Benvida at the University of Santiago de Compostela

Benvida at the University of Santiago de Compostela

First week at the University of Santiago de Compostela

This semester is the first one going back to in-person classes at the University of Santiago de Compostela, so, to welcome and motivate their students, the University organized a bunch of activities for everyone’s liking. There were sport events, concerts, picnics, traditional dance classes, presentations and seminars and visits to the museum of natural history and the observatory.

I had classes this week and, since I had to make some changes to the classes I will be attending here, I had to figure out my schedule, but I did visit the museum on Thursday.

University of Santiago de Compostela

A visit to the Museum of the Natural History of the USC

The Museum of Natural History of the University of Santiago de Compostela is located in Parque Vista Alegre. Before that, it was moved several times as it was developing. As a museum, it was located in the building of the Faculty of Chemistry and before that in the Faculty of Geography. Before gaining a status of a museum, it was a Cabinet of Natural History that dated back to the 19th century.

Today, it has six exhibition halls. Biodiversity (Galician Terrestrial Biodiversity), Global terrestrial biodiversity and Temporary exhibitions halls are on the ground floor, and Geodiversity, Soil diversity and Marine biodiversity are on the first floor. Btw, the visits are free every first Wednesday of the month, other than that, it’s 3€ for adults, 2€ for under 18, students, teachers, family and retired and 1€ for those with TUI, which is a student ID card at the USC.

Their newest collection is the butterfly collection. I saw a lot of new species (and many of them looked like fairies). Anyway, since I’m not an expert on any of that, I was just admiring the different shapes, sizes and colors of the butterflies.

My favorite halls are Geodiversity and Marine Biodiversity. My friend and I went to the museum together, and we were actually late to the presentation about each of the collections, so we didn’t hear all about it, but the Geodiversity collections were stunning, so interesting to see. I’m really glad we have the opportunity to go visit all that. Also, to think we are able to see a collection of meteors that were once somewhere else in time and space out there, and now they are literally in a museum 15 minutes from where I’m staying is mind-blowing.

A sunny day in Santiago de Compostela

After the visit to the museum, we walked through the Parque Vista Alegre, where I finally saw one of these:

El hórreo gallego

This is one of the symbols of Galicia, but basically it is a construction, a barn, where people would keep the food for the animals, built like this to prevent the rodents or the flood to destroy the food.

We collected some chestnuts, some leaves with the pretty colors, and we also met this guy:

Cats are a rare sight in Santiago, btw!

On our way back, we stopped at the store called Casal Cotón, where we tried some candied almonds, this yummy cake called Tarta de la Casa, and Crema de Licor, which is like Baileys, but with less alcohol, and everything was better than the other.

The lady working there was super nice and she told us more about the liquors, what are the most famous, what are each of them made of, how to properly make a toast and what’s the meaning behind witches. There are two kinds, the good and the bad ones. There are some charms to invite or repel them. Also, there’s this plant called “el toxo”, which is very common in the area. There’s a phrase related to it. If someone tells you: “you’re such a ”toxo”! “, they are actually telling you that you are really rude or you are a grumpy person.

After walking around, we finally went to grab some ice cream. We went to this place called Puerta Real and the ice-cream was sooo good! I’ve set myself on a mission to try all the flavours while I’m here.

Okay, thanks, bye!

8 thoughts on “Benvida at the University of Santiago de Compostela

    1. Oh, it was delicious and for our friend the cat here, apparently that’s one of the two in the whole city.

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