(Picture above: This is our little town of Nalda! ¡Que bonita!)
So we’re in Spain. I know, absolutely crazy. There is so much to say about what’s happened in the last 4 or 5 days, that I may have to gloss over a few details (I’m sure you’re crying about that right now, missing out on a 16 page blog post and all).
But I’ll try and give you a brief(ish) rundown.
The trip itself: flights to Houston, D.C., Madrid were uneventful & smooth, if almost completely sans sleep. Figured out how to get to the right section of the airport that would get us to the shuttle that would get us to the terminal we needed to get to in order to get on the right bus. Had a wonderful friend who met us in Logroño, and let us crash at his place/shower/put down our enormous suitcases.
Last few days:
-Trying to drastically, rapidly improve my Spanish (it’s a slower process than I’d like, but I am improving nonetheless. Jake on the other hand, is able to speak pretty fluently, though his poor hearing sometimes distracts from his understanding of some of the faster speakers. So with my good ears, we make a good team, jaja). We’re in an area where there is much less tourism, so English speakers (outside of internationally studying students, and only in the city for the most part) are nearly non-existent. It’s both a bit challenging and excellent learning environment at the same time, so I can’t complain much.
-Learning the bus system from Nalda (a small pueblo where Jake and I are currently staying) to Logroño.
-Adjusting to the very different mealtime schedule and attempting not to always end up looking for food during siesta time (2-5 p.m.) or post tapas-serving time (which is much earlier in smaller towns than cities).
-Drinking the marvelously delicious (and blissfully cheap) wine that one can purchase for as little as 2 euro a bottle.
-Being awestruck by the breath-taking landscape of the Rioja region (think Glenwood Canyon, Colorado without the really high mountains…but with the gorgeous cliffs, craggy hillsides, & plateaus with lush, forested areas mixed with vineyards).
-Enjoying our first tastes of Spanish cusine… jamón (a delightful cured Spanish ham), various delicious tapas, tortillas (not like ones back home, but more like a potato omelet), chorizo (sausage), fresh fruits and veggies (some brand new & some we’ve seen before), yummy little deli bocadillos (sandwiches) and lots more. Hopefully even more to come!
-Last, marveling at the incredible, unending kindnesss/helpfulness/hospitality of the people in Spain, but especially our little town of Nalda. I’ll explain in another post. The people we’ve met are truly angels, gifts from God.
Hope that helps you understand a bit of what we’ve experienced so far….and around here, people rarely say goodbye, just “hasta luego” (see you later). So…hasta luego!