Good morning! I’m currently in Cádiz, Spain, where it’s 10:30 am (six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time). This is our first morning in Cádiz- we arrived yesterday around 6 pm, met our host mom, explored the beach and saw an awesome sunset, and then kind of got trapped in the house.
The past few days have been full of travel and new experiences and lots of Spanish! We left the US around 6 pm on Thursday 5/17 and arrived in Madrid Friday morning, so we essentially lost an entire night’s sleep. I dozed on the airport floor and during the bus ride to the hotel, and then we all crashed for several hours throughout the afternoon in the hotel. My friend and I walked around Madrid for awhile after that. We then went to el Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, where I got lost from the group and couldn’t contact them #nice, and then our guide took us on a long walk where we got to be stampeded by the soccer fans celebrating the Club Atlético de Madrid. After walking like 5 miles, it was finally time for dinner! We had paella and croquetas and sangria at 10 pm.
I ended up walking 7 miles in the boot on Friday. My foot was throbbing by the end. Ouch!
On Saturday, we left Madrid in the morning and took the bus to Cádiz all day. After getting settled in our host family’s house and eating a surprisingly early dinner (7:30), my roommate and I went for a walk, saw an incredible sunset on the beach (which is a 3 minute walk from the house!), and met up with some of our other study abroad people.
This morning, I woke up around 8:20 and did some core. While I’m having a good time, I’m torn between feeling like a slacker for not doing any training in like 3 days and feeling depressed because my foot is killing me and I was going to start the walk-to-run program this week. ARGH! But my host mom is taking me to join a gym tomorrow after our orientation at the university, so that will be good 🙂
After doing core, we ate our first breakfast prepared by our host mother. Talk about culture shock! As you know, my usual breakfast at home involves some combination of oatmeal, fruit, nut butter, eggs, protein powder, cinnamon, etc. Breakfast is like my favorite meal of the day!
In Andalucía, the typical breakfast involves bread and sugar. This morning, our host mom gave us chocolate-filled pastries, sweet milk that tasted like drinking butter (I couldn’t do it haha), orange juice, hot cocoa, and toast with our choice of butter or jam. I ate the pastry and toast with strawberry preserves and for the most part passed on the drinks because I rarely drink anything except water and coffee. I’m happy to try anything and am willing to fully immerse myself in Andalusian culture, but we’ve had some funny culture-clash moments so far. When she asked what I like to eat for breakfast and I responded “oatmeal and eggs”, she looked at me like I had seven heads and said, “We don’t do that here. Eggs are not for breakfast. They sometimes do that in Barcelona, but not here.”
Welp…so much for that!
The next 5 weeks are definitely going to be a learning experience! I’m really excited to start classes, continue to explore Cádiz, take day trips to other southern Spanish cities, and immerse myself in Andalusian culture. I’m apprehensive about training (or lack thereof) and sad that my foot pain hasn’t gone away yet (seriously- I’ve run like 100 miles in the past 4 months…)
But this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m so grateful I get to do it! Cádiz is beautiful, and the weather is unparalleled. And we have a cute roof/garden right outside our bedroom!