I've found a home and climbed a mountain
Trip Start Sep 25, 2011
68Trip End Jun 12, 2012
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Where I stayed
On Friday morning, I took a taxi with all of my things to my new piso. My room had most of the things I needed, although I wasn't feeling too inclined to use the bed sheets that were just laying there on the bed, not knowing who had used them previously. I got some hangers and bed sheets from Corte Ingles (English shopping center...a 7 story department store/supermarket) as well as some groceries.
My room is now all unpacked and ready to live in . Anyone wanting my address can message me on facebook, email me, or talk to my parents. I have pictures of the interior on this entry
Also managed to get a Spanish cell phone. Thanks for all the international calls and texts during apartment hunting, mom and dad. No more though! I can now make calls in this country for a normal rate.
My new piso mate, Austin, has been extremely helpful throughout the process of moving in. He's a student at the University of Jaen, studying for his advanced degree in Physical Therapy. His undergraduate studies were in medicine. He is originally from France, although spent a lot of time living in Morocco where his parents worked. During his years in university, he has spent 4 years in France and four years in Spain. He helped me out in getting a phone, and finding some of the local markets. He speaks French, Spanish and a bit of English...which makes for a fair amount of English-Spanish mixes between us while communicating
This morning (Saturday), we decided we were going to hike up to the castle of Jaen. A word about this: no one actually does this here. If you want to go to the castle, you take a taxi or a tourist bus up there. During the hike, we saw 2 other people walking on the hill. An old man we asked for directions couldn't believe we were going to hike it all.
Regardless, we set out with lots of water and our clothes deportista (athletic). The journey to the edge of the city and base of the hill took about an hour, mostly uphill. From there, we left civilization and went into the dessert and woods of the mountain. At 85 degrees and sunny, it was quite the venture. We spent about two and a half hours walking up the side of the mountain. People driving by in cars stared at us like we were maniacs.
We reached the castle around 3pm. There's not a lot to be said for the castle itself (especially since it was closed), however the true spectacle is at the cross that's on the mountain top with the castle. From here, you get a complete view of the city of Jaen, with the mountains lying in the background. Truly one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life
We stayed there for quite a while. Austin tried his best to fall off the cliff while doing acrobatics on the railing, while I yelled at him to be careful.
The hike back only took about two hours, so we got back around 6pm. Since we hadn't eaten since breakfast, there was a pretty solid rush to get home once we got into town.
All to say, I'm having a fabulous time. No big plans for the night. We're both very very tired.