Aranda de Duero


"La tierra del vino y el cordero" -Gloria

I took a trip this weekend to a place I didn't even know the name of until I got there, Aranda de Duero, the place Gloria (my host mom) calls, "mi pueblo."

Aranda de Duero is a town in south of the province of Burgos, in Castile and León, Spain. It has a population of 33,000 people, and Gloria knows all of them. She led us, my friend Sarah and I, around her town, telling stories of the days her grandparents washed her clothes in the Duero rio. We entered the church her parents were married in, Iglesia de Santa Maria. Around every corner we encountered an old friend of Gloria's, she would stop and give them a kiss on each cheek. 

Later in the evening we rushed through Paseo Virgen Viñas, to meet two of her oldest friends. We waited at a small wooden door in the middle of the city, it read, "Tierra de Aranda."

Gloria's friends arrived. A married couple, Carlos and Juanita. They reminded me of the Spanish country. Their smiles were stained with wine and cigarettes, but their skin was clear and tanned from the sun.

"Vamos," announced the couple as they unlocked the small wooden door.

We entered and walked down 10 meters into an underground bodega. The cold air entered my lungs and cooled my beating heart. We walked through a small corridor, surrounded by brick walls assembled during the 15th century. Carlos pointed out maps that he had rendered of the Aranda during the 15th-17th century. They were beautiful. 

We were given wine. We drank. Carlos began to sing. His voice beat off the bricks and into my heart. I have never been so enchanted.

Life only happens once and this trip is teaching me that each day is completely precious and unique. I feel in-tune, like I actually know where I am in space. I want to spend the rest of my life in this state of wonder: happy to be here.