|I loved La Man of La Mancha musical|
so loved this statue in Madrid and
the Dulcinea stores on the road
So, before the conference, we started in Madrid, went to Toledo, Cordoba, and now Sevilla. We go to Ronda, Malaga, Granada, and Valencia before the conference in Barcelona. Surprisingly, this is our first Euro trip together. Parenthood and pethood and other stuff kept my wife from joining me on most work trips, although she did join me in Japan for part of my last sabbatical. I had a taste of Spain thanks to a week in between two Euro conferences in 2019, including the EISS in Paris. My wife's college Euro trips skipped Spain, so this is all new to her.
So, what have we learned thus far? I will break it up into the cities we have seen thus far.
- Some great food neighborhoods--just tapas place after tapas place after tapas place. I also went on a sangria run as I drank that stuff for every non-breakfast meal for a few days.
- We couldn't figure out how to get a metro card--the machines to load them were easy to figure out, but getting a card was not. So, we cabbed a lot.
- For a small old study, it had a lot of cobblestones and a lot of hills--I wore out Mrs. Spew as I tried to see the town from all the angles.
- Our hotel had a lovely terrace at the top, where I got to chat with a nice couple from Guatemala/Mexico. The husband offered me some wine, and it would have been rude to refuse. It was a very nice conversation, and I am
glad I wandered up there.
- Right now, Toledo may be my favorite Spanish city, edging out my memories of Barclona.
- I was reminded that rival religions would put their new religious spot directly on top of the previous one to make theirs supreme.. for the moment. I learned that in Israel, and it applies here as well. Mezquita is a former Mosque where a cathedral was built over it. I wondered how the Muslim tourists felt about this. It was a beautiful and very different cathedral--more square, for one thing, and just amazing tiles and arches and design.
- Lots and lots of olive groves and maybe orange tree groves in between the cities.
- Once I got out of Toledo, the driving got much less stressful.
- A dry heat is not as bad as a wet one--109 today was not great, but not awful. We did ok, and, yes, we did siesta.
So far, we have found great food, friendly people, beautiful art, and a lot of heat. Oh and some very true words: