Monday, June 26, 2006

El Camino

I´m in Madrid now, enjoying the vibrant and diverse atmosphere of the Spanish capital. I arrived Saturday after flying in from Berlin. I spent a week with a friend of mine who lived with my family three years ago. Chrisoph lives in a small town nestled in the Harz Mountains of central Germany. The week was excellent, but I unfortunately caught a bad stomach virus the day I left the United States. I was throwing up during my entire flight to Amsterdam. I felt better after landing in Germany, but I soon had a fever, followed by a second fever, and then finally a bout with diarrhea, all of which left me 5 pounds lighter. The worst part was missing out on so much German food. But I healed after 6 or 7 days, regained the 5 , and now I´m back to 100%.

Madrid has been very exciting. My roommate at my hostel was from Argentina, and I spent some time with him, exploring the city and practicing my Spanish. The Prado, the Reina Sofia, the flamenco, the gardens, and the bullfights all provide a glimpse into a unique culture, but this is only the beginning. The Camino will immerse me in the Spanish culture that I have come to love. However, a huge mental and physical challenge awaits the group. 500 miles is not an easy task, but I am confident that we will learn, grow, and discover something new about each other.

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