Planning a trip of this length with the dogs and moving from country to country is incredibly complicated.Particularly is you’re not staying in hotels and renting houses and squeezing in a hotel or two in between and need to find those that accept dogs, etc.
We also, for the beginning of the trip, were traveling with old friends so compromise is involved. In this instance it was Jim’s former law partners who go back with him to the 60s, so there is a shorthand and depth of understanding and friendship that has withstood decades and distance, since we all live in different cities.
The other thing is you don’t really know what will happen or how you’ll feel about it until you reach your destination. Maybe you want to stay less? Or maybe longer. Unfortunately, we spent too short a time in Barcelona. The first day is always spent just settling in and getting acclimated. Although it’s a great day, it’s not “productive” in terms of seeing all there is to see.
After we moved into the PHENOMENAL villa, we felt the same way. TOO short. Even though it was eight fabulous nights. But you just start to get the rhythm and it’s time to leave. Fortunately, it’s only the beginning for us!
We picked up a car at the airport and drove to Zaragoza. The main objective was its proximity to our next stop before we get to France. It turns out to be an extremely interesting place with fabulous architecture and history. It’s in the Aragon Region (remember Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon and then divorced her which led to the whole breakup of the Church), so Aragon plays an important role in history.
Getting here was a piece of cake, getting to the hotel, a nightmare. The Spanish are really poor with signage, in my opinion. We drove around in a circle trying to get into a plaza in which cars weren’t allowed. But by going in there, it drew the police whom we then followed to the hotel. Otherwise we’d still be driving around.
The Basilica del Pillar is simply mind-blowing. I took some pics, surreptitiously, to see what I mean. Where did all this money come from? Where did all this talent come from?
Since we’re currently in a hotel on the Avenue of Justice (how about that for irony?) we have a television and Jim is often putting on the BBC. When I hear the news I want to jump out the fifth story window (the highest). The truth is, there is NO WAY in the world we live in to forget about the problems in this world. All you have to do is open your eyes.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS _ WE LEARNED THE FAT FUCK ROGER AILES IS DEAD. It makes me want to dance.
But then I was pissed off because we managed to lose our Kindles again for the 14th time! WTF!!!
This morning it rained, the first time since we’ve been away. We went to the Goya Museum. It was wonderful. I like Goya but I have a complete new appreciation for him. He was a modernist way ahead of his time, not only in terms of his art but his opinions. There’s a massive gallery of sketches depicting the cruelty during the war between Spain and France in the early 1800s. His politics are great and they show through in his art. He particularly understood the plight of women not born into privilege. Their plight was to be raped or become prostitutes.
My favorite Goya quote. What until you see how relevant it is “Superstition makes an ignorant public adore a tree dressed in clothes”
Two Jim stories. When we checked into our hotel an attractive woman traveling with her husband came over to him and said “beautiful” pointing to his anti-Trump button. Then asked if she could take his picture.
Later, while we were at an outdoor restaurant waiting for tapas (I admit to being tapa-ped out), Jim went into a gorgeous bakery to scout out desserts and, of course, chocolates. They were considered the premiere chocolatier in town. Once inside, a pretty woman 40-ish, tried to pick him up. When he said he was here with his wife, she was unfazed. She came out of the shop, her arms wrapped around him. She introduced herself (in broken English far better than my pathetic Spanish – not to mention they speak Catalan here), told our waiter we’d be back, dragged me into the chocolate shop, introduced me to the shop owner. The owner served us each a pear liquor, while the other woman kept telling me how cute Jim was. We all toasted our trip and added some amazing chocolates to the one I bought. One was milk chocolate with curry. Not something I’d want every day, but it was delish!