If you’ve not seen part one of this series, go back and find my previous post: A Week on the Spanish Border – Part 1.
After seeing the Super Moon, we headed back to our hotel, via a tapas bar where we had dinner. The photo at the top of this post was taken on our walk over the bridge at sunset, before the appearance of the moon. I’m once again drawn to the colours that it shows of the setting sun, with the contrasting lights of the bridge in the foreground. Meanwhile we see the lights of Badajoz on the fringes. Badajoz really is a beautiful city and on this November evening, the sunset only accentuated its features.
Our evening meal was at a tapas bar in one of the main squares of Badajoz, at the centre of which was Badajoz Cathedral. Despite it being November, the weather as we sat outside wasn’t horrendous. It was below 10C however we succeeded in eating our meal, despite what the Spanish would refer to as winter weather. In fact, it soon turned out that our biggest trouble was car fumes as the square had several bars around it’s perimeter. Taxis parked next to us at our outside table were therefore our main concern whilst they gassed us with exhaust fumes, as we tasted the local cuisine. Nevertheless, the majestic view of Badajoz Cathedral managed to offset the fumes, as grim as they were!
Following food and a relatively early night we awoke the next morning to meet the other partners of our Erasmus trip. This included teachers from schools around Europe including Italy, Slovenia, Poland and Latvia. There was also the three of us Brits, with each school having three representatives attending the conference. The idea was to build ties between schools across Europe, and in this instance, to look at different teaching methods as well as experience the culture of teaching and living in Spain.
This was successful. We sang songs from our countries in the evening, traded stories and jokes. One of our party also discovered that Lithuanian Vodka is lethal; much to the amusement of the rest of us. During the days we spent our time taking part in team building activities, learning of teaching practices around Europe, sampling local food, sightseeing and making friends. One of the sights of Badajoz is its main gate which, at one time, was the only entrance to the ancient city. At night it glowed in different colours from the lights around its base and still stands tall and solid after many centuries as the emblem of Badajoz.
Overall, the week in Badajoz was about more than just teaching. It was learning about different cultures and remembering that, despite a world that only appears to get more fractured these days, we are all different in our ways. Despite this we still remain intrinsically human in our desire to learn, socialise and appreciate the small parts of our respective countries.
Badajoz, I’m glad I got to see you. If you ever find yourself on the border between Portugal and Spain make sure that you visit. You will find a place that is totally unique to the two countries that it shares its culture with.
Until next time,