Friday, August 17, 2007

Spanish Adventures

I've spent more time on the dog portrait adding some shading and detail to the fur. I can never get a good representational image from a scanner or photo. The original is much crisper and clearer. I'll continue to work on it over the weekend if I have a chance.

Many years ago I travelled to Spain with my oldest daughter who was just 18 months old then. I was by myself, travelling there to meet my husband who worked in the oil industry. He was on a seismic ship exploring for oil and gas off the coast of Spain, based out of Tarragona.

I was living in England at the time and ripe for an adventure, even with a small child, so I jumped at the chance to explore another country and culture. There were a few snags.

After arriving in Barcelona in early evening, I was supposed to have been met by either my husband or the company transportation, but I couldn't find either. A gentleman was on the same plane saw me looking obviously lost and came to my rescue. His Spanish was better than mine and we figured out that I was being met by a taxi driver. Who was looking for someone with two children. After a confusing conversation, I was packed into the taxi and sent on a journey from Barcelona to Tarragona.

It was dark by now and I didn't have a clue where I was going or with who and felt rather anxious. More so when we stopped at a crossing and a guard stopped next to the car. He wore a large cloak and carried a machine gun. Welcome to Spain.

The taxi driver tried to be kind but his English was a limited as my Spanish and we spent the couple of hours of the drive listening to a football match on radio - in Spanish while he kept offering cigarettes and I kept saying no. My daughter slept oblivious to this for most of the journey.

Finally reaching the hotel in Tarragona, I tried to explain that I had no money and it was all 'tomorrow, tomorrow'. Of course my husband wasn't back from sea by then so I had the next adventure of getting to my hotel room again with my poor Spanish and their poor English.
My husband finally did turn up around midnight, by which time I was sound asleep and half scared to death being woken.

The trip was an adventure and I'd do it again in a moment. Spain is a beautiful country with much to see and do. I loved the history of it. In Tarragona there are wonderful Roman ruins, an amazing aquaduct still standing and an amphitheatre. I remember sitting on the terrace of the amphitheatre and thinking of how others had sat there and watched plays, heard songs, saw the seasons pass so very many years ago. There is something quite amazing to ancient history. I love to be part of it, to hold it, sit on it, breathe it in. In 10,000 years what will the history of the 21st century be? Plastic and electronics? Tradespeople are rare, people don't work with their hands anymore. Where are the knitters, the stonemasons, the furniture makers, the artists? Are we a dying breed to be remembered only if we insist on making our mark on today's history?

2 comments:

Robin Neudorfer said...

Great adventure Jeanette.
BTW my daughter and I are knitting squares to be donated to an organization that makes blankets for the elderly. I believe my skills come from not growing up with a TV. A bit odd in my day, but today it would be considered abuse by some. HA

Jeanette said...

That's a wonderful project Robin. I guess I've been knitting for more years than I can remember. Like art, its a relaxant - mostly. :)