It’s been awhile since we l
istened to 80’s music took a road trip so we set off last week for a small jaunt to northern Spain. We already have a relaxing apartment on the coast and we didn’t really want to pay double lodging, but sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet for an aqueduct and a famous museum.
Our first stop was Segovia, to see the aqueducts. We were very impressed by their massive structure and how well they were maintained. Many people feel like the one is Segovia is one of the best preserved in the world. So it was definitely worth a road trip. Segovia also knows how to do tourism, as they outlined the path of the water that was underground and led us to the Alcazar, which was a beautiful building that can really only be described as part castle and part royal residence. All along the way were these cool bronze plaques that told you that you were on the right track. The Plaza Mayor and Cathedral were also beautiful and great to explore on a sunny morning and afternoon.
While wandering around Segovia the girls and I enjoyed exploring the gift shops and collecting small items to put in tiny tins we fill from each country. We noticed how many pig items were in each store, but we had no idea why, so we had to research it. (Sidenote: we told Dan that we were learning new things by being in the stores. He was unconvinced.) Turns out Segovia has a very well known traditional dish of suckling (young) pig. OK! We know what we are having for dinner! Many restaurants serve it looking pretty similar to how it looked in the barnyard, only laid out in the sun too long. We made sure to order it at dinner but we asked for the “make it look more like chicken” version. Even Haley, who has avoided pork products since stumbling across a pig slaughterhouse in Panama, took a bite and thought it was pretty tasty.
We decided to add on a quick trip up to Bilbao so the girls could go to the Guggenheim museum and we could dip our toes into Basque country. The Guggenheim was a departure from our latest museum experiences that mostly contained “old art and old wars” and instead we were viewing modern art this time. Zoe was much more intrigued by this but the rest of the family had a hard time getting into it.
We weren’t in Bilbao very long but we were there long enough to notice how different the language was. We are used to hearing various dialects around Spain. Most of the time they appear to have some kind of Portuguese / French influence and we can usually figure it out with our knowledge of Spanish. But in Bilbao the dialect was clearly very different and looked a lot more like a Slavic language like Russian. It was fascinating. We didn’t really hear it spoken, however.
After our third night struggling for WiFi and a place for everyone to get a little time alone in a small hotel room, we decided to make it a long driving day back from Bilbao since we knew our cool, comfortable, great internet apartment on the coast of Spain was waiting for us. Hotel WiFi just can’t compare. One room for four Shermans is also not our best formula, so no one complained about the 8 hour return drive across Spain, with 80’s music to help pass the time. We were happy to be Home Sweet Home, even if it’s just an Airbnb.