Think of the flattest place on the Earth. Well, that’s where I live, Illinois. Smack dab in the center of the Midwest. Being the second most mountainous country in Europe, Spain is full of beautiful peaks, and I am a stranger to these mountains. Every day I get to wake up to the beautiful mountains that San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the town I am staying in, nestles up right next to. Our group has not failed to take advantage of the breath taking sights. Last week, a group of us climbed two of the neighboring mountains. It was a gorgeous hike and not your typical stroll in the park. By the end of the hike, we had walked up and down around 10 miles. On top of that, I drank almost all of my water before we even started. So Heads up next time. Bring plenty of water! When we reached the top, I was blown away. Not literally of course. Before my very own eyes, it felt like I could see all of Spain. Endless mountains to my back and Madrid way in the distance to my front. Yesterday, was another fun day in the mountains. We left the university at five in the morning to hike up a different mountain. This time, we planned to view the sun slowly peaking over the distant mountains. When the sun finally came, it was a beautiful sight. Sometimes in life the simple thinks just surprise you in such big ways. I am an outdoor person, and whether it’s the lake, forest or mountain, I love exploring the beauty of nature. Until next time, Roll Tide from España!IMG_20160612_235040