Edit Blog Post
Published: February 22nd 2011
After a relaxing three week winter break, the time had come to return to my current home, SPAIN. The process of getting from Minneapolis to Málaga proved to be less than simple though.... here's what happened:
Amanda decided to visit when I went back, which was very nice, the trip is so long; it was great to have a companion. We arrived in Atlanta without any problems. BUT THEN, we were bumped from the flight to Madrid. So we ended up taking a flight to New York and stayed the night with our lovely cousin Brenda. She was so wonderfully hospitable to put us up in a moments notice, we were so thankful! The next day we took a flight to Barcelona from JFK but when we checked-in our luggage was still in Atlanta and some of it was at La Guardia airport- where we landed the night before! Such a headache....
Waiting anxiously as buddy pass travelers do, we ended up with first class! WOO HOO! It was amazing, lots of delicious food and all the movies and shows you could think of. No complaints there! Unfortunately, I took out my earrings, left them on my meal
tray and the flight attendant ended up dumping them into the garbage with my left over food...ugh. Loved those lil things, oh well...at least they weren't anything especially pricey.
Arriving in Barcelona was quite a process, you have to take a bus to the train station from the airport to actually get into the city, takes about an hour if not a little more but when we finally walked out into the city- it was so perfect! The sun was shining, perfect weather, and we walked out right on the street where the lovely Sagrada Familia sits! It was an ideal location for Amanda's first experience in Spain. I talked about Sagrada Familia in my "Barcelona & Madrid" entry for those of you interested in a lengthier description. Unfortunately at this point we hadn't bought plane tickets to get back to Málaga yet so, we had to hunt down an internet accessible zone, which wasn't hard, and buy those tickets. That took way too long though, as the website was acting a fool! Of course, if we hadn't had enough strife until this point, between bouncing from flight to flight, loosing our bags, having to run around like
a crazy person to find the right change to use a locker (to store our bags in Barcelona) AND being jetlagged- it was truly ridiculous! But we finally made it to Spain and it was a gorgeous afternoon. At that point, all of our struggles began to float away.
Wandering Barcelona for the day was truly wonderful. We people-watched, went to random stores, saw the sights; it was really fun with someone who was completely new to the culture. We ended up getting a little lost in Barcelona and this nice man stopped to help, unsolicited. He struck up a conversation about Barcelona- this guy truly adores his city. After living in Spain for almost five months, it has become so ridiculously obvious how much people love and represent their cities. I had a conversation with some of my students the other day and they explained to me that Spaniards represent their cities or region more than Spain itself. I suppose this is true in the United States as well; when you travel to a different city or state you feel it is your duty to defend your hometown. I was just surprised though since I thought there
was more of a homogeneous spirit amongst Spaniards. However, within the country itself, there is a huge competition between all of the cities. A couple months ago I went to Sevilla to visit a friend. When I returned home, my Spanish friends wasted no time in asking- "But you like Málaga better right!?" Startled, I said "Claro!" (Of course).
That night we landed in Málaga, and I was truly relieved! It felt good to be in a place with which I was completely familiar. Amanda immediately commented that she liked the atmosphere of Málaga better; it is so much more relaxed and friendly. She said it reminded her of San Diego- I guess I'll be making trips to San Diego when I am needing a little fix of this experience in the future (when I don't have the time or money to just hop on a plane to southern Spain).
While in Málaga/Rincón, we toured the whole area and really just hung out. I showed her Málaga and Vélez, where I teach and Rincón (of course). We went to an old Arab bath/palace in Málaga called the Alcazaba, which was beautiful, Amanda loved it. You can see
all of Málaga from the top, it feels like a postcard. The city of Málaga itself is so easy to fall in love with, it is just the right size with all the perks you could want- hundreds of restaurants, lots of shops and stores, museums (we went to the Picasso) and a fun nightlife. What can I say, I love my city and I knew Amanda would too!
Visiting my classes was hilarious, Amanda sat in the back of the classroom while I taught. At the end of my presentation I would ask my students to ask Amanda questions and every time, it never failed. "Is this your first time to Spain?" "Do you like it?". And that was it. They didn't know what else to say. I think they got a little overwhelmed with two native speakers in one room. It was like they were so curious, they couldn't seem to put words together to form a sentence. My students are pretty adorable. It's funny, because most of them can't speak very well I find myself treating them like kids. The regular teachers do the same thing so I don't feel as bad but they are
seriously like my little curious children.
Before we knew it, it was time to go to Madrid to catch her flight home. We took an overnight bus to Madrid and got in at about 6 am. Yes, I accompanied her all the way there and then took a 7 hour bus back to Málaga- it is my new goal to school her on international travel very soon! Although, she claimed she would get lost if I hadn't taken the trip with her, which is probably true...
It was SO sad to see her leave, we had so much fun!!! Now, which one of you will be my next guest....?!
Tot: 1.615s; Tpl: 0.046s; cc: 7; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0242s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb