Amy Jo Saltzman is a senior studying Chemistry at the University of Utah. She is currently abroad with the Advanced Spanish Language study abroad program in Gijón, Spain.
This summer I am participating in the Gijon Spanish study abroad program. We are studying Spanish history and art. Along with studying we have the opportunity to visit the places we study on excursions. One excursion took me to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
The day started with everyone meeting in the Plaza del Marqués, this is a historic plaza right next to the beach with a fountain and a statue of Palayo (this is also a very lively place at night with many sidrerias close by). From the Plaza we took a bus to a medieval city called Santillana Del Mar where we were free to explore the city. Santillana del Mar is said to be the city of three lies; it is not holy (santi), flat (llana), nor by the sea (mar). Santillana del Mar is however a very interesting city, as you walk down the main street you see what were once nobility houses built in the 15th to the 18th centuries. These houses are now shops selling local foods and souvenirs on the bottom level and homes on the higher levels. The main street leads to a 12th century Romanesque former monastery.