Class A-Coach Goes to Southern Spain
When the bus rolled up on the pier, the feelings were wide-spread: on one hand everyone seemed to be stoked to spend two weeks in the Spanish countryside but on the other hand it was weird to leave the Gulden Leeuw behind along with the crew who we all had become very fond of. The ship has become our home after all.
The days before our departure in Lisbon were filled with confusion concerning our engine and our sailing passage to Barcelona. Our engineer Angelo found a terrible problem in the engine while when we initially got to port, but the uncertainty of what was to happen stretched on and on. The morning when Drew filled us in on the plans to leave the ship and move the school to a location in Andalusia, I felt mostly relieved, mixed with anticipation and excitement. We were told to fill about half our sea bag and tidy up all other belongings of ours since nobody knew what would happen with the ship. As soon as everything was packed, we made ourselves comfortable on the bus. The atmosphere was really relaxed and most students were already sleeping by the time we left Lisbon behind, while Clint Eastwood and Forrest Gump talked more or less quietly in the background on the coach’s screens. It was the first day where we didn’t have to adapt to a fully planned-through schedule in what seems has been an eternity, which showed in general fatigue and a comfortable silence.
This was the view from our 6-hour bus ride. Watching the landscape change was a pretty exiting thing to see. The landscape in Portugal was flat and hilly but still really pretty. Then we got to Spain and the hills got bigger and we finally arrived in the mountains.
“Just a one-minute walk, guys!” Our growling stomachs made us hurry up the hill with all our bags and us impatiently waiting for our promised dinner. I actually ate a lot on the bus because we all got snacks at the gas station we had stopped at, even though right as we had walked into the Spanish gas station we had seen this large fat pig leg just hanging right in the middle of the store. By the time we arrived at our new hostel everyone else was really hungry. The food was absolutely amazing and I think everyone gained 12 pounds that day. It’s crazy what you see as luxurious after so many days on a ship, but just the prospect of sleeping in a real bed almost made me cry. And orange juice – God how I had been craving good orange juice ever since we left Amsterdam.
This is just another view we can see almost every day. The sunsets are very pretty.
In the morning we were back at it. It was a full-on schedule, waking up at 7 am and eating breakfast at 7:30. The breakfast was probably one of the best things to wake up to. It wasn’t a big breakfast with bacon, eggs, and pancakes, but a nice simple breakfast with toast, cereal, fresh fruit, and a traditional Spanish tomato spread. Of course, we also had the best beverage ever: hot chocolate. After breakfast everyone walked out to see the view that we were going to be seeing for the next 2 weeks. You should have seen everyone’s faces, as they realized that our new home was just as wonderful as the boat. The sky was golden pink with the moon still up, the olive trees nicely in their rows and the mountains gleaming in the shy sun. Then it was school time, studying for tests and getting projects done. I got a break in the day after lunch and went straight to the showers. This shower was the best shower I have had in along time. No one was in the bathroom and I could take a shower longer then a minute and it seemed like I was actually clean and I wasn’t worried someone was going to come in and leave the door open. It was luxury!
This is the view from our temporary school/ home.
Overall, our arrival in Southern Spain went very smoothly. I know we will have a lot of crazy experiences here and I think I will really enjoy this surprise trip.
- written by Aviva, an English 11 student