A Summary of the last of my Pre-England travel... as my time in Cambridge draws to a close.
Granada was phenomenal - the Alhambra was itself worth the trip to Spain. Although I liked Cordoba better and could see myself living there, Granada still gave me a great feel for Spain. It's also slightly more mountainous, which plays into my story better. After hiking around the Alhambra for about six hours - pictures, I promise! - I sat and talked with a lady I toured with; we had a great conversation about life and God.
That night, I climbed the mountain behind the Alhambra and, although I did not make it to the ruins of the Islamic aqueducts that lead into the palace, I did manage to get back to the Alhambra gardens. I was VERY tempted to hop the little fence on top of the wall I was walking along (technically, it's not trespassing if I don't cross the fence, right? So I walked along the outside edge, along a three inch ledge over a thirty foot drop. Yeah, I'm pretty stupid sometimes.) I decided that I didn't want to be deported for trespassing on a national monument and World Heritage site, though, so I turned back around and climbed back down the mountain.
So, this trip I managed to ALMOST climb mountains in Ireland and in the original Sierra Nevadas. I would have made the attempt both times, but felt like I needed to go back down the mountain - in Ireland, that allowed me to BARELY catch my train (with some divine intervention and a lovely family that gave me a ride to the station), in Spain, that allowed me to not fall while climbing through the woods at night. Moral: Follow your intuition, even it does mean you don't summit.
And then, the next morning, I was on a bus bound for Malaga, chatting for three hours in VERY broken Spanish (but hey, my friend didn't speak English, so I thought it was an accomplishment) about physics, sociology, second language learning, Spain, and the national stereotypes of Spain, France and Germany. We came to a good question in our discussion: is it better to be considered kind (Spain) or effective (Germany)?
And now, the pictures. One final note: for reasons I will relate in greater detail, I will NOT post my designs for a new school here. I can send those of you who are interested an email describing my specific plans, but I won't post my invention to the World Wide Web, especially not if I'm going to try and sell it this fall.