Saturday, May 16, 2009

Another Year in Spain

Believe it or not, we're going to be in Spain for another year! When it came down to returning to the USA, Tonya and I agreed that we weren't ready for the Spanish adventure to end just yet. And living expenses in Spain have been pleasingly lower than what we'd budgeted. I just received word that the Junta de Andalucía has renewed my teaching contract for the coming school year. This has caused some nail-biting over the last few weeks; I sent in my application at the beginning of March (almost 3 months before my contract was to run out), but didn’t get a reply until this week (less than 3 weeks before). That’s cutting things a bit close.

So here we are. We miss all of you back there, but the call of faraway places has continued.
With regard to practical matters, we have the house rented out, so with luck that will cover our mortgage payments while we're out of the country. All of our belongings are in storage awaiting our return in June 2010. We'd have been OK going back to the USA, but it would have caused some inconveniences; since there are renters in our house, we'd have had to rent another apartment!

So the adventure continues. We have a real expedition planned for June. After the school year ends, we're going to take a night train to Barcelona, and then another train on to Perpignan, France. There we'll rent a car and head north, stopping in Carcassone and Dordogne. In Paris we'll hook up with some college friends. After a week there, we'll take a train down to Nice. We'll rent another car to drive through Monaco and into Italy, on down to Florence. After a couple of days there, we'll drop off our friends at the Milan airport, and continue north into the Swiss Alps. We'll cross back into the Italian Tirol, on across the western end of Austria, and into Bavaria. We'll visit the medieval city of Rothenburg, and then on to the Rhine and Mosel valleys. For the last leg, we'll drive down through the Black Forest, across Switzerland, and back to Milan. We'll catch a plane to Madrid and take the train back to Córdoba, where we'll probably need to sleep for a week.

Actually, it shouldn't be so bad. We're spreading this across five weeks, so we don't really have any unbearably long drives. We’re crossing through lots of countries, but keep in mind that the countries are a lot smaller here. In terms of actual kilometers driven, our road trip will be about equivalent to driving from Los Angeles to Portland and back. A long drive, but really not bad over five weeks. And we'll have many relaxing days at our various stops. As we tell all of our friends here, we'll be poor when we return to the USA, so we have to take advantage of our travel opportunities now.

I've been being quiet about this on the blog, because I didn't want to start spreading news like this until we knew that it was going to happen. We'll continue documenting our experiences.

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