July 4, 2007 5:38 AM
And now from Spain!
On Saturday my alarm went off at 6:30 am and it was time to head off to the airport with my parents, brother and sister. After driving through a thick fog caused by a smoky car on the bridge, I knew this would be an adventure. I started at SFO and stopped over at Philadelphia and in Frankfurt. Actually, I almost missed my flight in Philly because our plane arrived late (something with overbooking, too many connections, being on the runway waiting to take off for over almost two hours, etc) and we had to run from one end of the airport to the other. Apparently I made it just in time but one of the other girls in the program came a little after i boarded the plane and was detained there with no luggage because they did not have a seat for her. I arrived in Tarragona, Spain only after almost non-existent plane flight, over eighteen hours on the runway or in a plane, two stopovers, interesting plane food, and a bus ride.
The flight to and from Frankfurt was interesting because on the way there I actually sat next to an economics professor from Cornell who was headed for a conference in Germany and we were able to talk for a good bit. I learned that he went to Berkeley as a grad student and we talked about many aspects of Berkeley life. He told me about a few of his favorite spots around campus (including a few restaurants, book stores, and coffee shops that have since been closed). He also told me that one of the things that he really liked about Berkeley was the intellectual/scholarly community and culture, how students and faculty could be found in cafes having informal conversations about anything from daily life to questions about the meaning of life, how friends of his were able to spend some time talking to and dining with Berkeley greats like Alfred Kroeber and his wife. Events like these were very possible because finding housing within the city of Berkeley was less expensive and a bit easier to find and many people did not have to resort to living in surrounding cities. Interesting how things change in such a short time.
Tarragona is beautiful. It is fairly small but it is costal and is rich with history (as is much of Europe), including Roman ruins and churches walking distance from our apartments. For four days this week there are fireworks on the beach to celebrate the patron saint of Tarragona. It is actually an international competition to see who has the best display and the winner will be in charge of the fireorks display that will occur early next month.
More to come!
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