Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Round 1: Cadiz, Spain. Success. I woke at 600 hours (military time is way cool) to watch the ship port. Stepping on the deck as we passed Portugal, a flock of white birds whisked by me. The sun rose over Spain as Captain Jeremy pulled us into port. It felt like David After Dentist..."Is this real liiiiiiiife?"
9am the ship is cleared— Go Time. One by one we pile down the metal staircase onto LAND for the first time in 7 days. Plan-less, we wander around Cadiz (Co-deeth, locally pronounced) exploring markets, statues, and shops. It wasn't long before I found myself on the beach with my new best friends, sipping SAND-griah and checking out topless ladies and banana hammocks.
It was a late night in Cadiz, discoing into the morning. Traveling in a group of over 40 people, the party followed us. Tequila was ordered in rounds of twenty. Toasts, hugs, new friends- I knew I liked these people.
Four of us left the disco at 6am, only to get lost trying to find the beach. We eventually made it home to the ship at 7:30. I slept for 2 hours, then it was off to Seville with eight new friends.
We stayed in a hostel, and these new friends immediately felt like old ones. Rooming among English-less Spaniards, it was a constant charades game of communication. We explored the Palace of Alkazar, climbed the lookout tower, and then thought it a good idea to go to a bullfight. This wasn't a good idea. An animal lover, I will never know why I wanted to attend a bullfight. What did I think they were going to do to these bulls, cuddle them and give them treats?
Exhausted from this day of (horrible) bullfighting, going out was still sharpie-d in the itinerary. The night was booked with a fancy outside bar along the Rio River, where we all sat in hammocks under the stars, sipping sangria and laughing. Howww Romanticccccc.
The next day we we split up to wander the city. Running into SAS kids left and right, new groups formed throughout the day. I couldn't figure out how it was so easy to run into Semester at Sea friends in a foreign city, but so difficult to find people on the ship. The night was filled with Flamenco dancing (not that touristy crap from Las Ramblas street in Barcelona), Real flamenco dancing. Old Spanish men shushed my table for talking while the dancers feet tapped. This was legit.
The last day I returned to Cadiz, finding myself on the same beach, with my new friends who felt like old ones. We stumbled back to the ship together, arm in arm. That evening, I watched us sail away from Spain. The first port is over already? Didn't I just arrive?
Now I sit comfortably in my bikini, sipping a virgin daiquiri (no alcohol on board) with Morocco to my left, Spain to my right, and the small country of Gibraltar in front of me. I'm surrounded by 3 countries at once! C-R-A-Z-Y!
I have no class today. Just lots of sun rays as I read.
I'm thinking: I don't think I'll ever come home.