Published: June 16th 2012June 12th 2012
It was sad saying good-bye. I knew it was coming but I regretted it anyway. As I said this was an amazing group and I had fun here. As I have been reminded, there are some things that you just have to let go. I understand doing that to a point, but I will not do it completely. It is harder to keep holding on to it, but I can deal.
We all traveled to the airport and some of us traveling after to various places stayed behind and went to the city together. As we went on our way in the metro, two of the guys and one girl had to go their ways and I was left with a couple friends for the day. We went to the train station and got our tickets, mine for Granada at 5:05 and theirs for Barcelona at 5:00. We left the station to see more of Madrid. On our way we saw turtles in the garden in the train station. We liked watching them because none of them reminded us of the friends that we were losing and the times that we had.
We were disappointed by the city. We stopped in McDonalds. I had a Kit-Kat McFlurry and McPollo (pollo means chicken). Afterward we went and saw the Puerta del Sol, which we had seen before but did not realize it. I honestly did not like Madrid that much. Other than Art Museums there is not much in the city.
So we went back to the Atocha Station and watched turtles. The funniest part was that there were some turtles that were climbing over others just to get up to the top of the ramp. One of the big ones slipped and took out the entire ramp or about 30 turtles in one misstep. We all laughed and we continued watching for another half hour. They wanted to go to the candy store we left so we went there before departing. After stepping through security we wished our goodbyes and we to our gates. I was funny because I watched them jog to their gate and knew that I was completely alone. I laughed at myself because I have never felt that before and it seemed childish. I just knew that the only thing that I could do is keep moving.
I got in my train and sat down. Fortunately there was no one beside me the entire time and I was able to sleep fairly well. I thought to myself how easy it would be to catch the next train to Madrid and pay whatever the cost to go back home on the next flight. I am surprised that I did not (though I would not have money for food for the rest of the summer). I am a being of plans but I am not above acting on impulse when I need to change my plans. Granted I am glad that I did not leave for home then.
I crossed the country. It grew gray and lifeless. Not a dessert but not anything that looks like North Carolina. I do miss my country. The thought kept creeping through my mind the entire time that I was looking out of the window. The mountains grew more and more jagged with every kilometer (look at me being non-American). The sun was also setting at that time so shadows grew and enveloped the train for stretches of time. When the sun started setting they were gorgeous. I can actually say that I saw the Sierra Nevada Mountains in sunset. I think under different circumstances I would love to return and see it again. When the train stopped night was coming soon. I took a cab deciding not to get lost and miss check in at my hostel.
My room was a 10-person suite that forced me to meet many different people. I met an American that graduated from American University in foreign languages, taught English in Spain and was learning Chinese in a University in Granada. Another was a guy from New Zealand traveling with a Canadian seeing Europe on the cheap. They were traveling to Seville and going their separate ways there. The Canadian was actually a Biomedical engineer that was on his way to London for the Olympics because some of his friends were competing. Kinda cool. Another guy was Australian and used to be a surveyor but is back in college studying Political Science. Another guy was also Australian and he was studying Economics and making his way through Europe. There was a girl from Montana studying Political Science. There was a girl from Texas there for travel after Graduating. There was a group of girls from Chicago there my last night that were traveling together. The oldest of the group was going to Cornell for Graduate School.
In other words there were a lot of people. The night was pretty much spent when I got there so I took a shower and went to bed.
On Tuesday I went for a hike in the mountains. It was around this little village called Monachil. The guide was a girl from Poland named Marta. She was tiny but an experienced climber. I scraped my knees up pretty bad on the big hill that we had to climb. It was step and the shrubs were the only things to hold on to. The ground was gravel and with two-year-old shoes with no tread, you can’t expect much more. The view was incredible. We went down a winding path and met up with a more forested area. There were suspension bridges in the first couple of minutes that made fear factor come in because they were pretty high. We crossed one and walked down a to a wall bordering the stream. We stopped halfway through for a lunch break that we had prepared before taking the bus out there. I had three bananas, a baguette and 1.5 liters of water. Yum. We continued and required the used of handholds on the overhanging rock. The coolest part of the entire venture was what cam next. There was a suspension bridge about 30 meters high and 70 meters across. It was cool to finally walk across one. There were two waterfalls underneath the bridge. The water was freezing and I did NOT go in. After the water fall we kept hiking and came across a farm patch of black cerries that were long overdue for picking. We figured we would help out the farmer. They were delicious I had about 20 and I think I ate the fewest of everyone. If we broke a law then oh well. Tell my stomach that and he will tell you to talk to my fist.
After that it was a decent back to the bus stop and a bus ride to Granada. I was exhausted and decided to read and go to bed for the next day. That is all I have for this one. I already posted the blog for the next day. I have bad news though. I will be editing all of my blogs for spelling and nonsense that I know is in there in some places. So you may or may not want to read through it after I am done with my final blog of the trip. Later…