsuccessful).

At dinner, we tried various tapas and laughed about stories we shared while indulging in delicious food. We tiredly headed back to the hotel, hopeful of what the rest of the week would bring.

From left to right: Sam Crocker ’19, Quinn Soucy ’19, Hayden Sawh ’22, Nick Ortega ’19, Valentina Saldarriaga ’20