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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Days 51, 52 April 8,9-Train Travel to France

Day 51

Ben and I got on to the train in Granada at 9:45 in the morning. We arrived in Madrid at 2:10. We then went to the other train station in Madrid and left on another train at 4:10 and then arrived in Handeya, France at 10:20. We were then going to try to catch a bus or train to Biarritz, our final destination, but the French transit system had gone on strike that night. So we were stuck in Handeya. We were planning on sleeping on the floor of a train or bus station anyway, but somehow we lucked out. Due to the strike, the train station let all of the stranded passengers sleep in an older overnight train, for free. They also through some bottled water and toiletries in with the whole deal. Needless to say, Ben and I were quite pleased with the way things turned out. We talked to a Croatian, in Spanish, for a while about how he had to make 6 other trains to make it back home. That was interesting. My Spanish in the last 2 weeks, really has improved dramatically. I can communicate, very poorly, but communicate with most people about things. Then Ben and I talked to a girl from Bilbao, Spain, in English for a couple of hours before we went to bed. It was the best way the situation that Ben and I were in could have played out. We were extremely lucky.

Day 52

After waking up in the train the next morning it was time for Ben and I to make our way to Biarritz. We got on one bus, which took us to St. Jean de Luz, than to another bus, that took us to Biarritz. On these buses, we saw the sunrise over beautiful fields, cliffs, and waves. It was the first time I had seen the Atlantic since I had been there, and a very strange feeling came over me. I felt as if I were so much closer to Whitney then I had been for the last 2 months. I mean she was right there just on the other side of the ocean. It was as if I could take one massive leap and soar across the ocean and land right in her arms. Or as if the two of us could lean as far as we could until our fingertips touched and I would have her jump to me and I would grab her and pull her to safety. I don’t know why seeing the Atlantic Ocean made me feel all of these things, but it really made me want to see Whitney, my dog, my family, and home in general. I even looked up round trip tickets to go home for around a week, but it was too much and I really should stay and see as much as I can. But that is how much I miss and want to be able to feel Whitney. I would just jump into the ocean and keep on swimming until I reach her. We are lucky that we have skype to communicate with, but it is still not the same. You cannot make a deep connection through a computer. You can’t feel the touch of ones skin and notice simple gestures as you would in real life. I just miss to be able to see her and can’t wait for June 26th. It will be a great day in my life. Anyway we finally reached Biarritz and began our journey in France. We wandered around and finally found our hostel, which was on a small lake a couple of miles inland. The smell of this lake mixed with the smell of a 2-cycle motorcycle going by sparked another feeling in me. I miss Wisconsin. It is funny how I have spent so little time there as compared to my real home, but I consider it just as much as my home as I would Indiana. The family history, my history, the pristine lakes surrounded by mystical forests all make this place make me feel as if belong there. It is a place I will never forget and will never, not long to be. No matter how beautiful a landscape I can be in, after a while I will want to go back to my second home. It scares me what will happen to the place. Will I lose everything that my ancestors worked so hard to build and maintain? So much love and hard work has gone into those grounds, by so many different people, it would feel as if we were disrespecting every one of them, to just let it go. Just letting their dreams of having a place for their children and children’s children to play and grow. I know that place has had a huge impact of making me grow. From experiencing nature, interacting with family, pushing myself physically and mentally in sports, the death of my grandfather, the training of my dogs, the bonding of Whitney and I, the bonding of my family and I, especially my mother, and taking care of as much to my ability as I have been for the last couple of years. These are all things that have made me who I am today and they were all influenced greatly by that property and what it stands for. I am going to miss going there this summer. It pains me that I did not give myself enough time to spend there last year. I wish I had. Anyway, we got to our hostel and went to the beach for a couple of hours. We lay on the beach, walked to the lighthouse, and to a small little castle on a cliff. Then got some groceries and back to the hostel for the night. Tomorrow I am going to do a little surfing for a bit. I can’t wait. I miss all of you. See you soon.


  1. Thanks for the tears Caleb!! Ha! I've been doing pretty good here by not crying---that is, until now! I miss you so much, too. If I could jump that far, I totally would. I miss you like mad.
    BUT, keep your chin up and keep traveling. You'll be able to spend all the days you want with me someday to the point you'll probably be wishing you could go back to Europe! :) Just joking.
    Either way, I can't wait to see you on June 26th! It will be a great day that I've been looking forward to for almost 2 months now.*** P.S.- Having accomplished this long distance thing this long and what will be longer, can we not do it again? Haha.... If it comes to this next time, just take me with you! :) I promise I'll try harder to fit into a suitcase! :)

    Love you.


  2. This is mom-- thanks for the tears too. You are a very special person. We all miss you to death. I walk through your bedroom and see all of your things and I have to rush so as not to get caught in memories. Just be safe and do NOT do something stupid like take things back to Ben so he can get home safely. We love you and we are so anxious to travel with you and actually hear you use these foreign languages. you will be trilingual!! That is pretty cool!! Hang in there and enjoy what you are seeing and remember it all so you can share it with us when we have hours to talk about what you have seen and done!