Well, it´s here. Helen left at 4:45 this morning to catch a plane to Madrid to London to LA, leaving me to fend for myself. Heaving my 20 kilo (aka 45 lb) pack onto my back, I took bus #10 to my new hotel, more or less, despite getting lost in what was kind of ghetto. The hotel is four stars with a VERY cute desk attendant (did I mention how gorgeous Spanish men are?!). From there, I had to catch two more buses to go to Carrefour, like a Walmart, to buy a comforter and sheets since I won´t be in Seville until VERY late tomorrow and more shampoo and toothpaste. Then, I figured I needed a cell phone and the only place in the mall complex was Movistar. So I now have a movistar number!
The last few days have been extremely relaxing and wonderful. From Toledo, we came down to Granada and the hostal lost our reservation, so we walked around for a while and tried to find an empty couple of beds on a saturday night after midnight. Not fun with a heavy pack. The following day was gorgeous in Granada – 24º and sunny. We took our time eating lunch before heading up to the Alhambra. I forgot just how stunning it all is – the Nasarid art, the views of the Sierra Nevada and the pubelos blancos and the gardens of the Generalife. We found a super fancy four star hotel to eat at. I chose gazpacho and veal from Avila. Half a bottle of wine later, we went to this really intimate flamenco place in a cave where only one singer, one dancer and one guitarist were playing. Though it was extremely crowded, I could watch the shadow of the dancer on the wall and her facial expressions. They were passionate and almost anguished. Her feet moved about a thousand miles a minute. It was intense. Spain is a passionate country – everyone argues their point and has an intense love for La Patria. Ask any Spaniard what his or favorite city is, and they will undoubtedly tell you the very one you are in. It never fails.
I have my orientation course tonight at a fancy hotel. I’ll head back to Seville late tomorrow and report at 1030h on Wednesday to IES Heliche to meet the other teachers. I really am happy I’m starting. Last night I met a girl at the flamenco cave named Erin. She’s been in Malaga for the past nine months, having met a Spaniard two years ago on the Camino de Santiago. They’re getting married this weekend. She told me this experience will undoubtedly change my life.
The first visit here certainly did, or else I wouldn´t have moved seven time zones away. I can´t wait to get to Sevilla and really settle in.