Well, that’s it. I can’t really believe that my year abroad is over!
It was really really sad saying goodbye to all the amazing friends I’ve made, and to my incredible flatmates who have looked after me all year.
I’m hoping to go back for a visit at some point, but it just won’t be the same without my tiny little flat in the centre, walking down to work past the plaza de toros every day to see the preschool kids, ice cream and milkshakes in the park, tapas crawls and cellar bars, day trips and weekends away around Spain…
What an amazing year - I won’t be forgetting it any time soon!
Malaga was such a pleasant surprise! The old town is beautiful, and reminded me of a little town in Menorca that I visited last year, and the Alcazaba was really impressive. I had no idea that the city had so much to offer - I’m really glad I got the chance to visit!
We spent a few days on the beaches, a few days chilling in the city and a really lovely day in Ronda, which took my breath away. I’d seen photos of the gorge and the bridge, but nothing prepared me for the real thing. It really is breathtaking. I’m not really sure what else to say about my last week in Spain, other than I had an amazing time! I think I’ll let the photos do the talking…
My flatmate Eva and her friends all graduated on Friday - they do graduation weird in Spain, it’s not compulsory and you graduate before you actually finish your courses.
But anyway…we all trooped down to the Uni to watch the presentation, which was good fun, and I met Eva and Miguel’s families. Twenty of us ended up at a place called Mata Hambre (literally “kill hunger”) for dinner and drinks, which was delish. Then we somehow managed to get enough taxis for us all to go to the free bar.
I’d say that’s pretty much where the night started to get a bit fuzzy. I went home at about 5am, after too much dancing and too much rum.
Despite having very fuzzy memories of the party, graduation was great - and it was so cool seeing all my friends in one place and having dinner with them all. I guess it was my last big night out before I go home.
Haggis…carrots…and Tatties! What an exciting evening in Piso de Magdalena. Scottish dinner, perpared be my - and enjoyed by everyone! Or so they said. Though Maria wouldn’t eat any more after I told her what it was.
Sunday. Perfect day for a beach trip. Or so we thought.
Disaster #1 - We never leave on time…so we lost half a day before we even left the house (due to having to find food for lunch/go for a coffee/no alarms in our flat/no hot water)
Disaster #2 - Knock on effect of there being no hire cars left…and no buses on a Sunday…
Disaster #3 - Found a hire car. Need a 100 euro deposit. No one has a credit card.
After clearing up the first 3 disasters, we headed off to the beach! The journey from Jaén’s only an hour and a half, so we arrived at lunchtime to a very busy beach. But…
Disaster #4 - It wasn’t sunny. Just very cloudy and VERY windy.
We made the most of the beach though, it was warm enough for bikinis and we all had naps and lunch. It’s a stoney beach, but it was really beautiful, and although the sea was freezing I was the only one brave enough to go knee deep in the waves. Well, maybe not so brave then.
Disaster #5 - As we were elaving the beach Eva, Javi and I realised we had turned into typical stereotypical Brits, or what the spanish call gambas (prawns).
Trying to take our minds of the horrendous sunburn, we headed back to the car in order to drive up to the castle and wander around the old town. Salobreña is absolutely beautiful…It’s set on a very steep hill, so all the houses are super Andalucian - white with pots of flowers and lovely little patios.
Disaster #6 - Eva was driving, and wasn’t used to the car. So we got stuck on a very steep, very narrow hill. And had to ask a nice man (who was stuck in a queue of cars behind us) to deal with the most difficult hill start I have ever seen.
After finally managing to park the car, we walked up to the castle. It is amazing. Such good views of the sea and the huertos, or allotments, and you can see all along the coast. By this point it was hot again (typical), so we were all suffering with our sunburn and craving coca cola.
Even though the day didn’t get off to the best start…and continued in the same vein…I had the best time! The town was stunning, and the beach was lovely. But by far the best thing was getting to spend the whole day with my incredible flatmates!
All my insanely cute infantil kids, and a few other classes too.
I was surprised to find myself getting a bit emotional yesterday as I said goodbye to the kids and teachers at CEIP Alfredo Cazabán.My last week at school was fairly uneventful - I went to my usual science classes, danced around in infantil and gave my Scotland presentation to my favourite 4th grade class. But then Thursday arrived….
I arrived at 1C to cheers of “¡seño, seño!”…and the hour only got better! I took them outside and taught them playground games that I remember playing when I was wee (duck, duck, goose…toilet tig…what’s the time Mr Wolf?). They absolutely loved it, and took great delight in picking me to be the goose so I had to chase them all around the playground. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them laugh so much! After we’d taken some fairly hillarious photos, I was presented with a stack of drawings that they had made as a leaving present for me. I was almost crying!
The next class was infantil. Now, Thursdays in infantil are always pretty good, because from 11-12 the teachers leave the kids and eat churros in the staffroom. Safe to say - I love Thursdays. But yesterday was (if possible) even better! The kids made me leave the class so they could make me drawings, so I got to chat to all the teachers and exchange email addresses so we can all keep in touch. It was so nice, and I was really sad to say goodbye - especially to Gabriella, the english teacher, who’s just been so nice to me this year.
My final class of the day was cancelled, so I used the whole hour to go and say goodbye to all my other classes. This involved getting two more stacks of drawings (I came home with about 1000), presents from the kids, loads of photos and getting very emotional.
It was the perfect last day, and at home time I was really sad to leave. I had such a good time at the school, especially working with the kids in infantil, and it’s such a shame I can’t stay til the end of term.
But there you go, my year abroad’s finished…now for my last weekend in Jaén - Bring It On.