Spanish Surprises

(Lovely old gate in Palencia)

After lunch we changed plans and decided to move from the beautiful view and my stork and travel a couple of hours here to Palencia. Travelling by motorhome you can do that, travelling by motorhome you sometimes have to do that. Earlier at Bragança the toilet cassette empty station was full to overflowing so we couldn’t empty our cassette. There were no facilities at Puebla de Sanabria so we went on to Palencia.

(Old bridge)

We had a moment of confusing when we were almost there. There was something wrong with the sat-nav. It was 2.55pm and the sat-nav was predicting we would arrive at our destination in five minutes. It also said our time of arrival would be 4pm. But that was an hour and five minutes away. Something was definitely wrong.

(Straight through the park)

It happens every time we cross back over the border into Spain. The time difference. We lost an hour. We will get it back when we land in Ireland. (Must remember to enjoy that.) What do the people who live beside a timezone change do? How do they avoid confusion? Of course it could be really useful when you run out of time to pop across the border and get another hour. Imagine that…

(Cute statue near the cathedral)

Palencia is a very old town with a great free camping place just ten minutes from the sights. There are toilets and showers and something we really need at the moment – a washing machine. I spent the afternoon washing clothes. There’s also a few clothes lines, solar power.

(Old stationery shop)

There’s also a cathedral, churches museums, loads of shops and plenty of restaurants and cafes. We found a lovely tapas bar. Another thing we forget when we cross the border, no one speaks English and there are no English versions of the menu. When I asked the waitress if she spoke English she opened her eyes wide in happy surprise and shook her head to indicate no. French? Same response.

(Post box at the post office)

It was a lovely moment because it was unexpected. She reacted without irritation or apology or sorrow or guilt or disappointment or anything negative. She seemed genuinely happily surprised. Almost like she couldn’t wait to see what might happen next.

(Wine bottle light fittings at the tapas bar)

What happened next was we discovered we know far more Spanish words than we thought. Words like Cerveza (beer) aqua con gaz, (sparkling water) and tapas came tumbling out of our mouths. Now we were smiling with happy surprise too. She pointed us at the tapas section in the menu and then went off to get our drinks. The words in the tapas section were lovely and mostly unfamiliar but they were only €2.50 each so we picked the names we liked.

(Love the coat hooks)

We picked well! They were amazing. The date on top of a rasher (not actual rasher but better if you can even imagine that!) on top of an egg on top of a pepper on top of bread one was the most amazing things I ever tasted. By the time we were leaving we could say multo bene which we hope means very good. It probably does because our waitress was smiling with a different happy surprised look. You know the one parents give to their children when they do something good? Although she was very young. Maybe it’s the look grandchildren give when their grandparents learn to use the remote?

Multo bene, Mairead.