Currently Browsing

Alex in Spain

Sunday, 9 April: Eternity in Two Days

Ciao, tutti! (Hello, everyone!) Yep, I’m using Italian again, because I visited Rome ethe weekend of Palm Sunday to start of my spring break from the Fundación Ortega-Marañon y Gasset, the school through which I am studying here in Toledo, Spain for the spring semester. I could also say “Hola a tothom!” which means the same thing in Catalan; I visited the capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Barcelona, on Friday before going to Rome. The week before my travels commenced was the last week of regular classes at the […]

Read More

Sunday, 26 March: Feeling at Home

Qué tal, ¿amigos? I hope this latest post finds you hale and healthy and, if not, that you soon arrive at such a condition! If you recall from my last post, I spent the weekend of 17-19 March in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. The bus we took from the city left around 9:40 p.m. and, with the extra hour added on crossing into Spain, arrived close to 6 a.m. Side complaint: time zones in Europe sometimes make as little sense as they do in the United States, or even […]

Read More

Sunday, 12 March: Cheers, Ireland!

Hey, everyone! I know it’s been quite a long time since I’ve written: I could blame the delay on any number of things, but mostly it was just a lack of motivation. Between my assignments from the Fund and all the necessities in planning trips on the weekend, I ended up shrugging off the responsibility of this blog for the last three weeks. My apologies! I hope to have this updated by next Friday at the latest; these posts will also probably be less detailed than past ones due to events […]

Read More

Sunday, 5 March: No Pasa Granada

¿Qué tal, amigos? That is, how’s it going, everyone? I hope this next post on my adventures abroad finds you doing well and making your own discoveries of the fantastic world in which we live. After a weekend at home in Toledo and the Carnaval festivities held there (and throughout Spain), the past week was pretty relaxed. It ended with the Fund’s big trip for the semester: a journey to the cities of Córdoba and Granada in Andalucía, the southern region of Spain that, due to its strong traditions of […]

Read More

Sunday, 26 February: No Ordinary Time*

Hola, hola, ¡todos! Espero que estéis bien. Es decir/That is to say, hey everyone! I hope you all (informal; sorry if you prefer ustedes) are doing well. This past week was a special one both at the Fundación José Ortega y Gasset – Gregorio Marañón, the program through which I am studying in Spain, and in the city of Toledo and the wider Hispanic world in general. The same word can signify different things, of course. Regarding my week at the Fund, “special” means a bit stressful (yet somehow also relaxing?) […]

Read More

Sunday, 19 February: Wowed by Waffles, Enchanted by Chocolate, Surrounded by Speculoos

Hey, everyone! After delays in posting on this blog, I’m trying to catch up a bit. Thankfully, we just ended midterms here at the Fund, so I have some free time to write and – hopefully – enjoy the Carnavál festivities this weekend. Descriptions of those will have to wait until the next post, of course! In my last post, I left you all with a bit of a cliffhanger: after a fantastic weekend in Florence, I was in for un día de retos (a day of challenges). I left the […]

Read More

Sunday, 12 February: Grazie, Firenze!

Salve, tutti! You’ve reached the blog of Alex Gruber, self-professed bibliophile, Catholic fanboy, and St. Norbert College student studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, for the spring semester of 2017. For those of you who already know this information, mi dispiace (sorry)! Let’s get on with the actual blog. You may have noticed that I used Italian instead of Spanish in the title and first paragraph. That’s because I was lucky enough to travel to the incredible Italian peninsula and spend the past weekend in Firenze, or Florence as it’s known to us […]

Read More

Sunday, 5 February: From Sevillana to Salamanca

Feliz martes, ¡todos! I hope this next blog post finds you doing well and experiencing your own adventures in whichever corner of our marvelous world you call home. Over the past week, I settled into the comforting routine of classes at the Fundación Ortega-Marañon (or the Fund), partook in a musical tradition from the south of Spain, journeyed to three of Spain’s multitude of historic sites, saw snow for the first time in my host country, and even went shopping (which obviously merits inclusion in this post because I did […]

Read More

Sunday, 29 January: Madrid – the Other MAD City

Hola, ¡todos! Espero que estén bien. In other words, I hope you all are doing well. Welcome to another entry of my experience abroad for the spring semester of 2017. The second week of classes at La Fundación Ortega-Marañon started off swimmingly. For one, I don’t have classes on Monday! In addition, this past Monday in particular, 23 January, marked the feast day of Saint Ildefonsus (San Ildefonso, in Spanish). Ildefonsus was the metropolitan bishop of Toledo in the mid-7th century who was canonized for his good life and theological […]

Read More

Sunday, 22 January: Churros and Chocolate and Classes, Oh My!

Bienvenido, reader! Whether or not this is your first time reading my blog, I hope you find it informative, interesting, and perhaps even enjoyable. This past week, the students attending the Fundación Ortega-Marañon went through orientation on Monday and started their classes on Tuesday. First on Monday was an exam to gauge our comprehension of Spanish grammar. My scores certainly were not perfect or even close to it, but the Fund doesn’t expect perfection from students. The exams do not affect our subsequent grades but rather aid the program in […]

Read More

Hola, ¡Toledo!

Buenas días (o noches, dependiente en cuando lees esto), ¡todos! Yep, that was Spanish: I arrived in Madrid this past Friday, 13 January and settled in Toledo the next day. On Friday, I left Mondaye Abbey with Adam, another SNC student studying in Toledo who accompanied the class at Mondaye for the week. We departed by car around 7:45 a.m. (still dark out, but much warmer than Wisconsin was at the time) for Bayeux, where we caught a train to Caen. From Caen, we took a bus to Orly Airport […]

Read More