It was a beautiful sunny day in September when the Three Amigos decided to take a little journey to the Rascafria Mountains near Madrid. Kathryn picked us up around 11 am. We had our backpacks packed with water and lunch for an afternoon adventure. The drive was gorgous as we weaved in and out up and down through the mountain to where we finally found a good place to stop park and head on our hike. We hadn't really thought too much about navigation besides the GPS that go us to the mountain. Just as we began scratching our heads as to how we were going to get on these trails and find our way back a group of Spaniards had just finished there hike. They, unlike the Three Amigos, were prepared with there hiking sticks, large water bottles, and many maps. Kathryn and I managed to piece together some Spanish to ask them if they could tell us the best route. They let us take a picture of there maps and told us some land marks along the way. They were super friendly and without there help it might not have been such a glorious day!
We began the hike on a trail and it was at a very easy pace. We carried on about what we were doing in Madrid and catching up on the latest in eachothers lives when we then decided to switch things up! We said for the next 20 minutes no talking in English. It was a blast and the time went very fast. After walking for about an hour we decided before we got of the beaten path we would have a picnic. We ate our sandwhiches and had a lovely photoshoot with the grazing cows along the trail. It is very common for cows to just be grazing along the road or trails randomly. I had never really seen that before, I mean sure we have grazing cows in a cow pasture back in the states, but never just wild like that or at least that I had ever seen.
We continued down a different path and began to walk along the stream. We followed this until we saw the wall of rocks, we then climbed up this wall, like the Spainards had advised, where we could see the beautiful waterfalls. When we were ready to hike we hiked, when we were ready for a rest we rested. It was our day and we kept and nice tranquillo pace! It was fun to see all the different sides of the mountain. For instance, the really plush green forest area, to the rocks and stones, to the birch fields, to the beaty of the different water ways and wild life. As we drank our last droplets of water and the sun had begun to set, we decided it was time to head back. Somehow, along the way we must have missed a turn. It grew draker and darker and each of us took turns saying, "Oh our car should be just right up here...I think?" Then we got sight of the road and decided it would be wise to follow that back to the car, instead of being stuck in the thick of the trails, in the dark, with dead cell phones. We remained positive the entire treck back and finally made it to the car. We walked for 13 miles that afternoon and shared many special converstations, and laughs. Little did we know that our hiking adventure, was just the beginning for the Three Amigos.
Many of you may or may not know bullfighting is one of the oldest traditions in Spain, and is also one the most controversial topic amongst the Spaniards. After Trey read Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon, it struck an interest in him to find out more about this tradition. He expressed there was not a better way to formulate an opinion, than to experience it first handed. I on the other hand was very skeptical. Right off the cuff I wasn't sure if I could handle a bull fight. However, I decided to attend open mindedly after contemplating over this idea for months. I knew it was going to be difficult to watch, and knowing that the bulls would be killed regardless, made it even more difficult for me to support. The reasoning for my decision to attend was two fold. One experiencing it myself would give me a real voice, instead of just going by what people said and how they felt about it. It was important for me to formulate my own opinion. And second, this event is intended to resemble the tragedy of death, and that would be worth understanding, and acknowledging in itself. Seeing how I couldn't identify with how bullfighting aided in this retrospect.