miércoles, 6 de febrero de 2013

Counting down

        It is official; I'll finally work again this year. I am going to live abroad at least for several months, which is something I really need. I have already purchased the flight ticket and bought some pounds. The departure date is getting closer and closer!!
Having the pounds somehow makes it more real!

Hasn't this woman got any recent photograph?
      I have set out some goals such as:
* Improving my English. My grammar is quite good, however my speaking and listening are pitiable, which is something that has to change at once!
* Getting used to travelling on my own. Stupid as it may sound, I completely panic whenever I have to catch a plane or a train, wondering if I am taking the correct one or if I will end up who knows where... Or agonizing over my baggage or the departure times.
* Meeting as many people from as many places as possible. What I am really interesed in is people and their cultures. The more different the better, the more I will learn.
* Learning to cook new dishes. I am looking forward to trying different cuisines. I am a big eater who likes almost everything, so food will be anything but a problem.
* Getting to know as much of the country as I can, from its culture to its countryside. Visiting as many places as my spare time and budget allow me.
* Driving on the left.
* Acquiring new knowledges about slaughterhouses and meat industry.
* Improving my CV. Being unemployed for a long period is disastrous not just for one's economy but also for their laboral future. I hope that working abroad will smooth my way when I return to my own country. Cross your fingers!
       I have made up my mind because I am fed up with doing nothing with my life, appart from waiting for something that will never happen. My patience has worn out. I need to get rid of this awful dullness, it is a matter of sanity.

sábado, 17 de noviembre de 2012

Remains of a celtic hamlet

       As many of you may know, the celts were the former dwellers of the north-west of Spain, so there are plenty of remains all around. In Galicia there are countless  reasonably well preserved "castros", as their villages are known. The photos I'm posting today have been taken in Castro de Borneiro, during one of our rambles.

     This little hamlet was ideally located, nestling in a cosy leafy valley, next to a lovely stream abounding in trouts. It was a very sheltered place, where hunting and fishing must have been quite good. Furthermore, it must have been very difficult to discover for potential invaders, completely sorrounded by such a wild wood.

      It was a nice and interesting visit, trying to make out the past. Imagining our ancestors walking around, doing their daily activities. The alleys crowded by children, craftsmen and women buying/exchanging goods. Not to speak of the domestic animals, hens, goats, pigs... Maybe I have a wild imagination, but this could be a fantastic location for a historic or epic film. With this lush vegetation on a foggy day it would  make the perfec atmosphere...

     Nearly two thousand years later and still standing, in spite of not being constructed neither by engineers nor by architects! Concrete was still to discover, of course.

Someone's home
       Some excavations should be carried out here. The whole place has to be full of all sorts of tools, ranging from pottery to weapons or jewlery, for example. This is culture, OUR culture, our past, and we should know as much as possible about it. It's a pity there's not a little museum or something here, like in many other "castros".

     All in all, the visit was worth it! It is a relaxing place, with the singing of the birds and the murmur of the brook in the background.

We'll come back for another visit at some point


jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

Switzerland, I miss you!

Heidi, have you come back from Frankfurt?

   What I miss about having a job is the economical capacity to travel. I know I can, and in fact I do, travel on the cheap, you know; going for one or two-day trips, avoiding restaurants, sleeping at inexpensive hostels and so on. That said, I must admit that I'm looking forward to going for a real vacation again. I can't wait to visit Switzerland once more as soon as possible. A place where traveling and living "on the cheap" is an utter utopia.

         I like visiting those hidden and almost unknown lovely places which, in too many occasions, are just round the corner, so to speak. I think everybody should explore and discover their own country, as there is so much to see in the most unsuspected places. But Switzerland... it's Switzerland! It has always called to me so intensely... Those lovely landscapes on the wrappers of the delicious chocolates my father used to bring me when he came on holiday made me dream of a fairy tale country. I first read Heidi at the age of 6 and then re-read it dozens of times. I remember the cover of the book showed a wooden hut surrounded by fir-trees, with a snow-capped mountain in the background; the typical alpine landscape. That drawing used to make me feel happy for my dad, who, to make up for being  alone and far from us, worked in such a beautiful place. :) I spent my childhood dreaming of living there one day, when I grew old enough.

        Now that I'm an adult, concerning work, the country is no longer what it used to be in the 70's and 80's, when, like my father, many others migrated there looking for better working opportunities. I've never lived there (yet) but I was lucky enough to visit it two years ago. Needless to say I completely fell in love with it. It was a pity we could not spend more days there, enjoying it all as it deserved. All in all, we visited many places which caused a great impression on us:

        There we visited the city centre and the zoo, but given that we went to see my brother's inlaws, we couldn't explore as much as we would have liked to.

Altdorf, a cosy little village, near St. Gottardo tunnel.
            When we were there, the new one was still in construction. We flipped with the tunnels they have there, the ones which are not real tunnels as one of the walls is "missing", so you can enjoy the views. The first of this type we saw was in our way from Wassen to Interlaken and we  were bowled over by the scenery.

Beautiful Bellinzona on a cloudy day

Coming from Interlaken
         Our intention was to go to Sion, but we got lost and ended up in Interlaken. Sadly enough we got there around nine o'clock in the night, so we don't have any decent photograph. A real sorrow, given that it was one of the places we liked the most. When we can afford it we'll go back, this time during daylight and take lots of them. Although they never catch the magnificiency of the landscapes and the views, which is rather frustrating. Not being  able to show your friends the real beauty of the places you have been to.

