Friday, September 26, 2008

Estoy Aqui Finalmente!

Well, I finally made it to Ubrique and it is absolutely everything I had imagined it would be - beautiful, serene, and surrounded by mountains! The people are amazing - so friendly and happy! I am currently living in the parte antigua (historic district), but the entire town is pretty ancient and rich with history. I am able to see the entire Pueblo from the kitchen window, and my bedroom overlooks la plaza del ayuntamiento and the beautiful mountains (see pic below for my exact view).
While I have already done a little exploring, I definitely plan on doing more! In fact, Fernando (who I am staying with temporarily), had to leave Ubrique this afternoon to visit an Uncle in Huelva (3 hours away). As such, I get the entier flat to myself for the next two nights, which leaves plenty of time for exploring! :-)
Well, that's all for now! Bye!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On my way! Oh, the joys of travelling...

Well, I am writing this post somewhere between Terminal A and Terminal B in the Philadelphia International Airport around 1 pm (EST). I not-so-happily woke up at 3:30 am this morning, after finishing packing around midnight, and waved good bye to Denver. I personally think I should win some kind of an award for always packing mere hours before my departure...and for (unintentionally) continually pushing the weight limitations....and I think my parents would agree. :-) To my credit, though, I had started packing a few days before, but its the odds and ends that kind of throw efficiency (and weight limits) out the window. I happily checked two bags, weighing 50 lbs and 52 lbs, and carried on two carry-ons. Needless to say, I have a challenge awaiting me when I arrive in Madrid. I'll probably make a few people laugh as I struggle through the airport with 9 months worth of stuff, trying to clear customs and find my connecting flight to Jerez in less than an hour's time. I'm looking forward to it...

Once I get to the airport in Jerez, I have to find a way to get to the actual city (Jerez de la Frontera). Most likely there is an airport shuttle bus (similar to the one in Granada). Then, I *think* I can catch a bus to Ubrique. The online bus schedules are none too clear, so we will see what happens there. When (and if I am able) to get to Ubrique, I will have to find my way to some internet cafe and call the teacher who is so kindly allowing me to rent out a room until I find a permanent place to stay. Wish me luck there, too....I can't wait to lug all my luggage up some narrow, steep, cobble-stone streets as I search for my new residence.

Don't get me wrong, I am quite excited (thrilled, actually) to be several hours into my journey across the Atlantic. And all these uncertainties and ambiguities add a bit of pizazz. However, I wouldn't be opposed to having a little more insight into things. But what the heck, its an adventure of a lifetime, right?! And what fun would it be to tell you guys that everything is flawlessly coordinated and everything is going according to plan?! I would much prefer to write about some crazy adventure with a few glitches here and there. So long as I arrive safely and with all of my belongings, I'm pretty much up for anything!

Next time I write, I will be in Ubrique (or so I hope...haha)! So talk to you then! Miss you all already!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Prelude to Ubrique

In exactly two weeks I will be boarding a plane headed to Madrid, and will ultimately end up in Ubrique (Cadiz), Spain. Ubrique is a small town of about 18,000 in the province of Cadiz. It is one of the most beautiful "pueblos blancos" (white towns) in Southern Spain (Andalucia), and is situated at the foot of the Sierra de Ubrique. This small pueblo will be my home for the next 8 1/2 months as I will be teaching English at CEIP Fernando Gavilan (primary school). At the end of the school year (when my job expires), I will be trekking 800 km across Northern Spain for approximately 22 days following the ancient "Camino de Santiago." I am looking forward to the challenge, the beautiful scenery, and the time to reflect on and ponder the next steps of my life (law school?). I am thrilled to be moving to Spain, and am excited to share my adventures with all of you! Please stay tuned, and keep in touch!

For a panoramic view of Ubrique, visit...