I found my Spain

Tapas are not just a tourism gimmick, they are a real, delicious part of Spanish life. In the big cities they are everywhere, especially in the evenings when they decorate numerous bars, luring the passing by people to gobble them down with a glass of beer or wine after work.

The Spanish also do know how to throw a damn good festival.

Festivals all over are always good and fun, but what makes one great for me is when it is soaked in tradition. When walking around you can almost sense the time that has past all around you – in the smells that engulf you, the colors and most of all the faces of the people smiling across from you. There is a comfort and warmth in that feeling that is grounding and uplifting at the same time…

…a certain kind of belonging that is so rare this day and age of isolation and individualism.

I have always loved these threads of connection, whenever I string past them.

 

 

 

( This is not modern Spain though. I am still trying to figure out if I like that one.)

 

 

 

It is not old Spain I am falling in love with, even though it is a charming version.

The Spanish people are like an inviting embrace around me, sometimes in the big grin that invites me behind the counter to get what I need despite my lack of language or in the late night impromptu tour walk through town, or in the young men that poured out of the youth club moments after the garage door jammed …and fixed it, so now it works better than before.

I found my Spain while sipping local wine, laughing with new friends, trying to understand more Spanish or is it Catalan…oh, who cares, learning my first less savory words and scraping the bottom of the paella pan to eat the caramelized surprise there.  Because anyone will tell you, it is the best part.

The best of my Spain is in its people, no doubt.

 

P.S. We are still without Internet, which is supposed to grace us hopefully this week. I miss you all.