Laura and Dave's Spanish wander travel blog






The moving sidewalks of Old Town, Vitoria


The healing process

After the loud station greeting, Stu escorted us - via a very quick coffee - back to his barrio where we joined him picking up his son, Aimar from nursery. Aimar was kind of terrified of us for at least fifteen minutes until we integrated ourselves playing toy cars while Stu made a lovely paella that would make Jamie Oliver flush with pride and a Spanish gourmet froth with rage (it contained chorizo).

During lunch, Stu also instructed me into how to pick up the keys from the non-English speaking airbnb caretaker, Benita. This led to silence in the lift to the fourth floor before me exclaiming 'perfecto' to everything shown to us. I have no idea, but I expect the conversation went like,

Benita: And this is the bathroom (spoken in Spanish)

Dave: perfecto, perfecto...

Benita:... and this is the shower and bidet for washing your arse

Dave: perfecto, perfecto....

Benita: and this is the clause that allows me to charge you fifty euros if you don't take the bins out

Dave: perfecto, perfecto...

And so on.

Anyway, the flat was lovely. Stu lives in a beautiful area of Vitoria-Gastiez which is the capital of the basque region of Spain and itself a lovely city. Laura and I met Stu, Aimar and Itxaso in a local park that evening where Aimar and I played 'yellow ball' (football with a yellow ball) and kicked the heads of dandelions.

I would like to note here that Aimar took a real shine to me and constantly referred to me as Dave while barely if ever remembering Laura's name unless it was prefixed with 'Dave and'. I only mention this as every other child we've met (including nephews and nieces) barely acknowledge my existence and usually treat Laura as some heavenly Oracle and me as someone that can fetch Laura when she's not around. So it was nice (/to be smug) and have Aimar treat me as his new best friend.

The following day we met up with Stu once Aimar was at nursery. Stu bringing hamper of tasty regional foodstuffs which to be fair could generally be summarised as 'meaty' and in one case cheesey (with a meaty aftertaste). There was also some quince and Rioja. All was enjoyed and I started to realise my time in the Basque region would probably constitute being a participant of binge pig eating. And not mainly vegetarian.

Stu also took us on a tour round the centre of Vitoria. My highlight being a small tasty breakfast pintxo, coffee and orange juice for only three euros. Stu's highlight I suspect was, while wandering through tourist tat shops finding the much coveted fantasy football league Celedon Cup. Named after the local Vitoria hero, who for reasons no-one can explain, ziplines down into the main square once a year using a small umbrella while 40,000 local people go loco.

As an aside Stu's highlight may also have been the undoing of twelve years of hurt as we presented him with a rotisserie chicken in a sainsbury bag. For Stu's healing the story of why won't be related but please take a moment to check out the photo of the healing process.

The end of the second day in Vitoria I realised with Stu around I had used next to nada Spanish so spent the evening watching a courtroom based episode of SpongeBob Squarepants (and drinking Rioja) to improve my Spanish vocabulary.


Tio - dude

Madre Mia - My goodness/My god

Sin problema - It's not a problem

No hay mas preguntas - I have no more questions

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