Blog Entry #1
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Barely four days have passed since I arrived in Seville, Spain, and already I feel like I have adopted a new life.
I arrived in Spain late Monday afternoon, when our plane crossed the Bay of Biscay and the waters turned into land. Although I didn’t have a window seat, I made sure to look across the aisle out the window and occasionally caught a glimpse of green pastures or a mountain top. When we landed, I felt more energetic than I had been in London, where I fought sleep to make sure I didn’t miss our bus. I had met two girls who are in the music program in Boston, as well as their professor, all of whom I got to know pretty well while we waited for another flight. But by the time we landed at Heathrow airport, we went our separate ways and I was once again on my own for the rest of the trip. I don’t mind travelling alone, but there were two or three occasions where I missed having a familiar face beside me. This makes since, especially in light of the fact that when I first went overseas to London for the World Scout Jamboree back in 2007, I travelled with almost forty other Boy Scouts.
The entire trip itself wasn’t bad, although upon arriving in Madrid I realized that my checked bag hadn’t arrived with me. I filed a report with the Iberia airlines and, naturally, had to speak Spanish to the woman behind the counter. I felt like I was walking on eggshells the entire time, and I tried so hard to maintain an appropriate accent and catch every adverbio and nombre. But the more I spoke English, the more comfortable I felt, and by the time I had taken a taxi to the train station, I felt more confident in my Spanish speaking abilities.
I also rode on a train for the first time in my life, during the last leg of my trip. The train, or el ave, was sleek, and the inside pristine, with fine seat and floors as smooth as hardwood. From Madrid to Seville, green pastures and hilly fields rolled by. Closer to Córdoba, the train would shoot through tunnels in the mountains, and the darkness would come on instantly, much like The Root and the Flower described. Even though I felt listless and worn out from so much walking and getting so little sleep, I couldn’t help but admire the vast and verdant plains and the rocky mountains of Spain. With every iota of energy left within me, I found the strength to smile several times in admiration of this novel environment.