We’ve been in Donastia (San Sebastian), for the past couple of days. It has a Belle Époque feel; walking along the beach promenade I could picture women with parasols and men wearing straw hats.
I had some truly delicious slow cooked pork pintxos (small dishes) at La Cuchera de San Telmo.
All signs are in Spanish and Basque and it does sound very different from anything else I’ve ever heard. Our hotel receptionist was patient enough to teach me a few phrases:
- Kaixo (kaysho) – hello
- Eskerrik asko (eskerry asko) – thank you
The walk to the university takes about 20 minutes. Here’s what caught my eye this morning.
Spain is filled with churches. In this part of the country many started as mosques.
Guadix to Alquife – 16 miles
Walking out of Guadix we went through the neighborhood of caves and admired their beauty. On the outskirts of town were several brick making sites using the clay of the area.
We passed through Cogollos de Guadix and saw the Mudejar church and the Arabic water cistern then walked towards the forest. On the way we met a shepherd who was patient and kind enough to talk with us.
He was 80 years old and talked of how much better life is now than when he was younger, how the food is plentiful and there is work to be had if you want it. He asked where we would sleep that night and gave the darkening clouds over the nearby Sierra Nevadas a worried look. We assured him we had it all figured out and continued on to Jerez Del Marquesado.
In this lovely village we ate a late lunch at Los Cortijos. We are still learning the names of different dishes so I’ve been asking the servers what they prefer then ordering that. So far it’s worked out pretty well. One of the other patrons stood us a shot of rum so we set off with full bellies and a spring in our step.
Arriving as night fell and rain threatened in Alquife we asked directions to the albergue I’d talked with the night before. No luck finding it so I called only to discover it was quite far out of town. Feeling a bit concerned we asked again and were guided up the hill to the Albergue Lacho. Here we were warmly welcomed, given tea and many warm blankets. Whew!
Overall there is almost no trash anywhere but we have seen these very direct warnings about cigarettes.
There are so many layers of civilizations; Roman, Visigothic (Germanic tribes invading then converting to early Christianity), Arabic and the Berber Muslim Caliphate, Jews then Christians and now modern Cordoba.
At one point Cordoba was the largest, most educated city in Western Europe. The huge population was possible with agriculture using the mechanical lifting of water from the river. This technology, along with astronomy, medicine and much more, was brought by Muslims.
Planes, trains, buses and feet.