Those who know me well, know I can’t proofread my stuff worth a shit. So apologies. I’m literate in my head only.
We left our charming little hotel in Zaragoza to head for the San Sebastian area. We made a decision to cancel three nights at the hotel after San Sebastian and move in early the house we rented in the Dordogne. Living out of a suitcase is tough. Particularly when you’re as disorganized as we are PLUS have two dogs and all their accoutrements.
Being in Zaragoza was interesting because it felt much more working class and poorer. Also edgier and young. Lots of tats and piercings. A part of Spain I probably would’ve never thought of visiting. But there are incredible monuments, museums and plazas. It was fun to see something we normally wouldn’t see. But it was the halfway point between Barcelona and San Sebastian so it was perfect. And fun in many ways. But two days there was enough.
If I have ONE complaint about this country it’s the lack of proper signage. To say it’s confusing is the understatement. Morocco was easier! Even with GPS were went at least an hour backtracking and going round and round roundabouts. I’m so happy we decided to fly into Italy from France. The driving, as fun as it is in some ways, is a pain the ass in other ways. When we’re away we’re so torn because, of course, we feel like we should be running around like maniacs seeing everything there is to see. And there is so SO much. So we’re trying to make piece with sightseeing and just enjoying life, sitting in plaza or at a cafe and doing nothing. Doing NOTHING. That is tough. For me, anyway.
Jim, from what I believe is the genetic makeup of men, keeps the TV turned to the BBC. Needless to say, we’re up to date on the mess back home. But it feels VERY different hearing it and being in it. I think once we get out of hotel, it’ll be easier. Separating from the world is harder than we thought. But hearing the news feels very surreal vs. specific.
Now that we’re in Basque Country it should be interesting communicating with people. Even in Barcelona and Zaragoza very, very few people spoke English. Of course I’m mortified at my inability to communicate with anybody but people who speak English. But nobody where we’ve been speaks the Spanish I learned in 9th grade!
Re: The mutts. Spain isn’t dog country, certainly not in the way France, Italy or the UK area. And our dog training in advance of our trip proved useless. Of course they draw tons of attention. But the problem is they still go ballistic when we leave, just like they do at home. It’ll be fine once we get into the house in the country, where we’re isolated, but in a hotel it doesn’t go over well. We’ve found our own method for keeping them quiet and I don’t think it violates any cruelty to animals laws!!!
Last night we met a lovely American couple. One of the two guys had been a professional violinist and gave it up five years ago to become an actor. He even opened his own theatre so he’d have roles. Sadly he lives in Ohio. Of course it was out anti-Trump buttons that drew them to us.
I find myself making much more of an effort to relate to “strangers” and be friendly. I’ve become so inner directed this last year or so, closed off in my head, ranting and raving about the country and the world, and it alienates me from others. I don’t want to get all Pollyanna about it, but people all over Spain, have been lovely and helpful. There have been exceptions! But only one or two and it was clear they had no patience to deal with the language barrier.
We have TWO HOURS until dinner and I’ve yet to eat lunch or breakfast. Fortunately, the hotel has a few chocolates in the room. But the food hours are still hard for us to get right. They have looooong siestas here. Truth be told, I prefer UK tea time, somewhere around 5 PM with lovely scones and cream.
There is NOTHING like being surrounded by beauty EVERYWHERE I look to make me deliriously happy, despite my hunger pains. I may not make it another hour and a half. Fortunately, there’s a minibar I’m about to check out!
Dining room in hotel
Grounds of hotel
The weather has been unusually cool so unfortunately eating and drinking has been limited indoors
Tootsie meets an automatic lawn mower on the hotel grounds