I cannot believe that summer is halfway over already. Where has the time gone? These past few weeks have been full of work, Spanish classes, hanging out with friends, new experiences, and relaxation! I take back what I said before…It is true that there is less work in the summer for TEFL teachers. The summer started off strong with a full schedule of classes to teach; however, day by day, classes were cancelled due to the busy summer schedules. But some work is better than no work! Also, it has been nice to finally have time to relax, hang out with friends, focus on Spanish, meet new people, have new experiences, and enjoy living in this great city.
I am happy to report that I have been sticking to my goal of improving my Spanish over the summer by taking semi-intensive classes. I forgot how much I enjoyed these classes. Not only am I immersed in listening and speaking only in Spanish for two hours each day, but I am back in an environment where I see people I know and new people every day. In the two weeks since I have returned to Spanish class, I have made several new friends! I need to continue the classes in the fall. Es muy importante!
Last Saturday, I travelled about 45 minutes from the city center to visit a friend who is an au pair for a family living there. It was a perfect day to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. We relaxed by the pool, went for a hike and enjoyed some drinks while surrounded by nature and overlooked the city, and tried new dishes at a local restaurant. Later that week, I took up an offer to go to the top of one of the famous four towers. The mother of the kids I nanny works at the same tower as one of my students and offered to take me one day. Since I actually had some time after my class, I contacted her to go to the top floor of the tower, well so I thought. She met me in the lobby and led me to the service elevator. Intrigued, I followed behind. She then took me to one of the top (restricted) floors of the tower to use her access card to open a box full of keys. Then, we climbed up a couple flights of stairs to the rooftop, which this special key opened. Once outside, we climbed two more sets of industrial stairs to a walkway around the edge of the building. Man, the view was breathtaking. You could see the city, the city limits, famous buildings and landmarks, mountains, everything. Never had I thought that I would be on the rooftop of a city skyscraper. The experience is definitely one of my top 5 since moving to Madrid.
As for my big summer trips, my transportation and lodging for my golden birthday trip to Croatia has been booked! I cannot wait to walk over the beautiful, turquoise waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes, listen to the sea organ in Zadar, explore Split and nearby islands, travel by ferry from Split to Dubrovnik, and end my trip by walking on the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik. But before that, I have less than a week until I travel out of Spain on my Central Europe trip to the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungry. I cannot wait to explore three more countries on a trip of a lifetime!