Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week In Review Sabbatical Style: T-2 days!

It's the last week in review from the road--can you believe it? I start my (many) flights home tomorrow. This week I left Thessaloniki for Milan and then made my way to Seville where I spent the majority of the week. I've taken a pretty relaxed approach this week and have just been enjoying catching up with good friends and enjoying the good life while I can. Some more tidbits from the week:

  • I just finished doing what I hope is the LAST batch of laundry I do by hand in a long, long time. After doing laundry every single day on the Camino and about every third day for the rest of the last eight months, it is something that I definitely will not miss about traveling. 
  • I am also pretty sick of wearing the same 3 things over and over again. 
  • Within minutes of arrival in the bus station in Seville I already had a plate of tortilla Espanol, a cafe con leche and a person calling me guapa. I love this country. 
  • Along with tortilla and cafe con leche I have been doing a great job of checking off the traditional Spanish dishes I try to eat while I am here (and also some of the ones I never got around to trying before). I've had gazpacho, flan, tinto de verano, paella, sardinas, rabo de toro (bull's tail), jamon, typical Sevillan fresh water fish, my favorite candies and all kinds of other goodies. 
  • Food in Milan did not disappoint either!
  • It has been so good to see friends this week--both from home and from the Camino. One of the bonuses is getting to walk around cities without having to read a map (a big plus for a directionally challenged person like myself!). 
  • I've totally adopted the Spanish schedule this week--late lunch, siesta (it's seriously too hot to do anything else), and then dinner sometimes at midnight or later. It seems absurd until you are here. 
  • Juanma and Maica's son Victor took me around Seville one evening, and I swear, he knows every single corner of Seville. We poked our noses in hidden patios, made laps around the giralda, took in some of the local scene, talked a bit of politics and had some good food. 
  • What do Camino friends do when they get together? Go for a walk of course! Yesterday was the stuff Saturdays are made of. We woke up early for a walk up a neighboring hill for views of Sevilla, stopped on the way back for a breakfast of chocolate con churros, went to the spa (!), read and relaxed a while before having a bbq, took naps, saw outdoor theatre in the courtyard of an old Sevillan building and then closed the evening with a bit of flamenco. Now that is a Saturday!
  • Today we drove for a while outside of the city to take in the Gruta de Las Maravillas in Aracena. They are Spain's largest caves and were full of huge and beautiful cave formations. Bellisima
  • When I was in Milan David asked me if I liked cemeteries. Maybe it's weird--but I do. Milan's was fascinating! 
  • After successfully ordering coffee all over the Balkans...I did myself in while in Italy. I ordered a latte, the waiter asked me some question, I made some answer and figured I would drink the coffee however it came. Except when it came...there was no coffee in it. Yep, I ordered myself a glass of milk. 
  • I drank the milk like it was what I wanted. 
A lot more fun things happened this week, but seeing as it's the last day of my trip I think I'm going to go swim in Juanma and Maica's pool instead of writing anymore. Luckily though, I think I am finally ready to come home. My last two stops have definitely been softening the blow and reminding me how good it is to see familiar faces. So get ready people, my flights home (all 5 of them) start tomorrow! I'll land in DFW late on the 2nd! Hasta ahora! 

A few pictures below: 

My cup of steamed milk (...Well done, Lauren!)

Milan's cathedral. Very impressive. 

Milan's cemetery--go big or go home! (...or somewhere else?)

Maica, Juanma and our pile of fried fish goodness in Seville

Seville in the background as seen from a seminary just on the other side of the river

A bit of Aracena where we saw the caves today. 


Beta said...

Hi Lauren! I Loved hearing about what camino friends do when they get together. Going walking sounds perfect. I do envy your last hand washing, though. Have a safe trip home!

Sandy said...

Vaya con Dios! Hasta Martes