Waking up this morning with noodle legs and a camera full of memories, I can’t help but smile back (with a bit of nostalgia) on the adventures of yesterday . . .

Saturday morning, I was dragged out of the house far too early as my host dad insisted we get on the road. We had about a two-hour drive ahead of us to get to the sierra/countryside region outside of Madrid - of course I slept the whole time. I did wake up once, but only long enough to bury myself further into my scarf - to keep my nose safe from the chilly mountain air and mist that covered the windshield as we climbed higher into the sierra.

We started the day off by visiting 3 different villages: one of reddish/pinkish stone, one of black, and the last of orange. The first - by far the best! It was exactly like what you would expect to see in a movie; it had cobblestone streets, vines climbing to the chimneys, and only a handful of residents. When my host dad mentioned that one day he wants to build a small house there, he said he’d leave the keys for me (knowing that if that was the case, I’d be a frequent visitor). The other two towns were further into the mountains and made me feel like I was in “The Lord of the Rings” and as if there should have been hobbits running around.

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After lunch (delicious as always . . .this is Spain we’re talking about after all), we went on a “5 minute” hike near a small river. It turned into about 2 hours, but the scenery was well worth it. We picked tea leaves off the mountain rocks and walked through a forest of yellow trees, that shot up into the sky as if on fire.

But the hiking didn’t stop there! We made our way along another path, which led us to the ruins of a church perched on cliff surrounded by a canyon and lake. As I stood with my feet as close to the edge as I could stomach, I swore the sereneness before me had to be a picture - like if I jumped; I would rip right through the background.

After one more stop to refuel with tea and pastries, we headed into the night and back home.

P.s.

I hope that all of you made it through Sandy unscratched - and those who were are able to recover any losses. You’re in my thoughts and my host family’s as well.

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