I left for Spain on February 29th, 2020 to attend the annual Flamenco Festival held in the quaint city village Jerez located just south of Sevilla. I had lived in a city near Jerez, Moron de la Frontera , for a year when I was 21 and always felt I could easily live there.
The Covid was just starting to take off in the States and despite a few of my friends telling not to go, I thought I could squeeze in a 9-day trip before it got worse. When I landed in Madrid I realized immediately that Spain was not at all prepared nor mildly aware from the people I talked to, what was about to hit their country. So for my own safety, I kept in touch with the news, daily, on my phone, to stay on top of the Covid. Italy was just starting to report cases at the time.
Upon landing in Madrid, I connected with my very dear friend, Puela Lunaris, both a dancer and scholar of Flamenco who was already in Madrid with her family. We arranged to to meet at Atoche Railway Terminal to , take the train to Jerez. It was a marvelous 3 hour rain ride through the beauty of southern Spain immediately bringing back memories of my youth when I lived there.
Upon arriving, we taxied to an apartment which I was able to secure through an online home exchange service which I would highly recommend. Unlike Air BnB, no money is ever exchanged as long as you are open to hosting travelers from time to time that are also members. I’ve had lovely guests from all over the world and much prefer to be hosted by locals in the country I am visiting.
First off, Jerez de la Frontera is a city that feels more like a village with incredible charm and sounds of Flamenco everywhere. The spirit of flamenco seems to be in everyones blood. The cafes are many with tapas and wine with quite a few that hosted, what seemed like impromptu performances of flamenco guitarists, singers, and dancers.
.absolute heaven and magic. I loved every moment and could easily see a future home here.
Unfortunately, my trip was cut short on the 4th day (out of 9) when I woke up in the middle if the night with loud and clear instinctual voice to leave pronto and get back to the States. I jumped on the computer and booked the soonest flight out on Expedia scheduled in 24 hours. On the train back, Spain reported it’s first Covid fatality in Valancia and I knew all hell was about to break loose in Spain and I feared that I would be quarantined not able to return back to New York. Little did I know then that I would be flying back to what would become United Stares epicenter, New York City .