León 21st June
A pleasantly surprising city in the north
An eclectic mix of fashionistas, students, bourgeois and cool individuals in a lovely town.
Clean streets, wide enough to let in the light. Gothic churches, cobbled plazas and old grand casas with family crests and coats of armour over the doorways. Chic women in heels meander past tattooed hipsters in the latest hairstyles. Polite responsible citizens who instinctively know they live in a human paradise keeping it clean and friendly. Good restaurants, tapas bars and cafes on medieval streets. The world turns.
Arenas 22nd June
The almost constant drizzle drives people indoors and the bars and cafes are full of men playing cards or boys talking about who knows what. The shops here specialise in cheeses and local produce for the locals or trekking and climbing gear for tourists and there are so few tourists about, I think the businesses are struggling.
Haro 24th June
Drove all day and tired as hell
In a way, Spain is the loneliest place for a man who cannot speak the language. Not doing what others are doing and not finding common ground with people along the way.
Living or travelling in a place where you can’t communicate is difficult. What must it be like for the deaf living in their silent world? No music or conversation and to be cut off from the noise of the world around them, to be treated like an idiot.
Humans cannot survive the car. We need to use our legs so that they don’t evolve into dysfunctional machinery, designed simply to press pedals. I need a walk!
San Sebastian, Donostia 26th June
We all need perfect summer days to feel that everything is okay
People parade along the promenade of La Concha like peacocks in suits, Armani sunglasses, tinkling jewels and Swiss watches. It is a place of all-front and no substance. Europeans in designer swimwear mingle with the local urchins, chattering and playing on the wide sandy beach. The citadel watches over the old fishing town, fortified against an historical enemy.
Spaces to rent a deck chair on the sand. No surf reaches the beach from the Atlantic, the island of Santa Clara holds it back. Big hotels line the beach alongside huge mansions for the hugely rich.
The beach is a wonderful place to observe people. It’s where they relax and let their guard down and truly be themselves. If I had a big camera, I could zoom in on unsuspecting moments for a laugh. It’s a perfect summer day. People ride bikes while others stroll or lay on the sand.
I sip a beer while a guy nearby is on his knees begging for small change. I offer the sixth of a price of a beer to help (soften my conscience) and he thanks me as if I have done him a favour. I overload my organs while children go without breakfast. A benevolent society looks after those that are not good at survival.
A greyhound sits with it’s arse not quite touching the ground, always prepared for the chase. Rarely in repose.
How can you understand every language?
Languages spoken here include, Basque, Spanish, French, Tourist and American College, spoken like, widely and sometimes enthusiastically.
Rich Americans sit discussing how rich they are while tourists sit around drinking café solo and discussing something else. Only a true cynic would argue that we should all speak the same language. Would argue that we should all think the same, that differences were to be avoided, that we should all agree. “Vive la différence,” I heard a French man cliché. Stereotypes are not useful to people hoping to understand people.
Always analysing, thinking things through, consequences, outcomes, reason, proceding through life with caution at a measured pace. I love to hear what people think, I should have been a reporter.