More Spain

I am in Laax with the family for the Easter weekend and enjoyed a long hike this morning before taking over for the Grandma this afternoon. After being away from this town for a few weeks I was reminded today how beautiful it is. A beach fan myself, I can’t help but be in awe of the view here. Looking around at the picture-perfect scenery makes the early mornings and cranky toddlers all worth it.

Now, for more of my holiday:

Day 3: Jill and I woke up, tip toeing around around the room in order to not wake our slumbering roommates. We were also inclined to get out of there as soon as possible lest someone offer to dread our hair. Optimistically we put our swimsuits on underneath our shorts, grabbed a towel and set out to find some breakfast. Unfortunately the Spanish coffee was the highlight of the day; cloudy skies and a wind chill dampened our spirits and we were forced to wander aimlessly through the streets of Cadiz. Cruzcampo jokes dominated the majority of our conversation and we set out to find some fruit for sustenance. The only supermarket we came across that day had a large stockpile of fruit in the back, past the salted pork rinds and expired cans of who-knows-what. Just in front of this gleaming treasure was a sign written in not one, not two, but three different languages reading, “DO NOT TOUCH FRUIT.” We were banished back to the streets to wonder what to do for the day. After putting some generous mileage on our legs throughout the afternoon, we made it back to the hostel to shower and hopefully meet some new residents of the Casa. On the roof hammocks abound and one can swing away and contemplate the natural world, which is exactly what we found three young travelers doing. Except these fellows were not interested in becoming our friends. They only wanted to tell us about how they dream of living on a commune, growing pot and vegetables, making music, and having no money. Really aspiring. Jill and I were clearly nonplussed and made haste to get downstairs. The rest of the evening proceeded with more tapas and hanging out with some other guys from our mixed dorm who teach English in Madrid. Thankfully, they hated Cruzcampo and had no plans to “reject common ideals” so they proved to be good company.

Day 4: Today we decided to book it out of Cadiz and make our way back to Madrid and spend some time in Sevilla along the way. All of the trains and buses began to take their toll by this time, but frankly it was so great to see so many different parts of Spain. This culture is worlds away from Switzerland’s and it was nice to have a break from the usual. Also, I was finally able to use some of the Spanish I learned in high school. The only differing factor is that in Spain, as opposed to Mexico, they drop most all their “s” sounds and instead insert a “th.” So, essentially, everyone is running around with a lisp. Clearly this is fine, but it just isn’t what I’m used to. Let me tell you, there is nothing more intimidating than a 200 pound man siddling up to the bar to order a “thervetha.” Nevertheless, traveling is what I came to do and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It also doesn’t hurt to have a buddy who is great company. Luckily, Jill and I have a lot in common, including taste in books and music, and also have a very similar social agenda. We both wanted to see the sights but also knew when it was time to take a break and simply people watch. A nice sangria to accompany the people watching always sounded good to both of us. It was also fun to swap stories from high school and college. We even went as far back as elementary school to discuss all the long term relationships we were in in second grade and our all-time favorite movies. It made the trip so much better. After a six hour bus ride and beautiful stop in Sevilla we finally made it back to Madrid. Lady Fortune was back on our side when we found a restaurant around the corner with Negro Modelo and some of the best chips and guacamole I’ve had in a long time. All that was left to do was rest up for my trip home the next day…

Day 5: I have named this one Disaster Day. I arrived at the airport at 9:13 sharp for my 10:20 flight to Basel, from which I would take a train to Zurich. I came across the first set of monitors and decided to check which Hall I needed to go to for check-in and saw it : CANCELLED. I actually had a miniature “Home Alone” moment, you know when he slaps the side of his face and screams? Well this involved all the hand gesture but instead I just said, “No!” I ran to the next set and was greeted with the same response. And then at the next set. Isn’t the definition of insanity repeating the same behavior and expecting different results? I headed to the Easy Jet counter and commenced to wait in line for an hour before speaking to someone. He told me I would be able to fly back to Basel on the 2nd of April. Negative, Sir, those kids can’t watch themselves, I need to get home. I was instead put on a flight to Milan, which left three hours later. That flight was delayed an hour and I happened to be sitting in the “family section.” A baby actually lost her voice on the hour and a half flight from crying and screaming during the whole thing. Of course when we land she is making spit bubbles and smiling. From the airport in Milan I take an hour bus ride to the train station. I wait at the train station for two hours before finally taking a four hour train ride home to Zurich. My town is 40 minutes by train from Zurich Main Station. When it was all said and done I finally was home by midnight. It was a hot mess of a day. But here’s what I learned: I am actually incredibly capable of getting myself around, even in a foreign country (or two). This one day taught me quite a bit of making lemonade out of lemons and thinking on my feet. In the grand scheme, it was only one day and life goes on. Many a person can relate to having a terrible day of travel, but how many people can say they were in three countries in one day. I thought I came over here for a reason…


One thought on “More Spain

  1. Pingback: One Day (I will write a book) « Swisstina

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