After a wonderful three weeks in Pamplona of Spanish language and culture class, talking with our amazing and helpful coordinators who would accompany us to all our meals, shopping trips, and excursions around Pamplona, and hanging out with a great group of Crusaders, I admit that I was sad to leave. The six HC students including myself boarded a train heading for Coruña on Friday afternoon. The train ride was absolutely gorgeous. We passed lots of small Spanish towns, huge mountains with deep valleys, rivers and lush forests. After a few hours, the conductor made an announcement on the train. Thinking that he was just announcing the next stop, I ignored it and continued to listen to my Ipod. However, the second he was finished with his announcement, everyone around me was gasping, sighing and flipping out their cell phones to frantically call someone, and the train came to a halt. In our broken (yet improving) Spanish the other HC students and I asked the woman next to us what had occurred, and she said that the train was going to be stopped for a long period of time. I started laughing, half in shock and half in terror, as we only had a 20 minute layover in order to get our second train to A Coruña. Are we going to have to stay in a hostel? Or on the side of the road? Thankfully, when we arrived in the town where we were supposed to change trains there was a one car train waiting for the six of us and about five other people. Two hours later, we arrived in Coruña, and all six host families greeted us with open arms, hugs and kisses.
My host mom, a 70 year old woman, who lives with her 90 year old aunt, drove me to her apartment. I lugged my suitcases to her third floor apartment (thank God there was an elevator!) and after a small snack, fell straight sleep. The next day, after unpacking my clothes and other belongings into my room, mi madre española and I walked around the entire city of Coruña for five hours. She showed me the beaches, the famous Torre de Hercules lighthouse, the street with all the shops, and a mountain where we could see the entire city of Coruña and the surrounding countryside. After about 48 hours in Coruña, I am excited to say that I love it here. From the food, the scenery, the people and the gorgeous ocean, my only wish is that this love continues and grows stronger throughout the coming year.
Dato Divertido: When mi madre española and I were walking around the city we stopped for churros and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate here in Spain is pure melted chocolate, with less than a few tablespoons of milk. Needless to say, I was extremely happy!!