Trip Start May 30, 2008
49Trip End Nov 02, 2008
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Where I stayed
After 4 hours on the bus, we arrived at an old abandoned villiage in the North of Spain in Soria, that has been recently turned into a hotel - Valdelavilla
Over the next few days, we had a fairly structured schedule - breakfast (sitting 2 anglos with 2 spaniards), then an hour one on one with a different spaniard discussing whatever we wanted to talk about, then a massive lunch, siesta, group activity and more one to ones. Then a massive dinner and drinks in the bar. Sounds difficult, huh? For the Spaniards , speaking in English nonstop all day must have been unbelievably tiring. But for me, it was fantastic, like a holiday but more talking.
It was also great to have time to myself. I got up early a few mornings and went for a run in the beautiful countryside. Thereīs a special magic in the mornings, a sparkle in the trees, a quiet in the fields, that the sun burns off later in the day
Anglos were encouraged to perform or speak to the group before dinner if they had something to share. There were wine tastings, seviana dancing, drumming sessions, and, of course, a hooping demo by me. Everyone was really into it, and about 6 people have told me they want to start hooping after having a go with mine.
The one-to-one sessions were a great opportunity for me to pick the brains of the Spaniards for travel advice. Theyīve planned out my whole next two weeks, and given me heaps of tips for places to see in Seville, Granada, Valencia, Ibiza and Barcelona. Loving the local knowledge.
The sessions were also a bit of an eye opener for me. It sounds so obvious, but I couldnīt believe how much I had in common with the spanish. By the end of the week, I really felt like Iīd made some good friends, and hopefully, if I ever return to Madrid Iīve got some mates to stay with. Also picked up a few spanish words (mostly rude ones) and now understand much better how to pronounce the language.
Yesterday I had a bit of a tear in my eye when we had to leave. To get so close to so many people in such a short time is amazing, but the time flew by so quickly for me. Iīd definitely do the program again, if I got the chance.