We stepped off the bus and were immediately consumed by the Granada nightlife. Shortly after finding our hotel we were off to watch a Flamenco dance performance and eat dinner. The dance performance was entertaining (and surprising for many of us); the dancers displayed amazing footwork and emotion.
Two weekends ago we attended a Real Madrid soccer game. I can easily say that it was one of the most fascinating events I have ever been to. The group had to meet at the bus station in Segovia at 10:15 am. It was one of our earliest Saturdays this term so far, but we all knew that waking up a little bit earlier than usual was all going to be worth it.
After a long day of traveling from Segovia to Madrid, then hopping on a train for three hours, we got to the Sagrada Familia, a Basilica in Barcelona. This massive building has been under construction for 131 years. This Basilica is predicted to be finished around 2026. The architect was named Gaudí; his main goal was to make up for people's sins and connect them closer to God.
The Camino de Santiago is a trail that starts in France and ends on the Atlantic coast of Galicia. People have never ceased to walk the trail since the discovery of St. James's remains in 812 AD. Historically the path is walked as a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James, but now people walk the trail for any number of reasons.
This is going to sound very cliche, but when I arrived in Spain I had no idea how deeply in love I would fall. I enjoyed visiting every city that we went to, but there was something special about Granada. Maybe it was the history, maybe the gelato, maybe it was that I felt more confident speaking Spanish.
We departed for Barcelona on Saturday morning, unaware that the Catalan language of Catalonia would surround us. The train ride from Madrid to Barcelona went faster than I had anticipated, but that’s what happens when one’s eyes are constantly stimulated by the beautiful countryside that’s just a glance out the window. After peering out the window and mentally preparing for our Catalan adventure, we arrived at the train station in Barcelona. Luckily, the weather was amazing in Barcelona; it was sunny and warm, just what we needed for a quick 20 minute walk to our hotel.
Our first day in Segovia was tumultuous. We landed early on Tuesday morning in Madrid excited to see Ryan and Mikaela. As most of us did not sleep on the red eye from Boston Logan, it was slightly difficult to be as enthusiastic as they were. To increase our fatigue we were thrown straight into a barrage of Spanish from our host families. Communicating in a mix of English and broken Spanish we tried to convey that we desperately needed a siesta (nap). After this, most of us only woke up for dinner and slept through the night to the following morning. Better rested, but still somewhat disoriented, we all converged at the aqueduct for our first full day in Segovia. Looking up at the ancient Roman water slide the group became excited for our time abroad.