BASQUE COUNTRY OF FRANCE AND SPAIN, CAMINO DE SANTIAGO, AND BARCELONA, CATALUNYA.
JUNE 13-JULY 4, 2012
I recently read a statement in a magazine that said when one returns from a trip it is best to not dwell on the details of the trip but rather the feeling of the whole experience. I know how much we want to share with others little stories or vignettes of our trips. Photos help with remembering what we did each day. As I am trying to get over jet lag and return to household-type duties and responsibilities I have memories of certain things, people, experiences but all of the places seem to meld together. Where did our trip begin? Where did it end? who did we meet? what new foods did we try?
Not everyone wants to hear each and every detail anyway. Posting photos and where we were in Spain on Facebook was very helpful as most of our friends and family were right there with us. Many comments written by others shared their excitement with us as they saw photos and information about our trip.
Before our trip I was sure that I wanted to create a journal like I had in the past, or take along my sketchbook and watercolors. I knew though that my time would be limited and I would be frustrated. I was right. There was never enough time to just sit, be, and create. And that was ok as I sketched in a different manner as I tried to experience each cathedral, river, ancient ruin, city, architecture, and culture with all of my being.
Art was everywhere and one couldn’t help but be inspired by the architecture, ancient buildings amid modern society, yogurt shops and wonderful clothing stores just off curvy cobblestone streets. And the food! The tapas or pinxtos beautifully prepared and delicious. Wine, the best red wine I have tasted! One glass of “tinto vino” was about 2 Euros. A glass like that in the U.S. would have cost at least $9.00. I love the Spanish language and found that I was able to understand most of what was said, as each word spoken was precise and slow.
Our experience in Catalunya was rich and wonderful as our cousin Cruzita and her husband Santiago and daughter Zazil showed us the Catalan way of life. Each dish they made for us was written down for us to try later in our own home.
To have seen 2000 year old Greek and Roman ruins after which we swam in the Mediterranean was one of the highlights as was seeing for the second time the Basilica Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, one of my favorite cities.
To walk a very small part of Camino de Santiago in the Basque area and (see the film The Way) and to visit Montserrat just outside Barcelona was inspiring. It does look like I have mentioned a few details here but overall it was a memorable journey especially since we celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary and my 69th birthday on this trip! Yikes!Included here are just a few photos for you.