Today’s blog post comes to us from API alumni & University of Minnesota-Duluth student Samantha Kaiser! She studied abroad with us in Salamanca, Spain.
Every summer, various places around Europe including Berlin, London, Prague, and Spain all conduct a “light show”.
Music accompanies a display of moving visuals projected onto beautiful architecture. I studied abroad for two months in Salamanca, Spain through API, and the light show was definitely one of my favorite parts of that summer.
The show began in the beautiful Plaza Mayor and it filled quickly with tourists and locals wearing glow sticks on their wrists and around their neck. The whole city felt happy and you could feel the positive energy in the air. The first song started as soon as the night sky turned a deep magenta, and an introduction read on the screen the title of the video clip and where it originated from. I was surprised to see these illuminations coming from all over the world like Brazil, Japan, and Thailand. Each one was different and unique in their own way. The visuals matched the pattern of the plaza building, showing a variety of different colors with different genres of music. The visuals included laser beams, a music bass bar, different patterns, women dancing, butterflies, a beating heart, and more.
The show lasted about two hours, with short clips of colors and music flashing through the air.
After each 30 second video, the crowd roared with applause. It might not have been the first show for many, but that didn’t make it any less special. As the show came to an end, the last clip of the night took my breath away and brought joyful tears to my eyes. It read, “Salamanca, celebrating 800 years,” and then before me a video highlighted Salamanca’s history, and ended with the beloved frog crossing over the screen, a symbol only those who have traveled to Salamanca would understand.
I was so grateful to be apart of something so beautiful, and something so new to me.
I had never felt like I belonged somewhere that much until that moment, and when I think back to that light show on that warm, summer night, I get chills everytime and the joyful tears return to my eyes. If you ever have the opportunity to travel abroad over the summer months, try to attend one of these light shows in a European city. Maybe it can bring a sense of belonging to you too, like it did for me.