After 2 flights and one layover in Philadelphia, we made it to Madrid! I was able to meet my roommate before the plane stated boarding and then we met up again at baggage claim in Madrid…that in itself was an adventure. Upon arriving in Madrid, our passports were stamped and then we were sent to baggage claim. We thought we would have to grab our checked bags and continue through customs, recheck the bags and go through security again. This was not the case, as after waiting waiting and waiting for our bags, we went to the lost baggage claim where we were told they would meet us in Granada. After a sigh of relief that our suitcases were not lost, we began trying to find Iberia. After 20 minutes of wandering around, we finally found someone to ask–we must take a bus to terminal 4. Finally finding the bus, we wait another 20 minutes for it to fill up, then have a long bus ride to our terminal. Thinking we finally had everything figured out, we go to check in and are told at two different spots to go to another spot….I was glad to be traveling with someone else, because at this point I was getting really frustrated… In the end, my roommate figured out that it was automatic self check-in using our passports…So after over an hour, we finally ended up getting through security, searching and being lucky to find the correct gate(the gate listed was HJK…not H34, so it was again confusing). After all the confusion we still managed to arrive safely in Granada with all of our luggage. German (the program director) and Jose (the taxi driver) met us in the airport. After a short ride in the car, we made it to our apartment and met Ana y Antonio, our host parents. They already were preparing a huge lunch for us, and it was greatly appreciated after a long day/night of traveling. tambien fue muy delicioso!
After lunch, we unpacked and hung out with Ana y Antonio and tried to talk to their granddaughters, but they were really shy..hopefully next time they visit they won’t be as shy. I then gave in to my lack of sleep and took a two hour nap, only to be awoken by chanting from the streets. I looked out the window and saw a long line of protesters, extending to the outskirts of the city! Ana told me they were protesting and chanting about the banks not giving them loans or money, the economy, and the high unemployment rates. She also mentioned that they had been having problems with people stealing food from the stores, and because so many people were doing it, the police had a really hard time catching them. Then she mentioned something about squatters, and that because some people couldn’t afford their own land,they have just been growing food and squatting other peoples land. After little to no Spanish practice all summer, I think I did a pretty good job getting the gist of what she was saying 🙂
After watching the protesters, we finished unpacking and then walked around Granada.Although we only walked around for an hour, I am already falling in love… there is just so much to see! Not to mention the mountains right behind the city, there are also beautiful fountains everywhere, and of course cobble stone streets. Tomorrow our program is taking us on a tour of the city and giving us an orientation program.
(My apologies for any grammar/sentence structure mistakes, it is 6pm at home, midnight in Granada, and besides my 2 hour nap, I have been awake since 9am yesterday..)
*Side note that I forgot to add–as we were walking through the city, it took us a long time to find a working atm for my roommate to use because the protesters spray painted the screens of all of the ones on the main street downtown area!)