Friday, January 20, 2012

Bienvenidos a Rota

As the title says, "Welcome to Rota"

After a 13 hour travel by plane, night over in Madrid to visit friends, 4 hour train ride to El Puerto de Santa Maria, and a mystery bus ride to Rota; my life began in Spain on September 29th, 2011 to be exact. I then commenced to find roommates, a place to stay, and finally the joy of unpacking my overly stuffed luggage.

Rota is located right on the beach of the Altantic Ocean. Upon arriving the weather was still warm but the water was the least bit inviting to me since coming from a place that had bath water for swimming rather than the kind of water that makes your skin crawl at first touch. From La Costilla, the main beach of Rota, you have a clear view of Cadiz the capital of the province, which is claiming to be the oldest city in Europe. You can find numerous bars along the beach path, where you can enjoy a beer year round while watching the runners on the beach, kids play in the sand, and listen to the waves crashing on the shore. During the summer, June-September, Rota will be swarming with tourist mainly from the Sevilla area, but we also attract the Northern European citizens from the Swedish area because of our favorable weather year round.

Other than the nice beaches and golf course, Rota is famous for the American Naval base. Having to pass the base on the way into Rota, it's not hard to miss with large carriers sitting on the Tarmac and the large Naval boats silently floating in the harbor. At all hours of the day you can hear the sounds of carriers, fighter jets, helicopters, you name it occupying the sky. Unfortunately, I do not have permission to enter the base, even being American. I must receive clearance or enter with important military heads. The base has been in Rota since the 50s, which over time has Americanized Rota. If I feel like meeting Americans I know where to find them: enjoying themselves at bars along the beach, playing American football in the sand, Irish pubs, or walking the central part of town. Because of the American influence many people speak English here in Rota, which at times makes it difficult for me to be forced to practice my Spanish. Although, I do believe God intended me to be placed with some English speaking people, so I may feel less culture-shock.

Along the beach is the Piney Woods Boardwalk where you can find runners, families on walks, and even owners taking their dogs on a walk. I find this a wonderful escape from the noisy Vespas and everyday life. My senses are relaxed by the smell of the pines on the trees, sea-salt in the air, and at times the blooming Fresia flowers.

Although the characteristic of Rota is less ancient Spain, and more modernized beachy; the beach and sun are my continuous reminder why Rota is a relaxing carefree place to live.

Soon the weather shall be warming up and I will begin to fully enjoy the beach once again.

Thanks for following my time here in Rota, Cadiz, Andulacia, Spain, and Europe.