Friday Class From Up Above

As much as I like my normal classes and city life, this Friday really was something special.

My classmates and I got to go on a trip with a local tour guide named Jose Luis, who showed us around the old pueblo of Rupit in the Pyrenees Mountains on the border of France and Spain. I didn’t realize how much I missed the green of Portland and all the hiking there, as I’m sure a lot of you have experienced. Rupit is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen, and offers both the views as well as a rich history and authentic medieval architecture.

We started out the day with an hour and half car ride into a whole different world than the bustling atmosphere of Barcelona. Jose Luis has lived in Spain almost all his life, so we got lucky because he knows the best breakfast spots to gear us up for the trip ahead.


They don’t eat very big breakfasts here, but meat, cheese, and tomato bread are all classics. Jose Luis said those creme pastries in the first picture have been his favorite since he was nine!

Our hike started with a little tour of the village. When you walk around here, you can really feel how old the area is, from the stone buildings and ancient carvings to the church that dates back all the way to 968! Imagine having to haul that many stones up into these mountains before cars! We don’t have anything that looks quite like that in Portland.




We hiked up a trail into those trees not really knowing where we were going, but placing our trust in Jose Luis as he laughed while sharing stories of complaining about how hard the hike was when he first came as a kid. It was a little bit tough, especially after all the bread and cheese we’d been eating.

But when we reached the look out all of those thoughts disappeared.


Just look at that! How’s that for Friday class?


Here’s my friends and I enjoying the view. I think it’s safe to say the work out was well worth it.

This village was an experience that made me more aware of where I was. I get to be here in Spain and see this view that’s almost 6000 miles away from home in Portland, and I get to hear about Jose Luis’ own trips coming here at different times in his life. While the view is beautiful no matter what, having someone like him really know the area and share his connection to and memories of it brought a more personalized feeling. It’s fun to think how this is something familiar to him, and he takes people here on tours all the time for his job, so my experience is just one of many.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me feel small in the most rewarding way. Looking out at those mountains is a reminder of how big everything is. It makes me aware of my role in the world as one person in one place, and reminds me to be present in the moment because it won’t come again. I feel very lucky, and I hope you guys have experienced this feeling as well. if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Until next time!

2 thoughts on “Friday Class From Up Above

  1. Katherine Ahonui H

    Dear Joni,
    I know it’s foolish, after all the exotic, magnificent food you’ve shown us, but that bread with butter and jam looks absolutely AMAZING!!!
    Cuando yo estoy con mi abuela (vive en Hawai) comemos eso cada día, entonces esa fotografiara me recuerde de esas visitas. Mi abuela es una cocinera talentosa, entonces cuando comes el comida que hace, ¡se parece que estas en un restaurante!

    Katherine Ahonui H


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