More than anything, what struck me the most flying over the coast into Asturias and then driving to Oviedo from the airport was how different it all was. I was truly struck by the fact that I was in a completely different country, on a different continent, in a different hemisphere. There was almost nothing I could point out and say: “That looks like Australia”. (Those notable exceptions include the highway, although naturally we were driving on the other side of the road, and the Ikea store.)
The coastline of tiny villages clinging to cliff tops above the ocean, all with red roofed houses against a green grass background. The hilly, even mountainous, terrain with many hillsides and valleys covered with pine trees. In the distance snow-capped mountains (I am not making this up; I was so very excited when I saw them from the plane and then the car!). The city; full of beautiful old buildings and apartment blocks 10 storeys high everywhere. All of it was new and exciting and even astounding at times.
When I got out of the car and looked around, I could still see in the distance the great big hills, as they ring the city. There are houses up there and even a statue of Jesus Christ, although I believe it is somewhat smaller than that it Rio de Janiero, and I can see this from my window.
I was so pleased when I got on the plane from Paris to Oviedo to feel my excitement at last outweighing any sadness or trepidation (in spite of the miniature, rubber-band-engine plane I was in) and once I arrived it was justified a hundred times.
I am so thankful to be here and after two days I can quite confidently say I love my job too (not so much that I want to be a teacher forever mind you, just enough to thoroughly enjoy myself for five months). So far, everything is coming up roses.