07 September 2015: At last a post from Deb. It has taken a while but I’m finally relaxing and getting into the swing of the holiday. Poor Miraz, at the start of the break, I was still in work mode, I think, and getting everything planned and organised in an “unrelaxed” fashion.
I relive last year’s fantastic holiday by bringing posts over from the trip blog. This doesn’t aim to be identical to the trip blog, but an improvement, with text edits and more / better photos. Find all these posts under the tag: Spain2015.
There are so many delights in this holiday adventure. I came to Spain because Miraz wanted to, rather than it had been a country I had wanted to visit. However, I am loving it here — the people, the food, the different landscapes — I feel very at home here.
And, i am really enjoying the cathedrals in each place. They are incredible. As we passed lots of towns, each town had what appeared to be a very large church on the highest point of the town. It is interesting how differently Miraz and I viewed them. Miraz saw it as a place where the church could be seen to dominate, where I saw it as a place where everyone could see to go to for refuge or community. I’ve been sitting in the cathedrals along the way and thinking about all the hopes and dreams, anguish and sorrow that people bring to these grand halls. Some of the cathedrals have multiple chapels such as Chapel of our lady of hope, Chapel of our lady of sorrows, and penitential chapel. I’m not a catholic, so all this is new to me, and it may be the same in catholic churches in NZ. It was similar in Shanghai in the Tao temple where people lined up to stroke the statue for “healing” or good luck — couldn’t understand the label. That temple also had multiple statues that appeared to have different purposes.
I attended mass yesterday at Tudela Cathedral. It is over 800 years old. There were about 50 people attending. Not bad for a thursday 11am. The mass was in either Spanish or Catalan, and the singing was beautiful.
When i’m not gazing at churches and pondering the meaning of life, I’m eating wonderfully rich and delicious food — fresh fruit, pastries and fresh fresh seafood.
Finally, I’ve had the great joy of learning to drive on the wrong side of the road and follow Gps instructions in Spanish — with Miraz translating as quickly as possible before i needed to change lanes etc. It was nerve-wracking to start — for passenger and driver — but now I think I’m in the flow.
Today we are off to see ancient cave drawings and then tomorrow an ancient gold mine.