Last week, the Proctor en Segovia group walked part of the Camino de Santiago, a little under forty miles to be exact. The Camino de Santiago is a path that starts in France and ends on the coast of Galicia. The journey across Spain is walked for many reasons. Some people do it as a physical challenge and/or to take time to reflect on an aspect of their lives, but, traditionally, the Camino de Santiago is walked as a religious pilgrimage.
As week one in Segovia comes to a close there is so much to look back on already. It still feels like we just got off the plane from Boston, not sure as to what time it was or even where we all were. The first few hours after our arrival seemed like a blur. The group had been up for almost 16 hours straight and then immediately thrown into a new culture.
There is a place about halfway up the Calle Real where a stone wall overlooks the city and the wind is ripe with nostalgia. The cute Segovian homes are scattered in all directions, weaving an incredible maze of streets and alleyways and tile roofs. To the right, the sea of buildings suddenly turns to a field of emerald green grass. And to the left, there is a scarlet mountain range topped with snow.
I could not have come close to anticipating the level of beauty we encountered this weekend. After spending two days exploring the city of Barcelona, we left for our lovely rental house nestled away in the Catalonian countryside. Although I was reluctant to leave Barcelona behind, this new location would prove to be one of the most incredible places I’ve ever visited.
I had been in Segovia for two and a half weeks. Although Segovia is unique with its own culture and people, I was so excited to explore a new city, like Sevilla and Cadiz. Sevilla and Cadiz are located in the southern area of Spain with gorgeous sunny weather and about 60-70 degrees each day. Cadíz, is in the southwestern portion of the Andalucía region, not far from where the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet in the Strait of Gibraltar.
For me, these first weeks have been all about exploring the city. Coming from NY and NJ it's interesting to live somewhere that doesn't reek of cigarettes and have trash particles imprinted in the streets. Not to say that NY isn't awesome, but Segovia definitely has its advantages. For starters, it seems that the city is very clean.
Right now I am walking on a long empty road, forty minutes of solitude, just walking by the sea. I have not seen a single soul in this entire time except a black cat that has crossed my path. But now I have come across an old man sitting by the sea. He only has a stick, himself and a bocadillo while he gazes at the sunset. We are both looking at this gorgeous array of colors in the sky but were seeing it very differently. He has more life experience than me, knows this view better than me, and has more patience than me. But we are both here at the same time and same place looking at that fiery ball in the sky.
Although I arrived a day late and missed an exciting day in the Roman ruins of Itálica on Saturday, I can say without doubt that the weekend excursion to Sevilla was my favorite thing that we have done in Spain so far. From the moment I arrived, I couldn’t contain my excitement to see if Sevilla lived up to its reputation of relentless zest for life and heavenly Mediterranean climate. As Laura and I entered the city and made our way towards the hostel, my excitement manifested itself into frustration. The only thing separating us from the 65 degree weather, the glow of the city under the siesta sun, and the equally vibrant people and colors painting the city was an Uber window.