Friday was my last day of classes and Saturday began the study time. Starbucks became my second home over the next week. I went there on Saturday and Sunday with history studying and essay writing, Tuesday with Ecology essay writing and Civilization studying, and Thursday with Cinema essay writing and studying. There were many cafe con leches, toffee nut lattes, and mini muffins. Met with friends many times to study history, conversation, and cinema together. On Monday I had my 10 minute conversation final which went well and my history final which consisted of writing 2 essays. I also had to hand in my research paper on the Spanish Inquisition for history
. On Tuesday I had a mini meltdown when my computer decided to not turn on despite the fact that it was fully charged. It did eventually turn on and I got to work on my ecology essay. On Wednesday I had im Civilization final which also consisted of two essays. In the afternoon was my Ecology final which took all of 15 minutes. Thursday was a full day devoted to studying cinema. I spent around 6 hours in Starbucks that day. In the evening I went to dinner one last time with all of my friends. It was a lot of fun, but I had to get back early as my last final on the last day happened to be a bright and shiny 9 am in the morning. By 10:30 I was completely done, and it felt fantastic to finally be done with school. The rest of the day was devoted to what I had been wanting to do all week long... shopping! I did almost all of my christmas shopping on my last day in Spain. In the evening there was a farewell party downtown hosted by UPO. It's strange to think that I don't know when or if I will ever see some of these people again, but hopefully I will and soon. Once I got back I had to start packing as my flight back to England was at 3 in the afternoon the next day.
Saturday greeted me with pouring rain. After going through the long process of checking bags, going through security (which really isn't a big hassel at Seville airport), waiting at the gate, etc, we are informed that England has had a really bad snow storm and all airports in London (Stansted, Heathrow, and Gatwick) are all closed. So I had to go and reschedule my flight, retrieve my bag, then make my way back to the apartment for another night in Spain. Well Sunday morning rolls around, and Heathrow is still closed, but Vueling has not yet cancelled the flight, so I had to drag all of my luggage back to the airport only for them to cancel it on me as soon as I get there, reschedule again, and return back home
. Nothing like a repeatedly cancelled flight, snow, rain, and another flight that you've got to make you homesick and so ready to get home. I was supposed to fly out of London back to Atlanta on Wednesday, but now that my flight to London had been cancelled twice with a poor outlook for the next few days, I got my flight from London->Atlanta changed to leave from Madrid on Tueday instead. It's a good thing we did that too, because my Vueling flight didn't end up making it out of Seville until Wednesday or Thursday. I took a bus up to Madrid overnight on Monday (so I arrived early Tuesday morning) with Marcela. Turns out my roommate from Morocco, who works for We Love Spain, was also on the bus going to the airport. Together we dragged our bags through Madrid Metro up to the airport. At the airport the Delta desk made me check my tiny duffle with all of my breakable items (fortunately nothing broke), I managed to get through passport control and security without much trouble, then I went to the gate. The time has come to leave Europe. Time flew by and now, even though I can't wait to see my family again, I am already planning what places I will visit when I come back next. The flight was ten hours long, which is the longest plane ride I've ever been on. I got stuck with the middle seat, with no personal tv screen, and the seat that had a broken headset jack so I couldn't even watch the movies on the main screen. At this point I was incredibly sleep deprived since I hardly slept on the 6 hour bus ride up to Madrid that I couldn't be bothered to complain and just tried to go to sleep
. 10 long hours later the plane landed and I was officially back in the United States. It might take over an hour to go through border control, customs, baggage claim and drop, security, etc, but it's worth it in the end. I love hearing the border patrol telling me "Welcome home," because even if the say it to everyone, for me it signalled that I really was finally home. Once I got up the escalators I saw William and my mum waiting for me with flowers, balloons, sausage rolls, and mincemeat pies haha.
And here my journey ends. I've spent the last two weeks with my family and friends, enjoying the holiday season to its fullest. Hopefully I will be traveling again soon, but for now I must return to reality...
So I've been back for a while now and have been relaxing at home, and now I'm packing to go back to PC for spring semester. After Egypt who knew things would get so crazy. Just a short post with a few pictures to end the story of my travels abroad.