Today we’re traveling from the beautiful provence of Galicia and the town of Santiago de Compostela down to Andalusia and it’s capital, Sevilla. The south of Spain promised to be hot, dry, but also full of a lot of fantastic culture and great Paella.
Our time in Santiago was our most “local” experience yet. The area we stayed in was the least touristy place, while at the same time being very close to some really neat things to see. The big attraction there is the cathedral which is built upon some very important ruins that were discovered about 3,000 years ago. Joking of course, but it really is a huge pilgrimage site for Catholics, and we saw them everywhere.
It was interesting to see so many people from all over the world in one place. Unlike other popular spots in Europe, people all had one thing very much in common (their religion) but aside from that we saw a lot more diversity there than we did anywhere else. So that was cool.
I was able to get more and more into a rhythm with work, and we were able to balance family time, with each Amanda and I getting some time to go explore the city, with plenty of just relaxing and letting the kids be kids.
There were two parks that we went to at least once a day, and the kids just keep amazing me with how flexible they are with the language and customs of an area. Caleb even saw the same group of boys a few days in a row and I could see the start of a little tribe they were forming. Pretty cool.
Santiago had a very different culinary spin too, which was cool to see. Being so close to the coast we got to sample lots of local seafood, including Octopus one day. Amazing what you order when you don’t speak the language fluently. 🙂
My Spanish continues to get better, and I held a reasonable conversation with the cabbie on the way to the airport today, even though I think he was being very grateful with his understanding of my redneck Spanish. Oh well, I am coming to see that what the locals anywhere want more than you to speak their language is to have enough respect to try, and to not EXPECT everyone to speak English. I think this will be much more the case in France when we go there next week, and my French sucks, so I’ll have to do some studying this week.
Speaking of France we’re going to be there right smack dab in the middle of Euro Cup 2016, which is hosted throughout France, and lasts about a month. Between that and Le Tour I think we’ll have plenty of cool sports events to follow. The tour starts July 2 up in Normandy and the way things are looking right now we’ll probably be around there during that time. I don’t know that we’ll go to a football (i.e. Soccer) game, since I can imagine they’re both pretty pricey and rowdy. The analogy I’ve heard is it’s pretty much the Olympics for European Soccer if that paints the picture ok.
Working on our long term plan now, and are hoping to have some more to share in that department soon. Tough assignment when the world is your oyster, and I hope we’re being thoughtful and deliberate with the decision we’re making on where to live and how to spend the next year or so.