SUE JACKSON Therapist/Writer/Photographer/Activist

Last year, as the unofficial blogger/photographer to the anti-East-West Link campaign, our battles were my blog's entire focus. But by Christmas, with the electoral win for people power and the dumping of the dud Tunnel, I was suddenly at a loss. What to write about now? Not sure yet. But there will be ongoing musings and images from this Australian life. So please leave a message. (No need to sign into an account. Simply comment as ‘anonymous’; then leave your name within the comment itself.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

En mi casa

The view of the Los Picos mountains from our hotel, Posada del Valle

Segovia's Roman Aqueduct

Hola!
We have been back from Spain for a full 2 weeks now and the smell of paella and orange blossom is fading a little, though not entirely. That is one of the frustrations of travel, you can bring back images, but the wonderful sounds, like the church bells and cow bells and the sharp rat-a-tat-tats of the storks of Northern Spain and the evocative smells like orange blossoms, paella and even Barcelona's eau de drains aren't transportable. I just wish they were, although on second thoughts, I'm happy to leave the drains behind. I'll never forget the fragrance of the huge waxy clusters of cream flowers (below) surrounding Segovia's magical Arabic Alcazar, the prototype for Walt Disney's Fantasyland castle. I didn't recognise the tree, so if you do, I'd love to hear from you.

The Alcazar in Segovia

Particularly because the white history of Australia is so very short, I can never get over the sheer length of time that people have been going about their business in Europe. One evening we sat to the left of the 2000 year old aqueduct (the one you can see at the top of this post) - I was too scared to sit underneath in case it chose that night to fall down - drinking our vino tinto and savouring our tapas and watching the swallows swooping between the arches and the storks flying overhead. I could almost hear the marching feet and clinking breast plates of the Roman legionnaires who could have winked at us as they passed.

We spent almost a whole week drinking in the sights at the World Heritage Los Picos mountains. Spring is absolutely the time to visit Spain, when the hedgerows are full of briar roses, wild irises and elder flowers and the bees are wild with buzzing energy. We stayed at a hotel on an organic farm, called Posada del Valle, where they breed local threatened species of sheep and produce most of the food served at the hotel themselves. Highly recommended.

That's enough for today. The only thing I don't miss about Spain is the very late evening meal. 'I get too hungry for dinner at 8', let alone 10, so I'd better start thinking about cooking now. And by the way, thanks Peter for the great photos, which you may have noticed I have now learned to incorporate in my blog.

Hasta la vista!