Last Friday I found myself sitting in Terminal 2 of the Madrid airport, nervously awaiting the arrival of one of my favorite people in the world! Yes, that’s right- the wait was over and Marianne was coming to visit! Marianne is my Norwegian exchange sister. She was living in my house last year and, well you can ask any exchange student- host siblings become inseparable. So, as you could imagine the 7 months between the time she left the US and last Friday was far too long for us to be apart.
We only had a week, so we had to make it count. Fist we did the Madrid sightseeing and hit all the basics: Banco de España, el Congreso, Parque Retiro, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor. . . by the end of it all, me and my best friend here had her begging for a 5 minute break.
Then came the food. I’m pretty sure I made her eat all the typical Spanish dishes. We went to a café for chocolate con churros one day. She watched my host dad carve the pig leg that we have in the house and then ate the jamón. One night we ate tortilla de patata for dinner. And she even part took in the gran consumption of bread and olive oil that goes on here.
On Saturday we left Madrid and headed up north to the city of Segovia. Coming from Norway, the snow we saw driving up the mountain wasn’t as exciting for her as it was for me (not having seen snow this whole winter). The city of Segovia is really old and gorgeous. It has a centuries old aqueduct running through the center and a castle on the outside that is said to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney’s signature Cinderella castle. After climbing the hundreds of super steep steps to the top, I saw the most beautiful view I have ever seen. You could see the whole city- the gothic cathedral towering above the aqueduct, you had all the amazing history below framed by the snow-covered mountains. Breathtaking . . . and totally worth the hundred-something stairs.
Our week together ended way too fast, and I was sad to watch her pass through security and leave my life, again, for far too long. Ehh, maybe it won’t be too long this time; I hear Norway’s nice in the summer . . .