Luzern left us completely spellbound
         As you can see, the buildings were amazing, tastefully painted and decorated. This was the cleanest city we ever visited. Everybody was willing to help you and spoke English if necessary, something that didn't happen in Ticcino. In italian speaking cantons it can be difficult to find someone who speaks English with relative fluency. You might think that being Spanish, italian shouldn't be too difficult to understand for me... So thought I before having to comunicate with italian speaking locals!

Messing around by the lake in Luzern

    On that occasion we were also to Milan and other villages on the North of Italy. It was great to visit the two countries and see the differences. Milan was disappointing, but if we had not visited it we wouldn't have known it wasn´t worth the visit, so...

Steep Italian village. Our knees hurt after walking hundreds and hundreds of stairs!

        When we finally go back, we'll focus on Switzerland and explore the countryside a little more. A relative of mine who lives in Bellinzona can put us up, and from there we plan to explore the North-East part: I'm particularly interested in visiting the Via Mala, which is said to be amazing, and stroll the sorroundings on foot. We regret not having done it then, when we first visited the country, the problem was that we had no car and trains were anything but affordable. Now, on the contrary, we do have a reliable new car but we lack the money for the journey, so we have to wait. Meanwhile we look at the old photos and remember the great time we had.

martes, 4 de septiembre de 2012

Goal achieved!


 Yessssssssssss, I have made it! I have finally got my Certificate of Advanced English. I passed the Cambridge exam in july, so I can say that my level is C1!! I'm feeling pretty proud of myself at the moment, as I've prepared the exam on my own, without attending classes. I would have liked to, but unfortunately I couldn't  (Just one among the manifold drawbacks of living in a hamlet).

       My next goal is to get the Proficiency Certificate, although I haven't thought of any deadline, as I don't know how much spare time I will have to study or how much practice I will get. Never mind, sooner or later I will get it!

        If I got a new work, this summer would be perfect. But that hasn't happened yet: :((  I have just gone to a job interview, but much to my sorrow and given that I don't have any expertise in that field, I'm rather unlikely to be chosen. I'll keep searching!

jueves, 9 de agosto de 2012

Temporary work

             I have finally managed to get a temporary summer job whilst covering for two employees' holiday period. It is certainly not too much... but it is better than nothing. Anyway, I am so glad that it is not clinical work any more that I can hardly express it with words.

             Ordering the clinical and surgeon vets what to do and where to go first are part of my duties... and today I could'n help feeling an enormous relief that I no longer was one of them. It was one of those awfully stressful days with loads of surgeries, difficult births and long distances between the customers in the hamlets... I truly felt sorry for them, while at the same time I was happy that I wasn't in those self-same jams, as I used to be not so long ago. I heartedly hated them!!  For me all that stress and ungrateful farmers and bosses have never worth it. Hence, I quit! As simple as that.

            In fact, for all these months during which I have been unemployed I have never regretted having left my former work; not even once! This afternoon I was amazed that I had coped that situation for more than four years. Maybe the sheer stress didn't let me realize how on edge I was. Otherwise, I would probably have gone crazy. I can't think of any better explanation.

           It's a pity that my current contract is just for a month cover! :( I'll keep looking for something longer. Meanwhile I will have to take advantage of what I have.

domingo, 22 de julio de 2012

Enjoying Cáceres off the beaten track

         The heat was unbearable, so after my boyfriend arrived from work, he picked me up and went to have a bath in a relatively nearby brook. The spot is superb, with its stone bridge and its crystal clear waters, not to speak of the fantastic mild temperature. It's known by Garganta de Cuartos.

No crowds, plenty of space to swim.
Just a handful of people in the water
             Loved the quietness of the place, it released peace... It was utterly relaxing to be there, just swimming and listening to the river, the birds... and enjoying those last hours before dusk. It was perfect.

           We also had time to go for a stroll along a little path alongside the river. All the people there were very respectful to the environment, so no-one left rubbish behind and the whole place was very clean. Nobody would bother the other visitors, either. On the contrary, everyone had impeccable manners.There weren't the typical annoying yelling children running around, nor the gangs of drunken youths like in most beaches, which was great!

Little hidden paradise.

             We explored...

Lovely leafy walkway.
... and explored...

... and climbed like goats.
             To get to this wonderful spot; a pond of crystalline waters and countless golden fish.

It left us spellbound!

            We decided to cross the brook to have a look at some remains we had seen on our way here.In spite of being getting gradually darker, we went on and found them.

The building was formerly used to produce electric power.

Scary, right?

         Not as scary as the fact that we did get lost at night and could't find the walkway back, though. It seemed as if all the creatures in the forest were waking up and making noises in the bushes around us. My overdeveloped imagination saw all sorts of hazards lurking in the darkness.

Hello...? Is anybody/anything there?

         Luckily, we managed to cross back the river and arrived save and sound.

             Given that our long stroll had worked up a big appetite, we were feeling faint with hunger!. On top of that there was a mouthwatering aroma of fried squid...

But we had got leftovers from the lunch at home and wanted to make the most of them. A way of cutting costs, you know. What we did was to quench our thirst having a pair of soft drinks before returning to the village.

There were still swimmers messing around.

         All in all, it was a great afternoon! Looking forward to being able to repeat it.