In Spain, Studying The Old World and “The Spanish Way”

Hello from Grazalema, in the mountains of southern Spain. Twenty years ago our family hosted a Swedish exchange student. At the same time, friends of ours in Pocahontas hosted a Spanish exchange student, Alvaro. As the only Europeans at Pocahontas High School, our Thomas Lindquist and their Alvaro Mintegui quickly became best friends, and I, as the “host dad” became a good friend of Alvaro also. We’ve kept in touch through the years, so when I decided to take a vacation this month, I accepted Alvaro’s offer to stay as long as I want at his family’s vacation house in Grazalema (it’s what I’d call a three-story mansion).

If you have followed the link above regarding Grazalema, you know it’s in a Spanish national park in the mountains 90 minutes north of “Costa Del Sol”, the sunny Mediterranean coast of southern Spain. Of course, it’s winter now so it’s cold here, but such is the life of an innkeeper that my vacation should be in January, the “low” vacation season.

Alvaro took time apart from his wife and three boys to come with me to Grazalema, and as luck would have it, two of his friends came to join us here, to enjoy a few days away from wives and kids, in this vacation town of 2000 people and all it offers: scenery, good food, and alcohol.

I’ll post below a photo from last night at one of the local pubs. Me in the middle, with Alvaro on the right and his buddy Javier on the left. Friend Eduardo took the photo. I headed back to the vacation house at 4 a.m. for a good night’s sleep. I heard these “children” arriving home at 7 a.m.! They say it is the Spanish way, even for them, at nearly age 40!


3 Replies to “In Spain, Studying The Old World and “The Spanish Way””

  1. robert carroll

    When I saw the e-mail, I thought someone had hacked your website, but now after identifying you in the photo, it is clear that it was you. From the looks of the photo and the hour of your departure, I hope you were not driving and that you will keep cash on your person at all times sufficient to make bail .

  2. Patrick

    Pace myself. Now you tell me! The hour of departure from the pub is really not like that hour in America. The Spanish sleep until 10 a.m., eat lunch at 3 p.m., and don’t go out for the evening meal until 10 p.m. So 4 a.m. to the Spanish is like midnight to Americans. My Rick Steves travel guide advises, “do not buck this system”. When in Spain, do as the Spanish do. A normal bedtime is 2 a.m.

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