Thursday, 17 May 2018

Leaving Vigo


 My semester in Vigo was sadly at an end. My mother had been staying with me on campus for a few days and would return to the UK with me. Although I was used to travelling on my own, and was fine with it, I was happy to have her with me.

 Our taxi arrived and we said goodbye to the staff at my accommodation. It was a strange day - dry but very overcast. The green Galician countryside and a grey sky surrounded us as we headed to a hotel near Vigo Airport.

 We arrived at the small hotel and checked in, before going for a wander. It was a very rural area, and the first place we found selling food was a petrol station shop. We bought some snacks.

 On the way back I glimpsed an horreo and pointed it out to my Mam. Seeing the traditional granary, one of the icons of Galicia, was a nice touch to my final day there.

 Back at the hotel, I played the game Undertale on my (now happily working) laptop and finally beat Mettaton, the feisty robot. It sounds a bit of a frivolous thing to mention, but the music and effects form a big part of my memory of that day, and they added to how surreal it all felt.

 We went down to the dining room and had toasties for dinner. The dessert menu looked exciting so my Mam tried out apple cake, and I chose cheesecake. They were delicious.

 I ordered hot chocolate and got a chunky sachet of powder and some really frothy warm milk to mix it into, as well as some cake to enjoy with it. The result was a lovely and extremely sweet end to the meal.

 We went to bed, and I fell asleep in Galicia for the last time - the last that year, at least. In the morning, our taxi - the same one as yesterday - took us to the airport. There, we saw one of my fellow Vigo Uni students. It turned out she would be on our flight, and we waited together and chatted.

 We flew to Edinburgh Airport without incident. We collected luggage, took a shuttle bus into the city and then endured possibly the hardest part of the trip - lugging my huge suitcases from the bus to the train station. However, we reached our train and were able to relax.

 I dedicated much of my time on the train to attempting to beat Asgore, the goat king, in Undertale - again, it is silly, but is what comes to mind when I remember that journey. I didn't beat him, in the end, until a while after I had got home, but his catchy battle tune stuck well and truly in my head.

 Finally, we arrived home. It took a while to adjust to not being in Vigo anymore: not waking in the mountains and walking to Uni through foxgloves and blossoms; not eating frozen yogurt by the sea or buying wacky chocolate bars from Alcampo.

 Of course, there is plenty to do in Manchester, and I am living a fulfilling life. However, Vigo and Galicia will always feel like another home, and somewhere I can hopefully return to.

 If you are embarking on a summer, semester or year abroad, then good luck - hopefully you will have a very special experience. If you are considering Vigo, I recommend it with all my heart.

 Thanks for reading.

 Liz x

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