Las Islas Cíes

6:30am

Dear Holy Goddddd… Don’t do it! Don’t make me wake up! I am but a lowly soul! I am but a grain of sand in the ever-twilrling hourglass of dyasany! Noooooooooo… Leave me be in my wallowing! Folly begets forsaken folly!  I just… I don’t want to get up, maaannnn. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnn. I’m going to have fun. Right. Fun. I should get up, I need to shower.

7:20am

Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk Hey Where is my wallet? walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk WAIT IT’S NOT IN THAT POCKET??? walk walk walk walk walk walk walk OKAY to be fair I only had 5 euros in the wallet walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk WAIT AND MY DRIVER’S LICENSE AND DEBIT CARD walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk eh I mean who cares I don’t have any money or a car anyways walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk there’s the train station walk walk walk walk walk oh Hi Emily, Hi Kate

7:55am

What? What do you mean my…? my ticket is…? I GOT A TICKET FOR THE WRONG DAY?

“Hi, Mr. Information Booth Man, I bought the wrong ticket… Oh. I can just… I can just change it? And you don’t charge for it? Well then why ever buy the right ticket!? Okay, well, thanks, Mr. Information Booth Man.”

8:00am – O Tren

I have an hour and twenty minutes on the train, so I’ll stop messing around and actually start writing this blog post. Also, I guess I learned my lesson about buying tickets at 1:00am. I have to sit alone because we bought our tickets separat—Oh, there’s my wallet. Wait it WAS in that pocket? So I’m just sitting on the train listening to music and wishing I had a window seat.

I read this post by Brendan Ryan over in Ireland about a hike he did there, and I got incredibly jealous of their pictures. When I first got to Spain I more or less did a 500 mile hike (which will get its own post *soon*) and ever since that ended, I’ve wanted so badly to do more hikes. Most hikes here, though, are only accessible by car.

Emily, Me, and Kate

I was grumbling about this plagueisic-level tragedy to my wonderful new friends Emily and Kate, and just like that they invited me to Las Islas Cíes. What!?  The best beach in the world?! These two people that I just met are inviting me to the most beautiful beach in the world? I guess meeting new people always has a way of paying off or something.

So here I am, on a train.

9:20am – Vigo

Vigo is a nice city. The thing is—wait why is this train station under so much construction? Wait I’m confused how did we get into a mall? Wait the train station is under a mall? The train station IS a mall??—that you can’t really see or get to know a city with just an hour. To know a city you have to explore on your own, you have to eat their food and drink their drinks, you have to engage with the people, and you have to get lost so you can find your way back.

So all I know about Vigo is that I need more time to explore it, and hopefully I’ll be able to soon. Plus we have about two and a half hours after the islands and before our train back.

10:15am – On the Ferry

Yeah, I mean, ferries are boring. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Las Islas Cíes

Las Islas Cíes (The Cíes Islands) are an archipelago off the coast of Galicia, near Vigo, that are part of a nature reserve and national park. We three senderistas tackled The Lighthouse Island (illa do Faro) and walked about four kilometers to Monte Faro, a lighthouse that gave a panoramic view of Las Islas, the Vigo Ria, and the Atlantic Ocean. You can see our lighthouse on the left in the map below. This part of our trip mainly consisted of walking (see 7:20am for a description), and walking is reealllly boring after the fact, so here are a few pictures instead:

 

2:15pm – Ferry Pt. 2: Electric Boogaloo

Aha! Ferries aren’t boring when you get on the wrong one! What we didn’t know is that there are actually two ferries from las Islas, one to Vigo and one to Cangas. We did not want to go to Cangas. We wanted to go to Vigo. We did not go to Vigo. We went to Cangas.

At first we didn’t even realize we were in the wrong city. We got directions to the Vigo train station and my phone told me that it was an hour’s walk—across water??

Run run run run run run WHERE IS THE FERRY? run run run run run run run run run MAYBE WE CAN GO BACK ON ANOTHER ONE run run run run run run Hi, excuse me, we got on the wrong ferry—oh, we can just get on a new one for free? and it leaves in five minutes? run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run sit. God, I hate ferries.

4:00pm – Sitting Around

All we really did was travel. That was pretty much the entire day. We woke up, went to the train station, trained to Vigo, walked to the ferry, ferried to las Islas, walked to a lighthouse, walked back to the ferry, ferried to the wrong city, walked, ran back to the ferry, ferried to the right city, walked to the train station, trained back to Coruña, then walked home. What kind of a day is that? I don’t mean that in a bad way, I’m actually asking.

There’s a certain… somethingness to traveling, isn’t there? A real somethingness. Ya know?

It’s tranquil. Meditative. Mindful, in a way. Especially when you’re with other people. It’s easy to talk. You’re both always looking forward, and every conversation, thought, and idea is left behind with your footprints. If you don’t want to talk, you don’t, and your brain shuts off for a little while.

I had a good day. I ate some stale crackers, was officially told “don’t make noise” while on the island and to “get to know the animals.” I took a bunch of pictures, didn’t sleep, got the wrong train ticket and got on the wrong ferry, learned that some people prefer crunchy granola bars?, failed at doing a jump picture, felt the return of my knee injuries, swam in freezing cold water and swallowed a whole bunch of salt, and mostly, I got to know two great people. What else do you need?

Important Coruña Announcement

Dear Coruña Community:                                                                                   Context

On Wednesday, a stray cat entered Claire Tobin’s room in Coruña and bit her. The Spanish National Guard responded and notified Coruña Animal Trappers (CAT). CAT captured and tested the animal and later informed us that the cat tested positive for rabies. We have followed up with Claire Tobin, and she is currently receiving 33 incredibly painful rabies shots. The next day, a separate cat was found deceased near the basketball courts, along with a note that said “miau miau miau.”

If you or someone you know had an encounter with a cat while on a date, please contact the Spanish National Guard, so that they may arrest it with excessive force.

This email serves as a reminder that we have destroyed the wildlife of our cities. In most cases, this wildlife rarely fights back, however, there are instances in which these animals can mount a tactical guerrilla warfare. You can help keep yourself and our city safe with the following:

      • Do not approach or try to domesticate cats.
      • Do not encourage cats with red dots or dead birds.
      • Dispose of your cat food using appropriate trash receptacles.
      • Do not clean unattended litter boxes.
      • If you see a cat in Coruña, destroy it promptly.
      • If an animal is acting aggressively, find the nearest blunt weapon and prepare yourself.

 

Sincerely,

Patrick “Meow” Nolan

Chief Coruña Cat Control Captain

Notice the Signs

Notice the Signs

Your plane lands. You take a deep breath. In… and out… You’ve made it. You’re finally in Spain. You don’t feel different—not yet at least—and as you walk through the airport, past customs and baggage claim, you start noticing the signs. Then you notice that you’re noticing the signs, and then you wonder why you’re noticing signs. Huh… You’ve never noticed signs before…? You’ve seen hundreds of signs, but you’ve never noticed them. And here you are, now, noticing them, because nobody tells you about them. Nobody tells you about the signs.

Now click this sign to keep reading!

Welcome!

Hello, everyone! I’m Patrick, and I’ll be writing about studying abroad in Spain.

I could not be more excited to make this blog with all of you over the next year! I hope that I’m able to create something interesting and engaging, because I find myself with a wonderful opportunity to connect with people and share ideas.

A blog should be so much more than a monologue (monoblog?), so please send me an email or message me on Instagram. I’d love to chat and hear your stories, and I’d love to hear what you think of the blog!