I have just arrived in Spain, and I am about to spend three months immersed in the culture, living with a homestay family, and attending three hours of Spanish class per day. It hasn't really hit me yet.
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.
The adventure began as the group embarked on the final excursion to Málaga. We all met up at Segovia’s bus station and from there we made our way to Madrid. When we arrived in Málaga we were greeted by the warm air and ocean breeze. The city was full of light as we were guided through the stone streets to our hotel. On one side there were hundreds of tall beige buildings filled with city life and on the other side was the crystal clear Mediterranean.
Have you ever fallen in love? With a city of course, because we have. The group was going to embark on one of the biggest adventures of a lifetime. On Wednesday morning the group boarded the bus that would take us to the Segovia train station, which would take us to Madrid and then into Barcelona. A day full of travel, worse than it seems. We went from bus to train to another train and finally rode the high-speed train right into Barcelona. “Big, Bad, and Bold” as Nicole said when we found out this was going to be the city we would explore for the next three days.
We entered the stadium, more than eager to finally lay eyes on the incredible, god-like athletes that we have been looking up to since we were young kids. We walked up a long flight of stairs and entered a long hallway full of entrances to the large, beautiful soccer pitch home to Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. We were all in shock; it was beautifully kept and just an all around majestic looking place. Although we were not yet at our seats, our eyes were locked on the view of the field. The first thing we all quickly pointed out was the large poof of hair jogging in the distance, and, although it was hard to see from where we were standing, we all knew without a doubt that we were looking at none other than Real Madrid’s Marcelo.