Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Segovia for the first time with my friends Vivien, Renee, and Jackie. It is located about an hour and twenty minutes north of the city center of Madrid by bus and it only cost 8.10 euros roundtrip! Segovia is known for their ancient Roman Aqueduct that was built during the first century A.D. under the rule of the Roman Empire. I was astounded at how well-preserved and magnificent this structure was. It’s amazing that such an advanced structure was built with such precision given the time period in which it was made. After seeing the Aqueduct, we went to the Catedral de Segovia before stopping for lunch in the main plaza. The cathedral was a piece of art in itself. We were in awe of the paintings, stained-glass windows, and intricate details in the ribbed vault design. Our last stop was wandering through the Alcázar de Segovia, which is an ancient castle. Apparently it was used as a prison before being used as a historical site, but I don’t see how that was feasible because it looked like the castle from Disneyland to me.
One thing I must say that is trickier about being in Europe is that bathrooms and drinking water are not as easily accessible as in America. Back home there is usually a refillable water station or at least a drinking fountain, and you can ask for water for free at a restaurant, but that isn’t the case here. You either have to lug around a huge HydroFlask like I do or buy bottled water. Also, with the bathroom situation, they don’t have public restrooms and typically you have to order something to use the toilet in a restaurant. Often times those bathrooms don’t have soap or toilet paper too, so bringing wipes and/or hand sanitizer is a must. Oh how spoiled we are in America!
There is something to be said about how Spaniards view time. From my experience in the U.S., people typically try to do as many things possible in the least amount of time and often rush from one task to the next. In Spain, there is this term called “sobremesa” which involves people staying at the table after their meals and talking for hours. It can be annoying if you’re looking for a quick meal, but it’s normal for people to have a 2-3 hour lunch in Spain. There is something so heartwarming to me about how they do things more slowly: taking time to really be in a place, wandering through the streets, marveling at what there is to see, and spending quality time with loved ones just enjoying each other’s company. It’s very much about enjoying your time instead of being on a mission to knock out your To-Do list.
The weather has begun to cool down here and it’s starting to feel like autumn now. This week my feelings about Móstoles have improved slightly. I have thought about looking for another piso in the city center, but I’m going to give myself a little more time before deciding to give up my 10 minute walking commute to work and cheap rent. The best part of my day is being with the kids at Juan Gris, but sometimes I just feel so bored and lonely here. However, living here motivates me to go into the city on weekends and plan day trips with friends. If you’re uncomfortable wherever you are like me, I encourage you to stay hopeful and try to incorporate activities that you love doing, maybe running in the park, to make yourself feel more at home. Also, lean on your loved ones and talk about it. But being uncomfortable is good! We may not like it at first, but challenging situations build character and make you appreciate what’s important in life.
Sending you lots of love and hope you are having a beautiful weekend!