Waking up in Barcelona, getting ready for the day we packed our bags, checked out and lugged our stuff to the car. Before we hit the road for our next destination, Liérganes, Spain, we walked down to the local cafe for a much needed (or two) cafe con leche and a jamon y queso croissant (coffee with milk and a ham and cheese croissant). Have you ever heard someone with a strong southern accent try to speak in Spanish? I don’t remember if I mentioned this or not but my travel companion is originally from the Appalachian Mountains and currently resides in Salisbury, North Carolina. I may have blocked the whole feeling of embarrassment of listening to her try to communicate with the locals because I am having a hard time describing the experience but I will say this, It was painful to hear.
We weren’t in any rush to get on the road because we weren’t meeting up with the guys until the following day so we relaxed and enjoyed the scenery.
Across the street there were a group of, what looked like, kindergartners getting a lesson from the local police in how to cross the busy streets of Barcelona. I was fascinated with this and ask one of the chaperones if I could take a photo of the event and she apologized but kindly declined my request. So..no photo..sorry ;/
The walk back to the car wasn’t horrible but it was raining and of course I only brought two pair of shoes for the entire three week stay, my flip flops and my silver glittery coach flats. I was wearing my flip flops, of course, I’m lucky I didn’t slip and fall on my face! Noted for next year and advice, most likely advice I don’t really need to give but just in case you are a dumb ass like me, three pair of shoes are necessary when traveling. Flips flops are a must, a pair for night life and a good comfy pair for loping around the town all the live long day. You will find yourself walking almost everywhere for long periods of time even if you have a car. Parking is just about non existent, think trying to find a parking space at one of the San Diego beaches on the 4th of July and double the frustration.
Back at the car we programmed the GPS and started the six and a half hour drive to Lierganes! The drive from eastern Spain to western Spain is not impressive -three hours into the drive we stopped at a little town to fill up the gas tank. Gas is very expensive, to fill up the Volkswagen Polo it cost us around 52,00 Euro, which is roughly 65.00. I drive a Volkswagen Jetta and for me to fill up it costs, today, around 40.00
As I was saying, the drive was not impressive and I was driving so no photos were taken during the drive time. I took the photo below at the town we stopped in to get gas. Nothing special but I thought they looked neat and I had never seen trees so stumpy before so I here they are. 😉
It wasn’t too much longer before we arrived in Liereganes, a small and quiet town lovely but my first thought was, ” Hmm, this town is in the middle of what seems to be nowhere, it is a very small town and the guys are scheduled to play a loud rock n roll show…here? I was more than a little nervous for them but the show wasnt until the following day so I brought myself back to the present time and attempted to find the hotel I had booked for us for that night. The GPS failed us – or it was an operator error – and we could not find this hotel! Frustrated, I turned left, spotted a local neighbor walking his dog and asked him for help. The problem with that is..although I could ask for help..I was not able to understand his reply, note for next trip and advise for those who plan to travel to Spain…learn Spanish, not only how to speak but how to understand it!
Luckily, this gentleman was just that..a true gentleman! He asked me to stay where I was, turned on my hazard lights for me, because he asked me to do so but…no entiendo, I told him (I do not understand) and then he walked away. Shirley and I sat there very confused as to what was happening but a few moments later the gentleman comes back, this time in a Toyota Landcruiser..a very cool, very old, Toyota Landcruiser. Because I could not understand his directions…this guy got in his vehicle so we could follow him to our destination! 🙂 Screaming Muchas, muchas gracias, senor!!” from my window with a huge smile on my face I found a parking spot, we unloaded our bags and checked into our hotel. Below is the outside view, the sign with the name of the hotel and the view out the window from our room.
Checking into the hotel was another fun treat, again I had no problem telling these locals what I need but I am not able to understand their replies! Finally, we figured out where to park the car, which room we were to stay in and that we basically had a curfew. This was, as I said earlier, a very small town and the inn keeper and her husband live in the hotel, they lock the door and when we were ready to come back we were to ring the bell and they would let us back in.
Strange to me but no problem. Time for us to eat again! Across the street was a bar that was filled with people watching the futbol match, we went in because I wanted to watch the match, a drink sounded wonderful along with some food. They were not serving food, bummer. Off we went to a restaurant down the street, this place was empty and looked if they were just about ready to close for the night but we were sat at a nice table draped in white linen, utensils set perfectly and wine glasses already on the table. The waitress was very friendly an happy to serve us, two minutes in..it was obvious she was a lesbian and was smitten by me. She was not inappropriate but i did feel a little uncomfortable when she sat down at our table to chat, I don’t remember the conversation because it was all over the place and again that language barrier was difficult! She explained the menu to us and we finally decided on pork chops with an egg and fries and of course a glass of their house red wine, yes I know..I was having pork and should have ordered a white wine but I don’t drink white wine so red it was…I’m a rebel like that 😉
The waitress went off to place our order with the chef and that’s when my travel companions mood took a turn for the worse. I don’t know if her meds were wearing off, if the problem may have been her age (she’s fifty) or if she was just showing me her true colors but whatever it was..I did not like it. She complained about how long things were taking, how much she just wanted to go back to the hotel and go to sleep, mostly at how long it was taking for our order to be brought to us. Once the meal finally came it was delicious and we devoured our entire plates. Of course Shirley’s bitch session was not over so she proceeded to complain about how long it was taking for the waitress to bring our check. A fore warning for those of you traveling to Spain in the future…service is good but it is very slow, the people are not like us in the states who want things now and get things now, don’t complain about it, embrace it and enjoy your life in that moment you are in. I promise, if you do so it will make your experience all the better!