Hola a todos!
Live, from Alacala de Henares, a pueblo outside of Madrid, Espana.
I arrived here in Spain 2 mornings ago excited to find Parque de Buen Retiro, an enormous central park in Madrid, to take a nap. My good friend Jess, who I lived with when I studied abroad in Granada, was to arrive that evening and we had decided to meet in Alcala where she is renting a piso (apartment). She is living and working teaching outside of Madrid for her Master's with our other friend Joy and they invited me to stay with them. Since she didn't arrive for another 10 hours, I had planned to kick it in Madrid for a while.
I had gotten some sleep on the plane but I must have been running on excitement because instead of heading straight to the park, I decided to ask some other people waiting for the metro where I could find a good bookstore. When I got off the metro and above ground, I realized that I really WAS in an enormous city and had no idea where the bookstore was. After a search, I found books but none about Nepal in English (go figure). So I hopped back on the metro and wandered the park, took a nap hugging my bags to me from which I awoke abruptly every time I actually fell asleep.
After snoozing, I decided to catch the train to Alcala, get some dinner then wait for Jess, so I promptly started heading the complete oppposite direction from the train station. Luckily some nice Bolivian ladies set me straight and I was on my way!
After a reasonable dinner consisting mostly of meat and fried things (my fave) I waited for Jess in the main Plaza de Cervantes. Alcala is where he was born so there are all kinds of things named after him and statues everywhere of him, like this one!
I called Jess and we met up then went out for a cerveza with her Spanish friend Alvaro, who thought we had lost it because we were both giddy from the travels.
Yesterday Jess and I went grocery shopping, figured out internet and headed back to Madrid to pick up Joy from the airport. It's so nice to have a clean, safe and friendly place to start my trip with some great friends. I also got to skype my parents and Spencer which was fantastic!
Today I'm doing some planning: heading up north to Barcelona and San Sebastian, then hopefully to the Czech Republic and then Granada. Then to Nepal!
Besos y abrazos!