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April 8, 2017

Granada - Day #1

Traveling is exhausting -- and would be a waste of a whole day if the payoff wasn't so grand. Martin likens it to time travel. He said to me while driving to the airport, "You can't get there so fast any other way. Not by boat or car or train or walking."

I went to sleep last night after being awake for 35 hours or so. Ten hours by plane to Paris after an hour's delay. Almost three hours to Malaga from Paris after walking three miles around Charles DeGaulle airport. And, arriving in Malaga without one piece of my luggage and not finding Charles right away. That was the lowest point. However, I soon found that my international luggage was at another kiosk (sitting there all by itself), and Charles was outside all barriers waiting for me with his lovely smile in place. I should have known from Vancouver airport that he probably couldn't come into the luggage place -- but I didn't think straight since I have often picked up James in Seattle in the luggage area.

That led to a taxi ride to the Malaga bus station, a long bus ride to Granada, another taxi to the Albicin area where Dani and Charles are living and then climbing 4,000 cobble stone steps (just a bit of an exaggeration - but not much) to their home. Remember, by then I was at least one entire 24 hours without sleep so everything loomed large.

On the pleasant side, Delta airlines was wonderful! The ticket said they would feed us lunch. They fed us three meals, three hot towels, several glasses and/or bottles of water every few hours, and anything we wanted to drink. I sat next to a delightful woman from San Francisco who worked in the Tech field. I was able to negotiate Charles DeGaulle airport and had several experiences where airport people were extremely helpful (like sending me through short lines twice), and sat next to a lovely young man on the way to Malaga who gave me great tips to maneuvering my way back home through the Malaga airport and CDG.

Once here, Charles and I had some dinner while waiting for Dani and Nico and their friends from Waldorf School, Jenny and Caden, to get back from an overnight trip to another town. We all had a nice visit including the little mutts who were glad to see me. Then I crashed to the sounds of some neighbors playing some mellow music. I went to bed at 9:30, was briefly awake at 2:30, and got up this morning after 10:00.

I have been fighting some kind of debilitating anxiety for the past three weeks. Last week it abated a bit, and I began having days when i felt normal. It gave me pause about traveling afar and, frankly, more anxiety. But, I was able to handle the long flight, the maneuvering in airports and bus stations, all without feeling overwhelmed or over anxious. That was a huge event for me in light of my previous weeks. Today I feel fine and while Jenny is here, I suggested that they spend time with her and give me time to just sit and read and relax in order to adjust to a new situation. Dani and Charles are doing editing jobs this morning while Nico is out with his friend, Caden, and mom, Jenny, around the Albicin. Evidently, he is getting pretty good at using Spanish to get what is needed when acting as a tour guide.

When I opened my computer this morning, I had several messages in Spanish -- for instance, Google information was all in Spanish! Fortunately, reading in Spanish is much easier for me than remembering the words in my brain or speaking. On yesterday's bus ride, I had fun reading signs. So, we'll see how it goes.

So, I'm definitely off on my Spain experience. I will keep you informed. And, it will get me back on my blog. I'm looking forward to a Spanish Holy week. Dani says that this area will be crazy with tourists, and I think there are huge events daily. Nothing like a Catholic Easter ahead!

Posted by Marilyn at April 8, 2017 3:28 AM


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