After one last meal at Swiss Chalet at the airport and a tearful goodbye with my Mom and Aaron, I sat down in my own row on a flight to Oporto, Portugal. I was grateful to have a multitude of “plane letters” to read from my wonderful friends and family. Soon enough though, the limited sleep and gravol kicked in and I was napping…until the flight attendant woke me up for dinner. Heaven forbid we miss a meal! (And this description is for you Mike) They served beef with gravy and vegetables with a side of shredded potato. I quite enjoyed the potato and gravy but skipped the diner roll and the chocolate cake that was for dessert, as I was still quite full from the rotisserie chicken.
I enjoyed listening to Portuguese on the plane. I could understand a few words here and there, but the pronunciation is quite different from Spanish. After a seven-hour flight, I arrived at 8:30 am local time in Oporto, Portugal. Unfortunately for me, I had just missed one of the three busses that went to Galicia that day, so I had to wait until 1:30pm to take the next one. Among other things, I caught some shut-eye on a bench and learned how to say thank-you in Portuguese (Obrigado if you are a male, Obrigada if you are female).
On the bus, I met a nice young man named Roberto (of course!) from Basque Country. El país Vasco, as it is called in Spanish, is a region that lives somewhat apart from the rest of Spain in terms of culture. I plan to visit there this year to try their supposedly very tasty cuisine.
Around 4:30 (Spanish time), the bus pulled over the hilltop and started to drive down into Vigo, where we should have been able to see a beautiful harbour and the Atlantic Ocean. Instead, we saw a sky filled with smoke due to the recent forest fires. Galicia is normally a very rainy region, however, they have had a very dry fall and as such have been having a lot of these fires.
My new friends, Mark and Diane, picked me up from the bus station and began giving me a tour of Vigo. From what I could see, it is a beautiful city. I am so thrilled to be able to live and explore here. We went out in their town, Porriño, for a café-con-leche and a walk around.Today, I am trying to adjust to the time difference. I start working tomorrow with the kiddies. I don’t really know what to expect but I’ll let you know how it goes!
YES, there are palm trees here!