Destinations, Europe, Journal, Spain

A First Glance–Spain

June 10, 2014

We have been in Spain for just about a week now. We are currently sitting in a cafe called Bella Vista, AKA “Orange Chair” to the Americans in town or “Orange Bar” to the English (the chairs on the outside are all bright orange). There’s also a Blue Chair restaurant and a Red Chair in town. Direct and to the point…I like their style.

We don’t have internet at our place yet, so it has been challenging to keep completely up to date between working with Dennis on his upcoming project and getting acquainted to this new place. I will be better about posting more in real time… I promise 🙂

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So, to recap our week–We landed in Malaga around midnight and were picked up by Grant, Dennis’ buddy from California, and his friend, Daniel. The drive is about 20 minutes from the airport to Mijas, where we are living. Grant went to a leadership academy in Mijas, called G42, a couple years ago, and he has stayed in Mijas ever since! He’s now working doing photography and videography for local restaurants.

We stayed with Grant for the first two nights while our place was getting prepped. Grant has a friend of a friend named Andrew staying with him for the month. Andrew is taking a year to travel and explore the world! I didn’t know Grant and neither of us knew Andrew before this week, and we have had a lot of fun being shown the ropes and hanging out. I am a little bitter though. I have lost both nights that we played the card game Phase 10. [Not competitive at all…]

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Mijas is classically what you would think of when you imagine a small-town in Spain. The whole town is basically one main street. Our apartment is at the beginning of the main road, and we just walk down that street to get everywhere within the town. There’s tons of little shops and restaurants along the main street. On the weekends, there are flamenco dancers in the main square and vendors that serve cinnamon roasted almonds and donuts that they make right in front of you.

The streets are lined with brightly colored potted flowers on the white walls. When you walk on the street you have to stay close to the buildings, otherwise you may get run over by a horse drawn carriage. There also are “burro taxis” which are carriages drawn by donkeys.

It definitely has been a deep dive into a completely different culture!

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On one of our first nights here, there was a crazy thunderstorm right above us. What’s ironic about this, is I asked Grant how often it rains in Spain. He said, “I can’t remember the last time it rained!” Sure enough—WHOOSH. Rain, thunder, lightening, the whole shabang. I’ve been in a lot of thunderstorms, but I have never experienced anything quite like this. Not just loud, but the thunder came with authority. Giant booms rumbled through the mountains around us. It was incredible.

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We live right by some great trails that take you through the mountains. We have gone on a couple of hikes, which are so fun, but it was a wake up call that Minnesota is VERY flat. I haven’t worked these muscles in a very long time!

We went on a hike with our new friend Andrew, who is hilarious. He is super high energy and has the best stories [colorful language and all 🙂 ]. He’s super cool and has had a lot of great life experience.

The views were breath-taking when we got to the top–or maybe I was just super out of breath from scaling the cliffs…

Nah, it was really pretty.

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It was all fun and games until I wiped out. HARD.

And–of course it was AFTER we had gotten off the mountain. Cool.

Apparently, climbing mountains is just fine…but I will be on hyper-alert for sidewalk gravel from now on!

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There’s so much more to tell, but I will bid farewell for now. Stay tuned, because I have a lot of things coming up soon.

Thanks for a good first week, Spain!

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xo Kelsey

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