Thursday, June 4, 2015

Today I almost died and then I became the Mother of Dragons

Well, kind of.

Today I went hiking and exploring with my host father and brother along with another family. We drove to Monte Abantos and later saw el Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial

{view of el Monasterio from our hike}
We started with a hike and climb that felt pretty steep to me. In reality, I guess it wasn't too bad. The three kids were all between 7 and 9 years old and they handled the hike with more grace and agility than I did, but in my defense, they do this sort of thing all the time while I really didn't know what I was doing. I kept stumbling and tripping and at one point I made the very foolish mistake of looking down to see the surrounding area. Needless to say, I became way too aware of how high we were. I think we were less than a mile above sea level, but all I saw were steep rocks and way too many ways to fall or slip to certain death. Everyone was ahead of me and I just looked at my host father and asked if I could just stay put where I was and wait for them to finish.
 {hiking trail we took on our way down; way easier than the way we climbed on our way up}
Looking back, it's actually pretty funny. Here are all these kids handling the hike without any problem, and then there's the gringa American behind them, slightly out of breath and irrationally afraid of heights and positive that she's going to die that day. I mean if you're going to die, might as well do it in Spain, right? But there I was walking along thinking, "I at least need to graduate college before I die. I at least need that damn degree." And while I like to think of this trip as more than some eat-pray-love overly romanticized bullshit, at that point I was like, "holy crap I'm going to die, and if there is ever a time to start praying again it should be now right?"

{el Monasterio}
Luckily my host father was able to reason with me and point out that I was literally a 30 second walk/climb away from where we were going to stop. So I told myself to shut up, stop embarrassing myself, and just go. So I didn't die today guys. I didn't break the fifth goal of my trip to Madrid and now I can continue to pay GW in my blood and soul, so all is right in the world again.
{exploring el Escorial}

{el Monasterio from the inside}
As for the Khaleesi moment, the highlight of the day for me was el Monasterio. My photos really don't do the view from our point in the mountain justice; the entire scene was so beautiful that I felt right there that this would be the highlight of my trip. Day 3 in a three-month trip is way too early to peak, but there are worse things in life. But going back to the Game of Thrones stuff, the monastery really resembles these scene in which Daenerys (or Baenerys, amirite?) Targaryen looks down at ~her people~ in yet another scene focusing on her and her unsullied. And trust me, I realize how ridiculously vague that sounds but in all honesty, I really don't pay enough attention to remember exactly when or where this happens in the show. So for the thousandth time, I'm drawing more attention to my stupidity on the internet but you know what, talk to me when you go to Spain and feel like you're going to die one second and then feel like the Mother of freaking Dragons looking down at her kingdom while waiting for her missing monster to return the next second and then we can talk.

Anyway, that's enough of my rambling, here are some more photos from our day:
{flowers: a gift from my host brother}
{a pond we found that had blue dragonflies, loud frogs, and these flowers}
{el Monasterio from the outside}
Tomorrow I embark on my first visit to the city! Wish me luck!


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