Saturday, September 22, 2018

An Adventure in Spain

On Friday, we drove from our house in Quillan, France to a housesit near Sax, Spain. It's about seven and a half hours of driving time.
Earl has never been to Spain and I've only been across the border once when we went to a shopping mall -- I know, not really Spain.
I must remember to say buenos dias instead of bonjour.
We took the motorway, which showed us that Spain is doing well with warehouse and factories, and a steady background of rugged mountains all along the way, with glimpses of the Mediterranean to our left.
It took three hours to get to Barcelona and then another three hours to get to Valencia before we turned a bit north to reach Sax.
A hazy sky of the view from the house where we are staying
Sax has a Moorish castle ruins which we hope to explore from the outside since it is rarely open on the inside. This is one of a series of Moorish castles, keeps, or towers that were built on mountains so they could be lit up to warn Madrid of an incoming invasion. The towers are all visible along the chain, as one lit up, the next one would light up, etc. until it reached Madrid. Amazing. The Cathars in our area of France did the same thing with a series of lookout towers that they would light for invasions.
Our host Chris explained that the Spanish towns have festivals every year called Moors versus Christians and they act out the battles when the Christians took over Spain.
The Sax fortress on the right dwarfed by a mountain on the left during my morning run

The sun rises later here since we're farther west as the colors just begin to peak above the peeks at 8 a.m.
Check back and I'll post a nighttime picture of the Sax fortress. It looks amazing like a pool of lights floating in a castle shape.
The hosts of our housesit, Chris and Sarah, graciously met us with drinks and their handsome cat Bailey.
Bailey surveying his domain. That pool is just a giant water dish as far as he's concerned
After a very brief run to get myself oriented, I taught a few classes before Earl and I are off to explore the town then return for more classes.
A Spanish breakfast with bread, tomato roulade, swiss cheese, olive oil. And to drink fresh-squeezed juice
One of the benefits of living in Europe, of course, is that we can explore nearby countries. In the coming month, we will also be visiting Lake Como in Italy and then Dublin, Ireland.
Might as well take advantage while we can!

5 comments:

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

We're heading to Spain in November.

I can't wait until you go to Dublin. I was born there (a long time ago) but we head over every few years. It is a city I could see myself living in.

Sim Carter said...

I hope you get a chance to see Barcelona! An unbelievably beautiful city with all that Gaudi architecture. I'd much rather revisit Barcelona than Madrid which felt very staid in comparison. But I am judging on decades-old experience so my impressions may have no relevance.

I've been watching Antonio Banderas as Picasso in Nat Geo's Genius series, there is a Picasso museum built into a lovely old series of buildings you may want to check out. http://courtyard.museupicassobcn.org/

It's about a half hour walk from Gaudi's masterpiece, the unfinished Sagrada Familia.

Anyhoo ... get thee to Barcelona.

sillygirl said...

I agree about Barcelona - and the Sagrada Familia is a must - even more so with a guide. I have had two different people go to the city on their own - asked if they saw the cathedral and both said the lines were too long so they didn't bother! We were on a tour that included getting in and a guide - it opened my eyes to what was there and remains one of my top experiences in Europe. I also liked Madrid but that probably had a lot to do with our guide there that lives in the city.

Abdullah Iskandar said...
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