In true to Spanish fashion, I’m taking things a little more slowly, a little more relaxed. Instead of zooming off to the next sight after lunch, now I’m taking time to appreciate sobremesa (the art of table conversation). Under blue skies and sun, and in 23 degree heat (in mid winter) my body has had to learn to move patiently again.
Spain is entirely different to any other European country I’ve yet visited. For one thing, I think it’s perhaps the most like Australia, nature-wise at least. Secondly, having a family to house me and take me out for lunch and cervezas has turned a wild new land into a home away from home. Thirdly, people are friendly and welcoming here, saying “hola” y “buenas” to everyone. Finally, the Spanish timetable (lunch at around 2-2:30pm, siesta, then dinner at around 9pm) really throws you for a loop. Here, people stay lively ’til late. Night time isno excuse to head inside, especially when it’s so warm.
After the absolute rainy madness of London, coming to quiet and sunny Murcia, on the south east coast of Spain, was absolutely heavenly.
My first airport reunion… After a trip through dark and freezing Germany, a flight over the cracked and fractal Spanish landscape and landing in Alicante airport, to see and hug and kiss a “long-lost” love again… Well, you know, there aren’t words for that, at least none that aren’t overly-poetic, long-winded and cheesy.
After calming down a bit, the Spanish mystery woman, who has been hidden in the subtext of this blog for so long, and I took a bus to her hometown of Murcia. ¡Murcia, qué hermosa eres!
Despite protests and arguments to the contrary, I must say that the southern Spanish countryside is really beautiful. It’s dry and layered, covered in grey green shrubs and dotted with sharp mountains. It is a land I can easily picture knights, one “Knight of the Sorrowful Figure” in particular, riding through to far-off and ruinous Catholic monuments, a place where there is some spiritual magic in the form of a natural test.
Murcia itself, though having only been here (so far) three lazy days, is an interesting place. It’s quiet and busy at the same time, full of hidden places (like a strange secret art exhibition in a renovated church), great cafes and restaurants and churro stands. It’s, overall I think, a place to kick back and soak up a bit of Spain before hitting up the truly touristy locations, like Granada, Seville and Madrid.
I couldn’t be happier to be here, finally. It’s been a long and anxious half-a-year of planning and hoping. But now I’ve arrived, go find sun and deep blue skies, I feel the dread stiffness leaving me. A few more big and delicious meals and late mornings will truly recover me.
It’s hard to write about a place that gives you such a pleasant feeling. At least if there are negatives about a place you can complain about them and fill up your imaginary word count… There’s no need to complain here though.
So I’m taking it slow, day by day, hour by hour, to make the most out of my short time here. Here’s to not thinking about the future and being glad in the moment.