Jan's View

By HarlingDarling


It was a long day!
Up almost before it got light.
Mike drove down to town and we got on the bus.
Cheerful voices, excitement, energy, talk.
And a long drive, broken by coffee in a tiny café.
Spanish toilets didn't meet Portuguese standards, no paper!
(no seat, plenty of wet floor and smell)
And off again, via the bullring to buy tickets, arriving in the city centre around 10.
Wandering, looking, wondering who the statues were, why they had decapitated heads in hands...
Women dancing, many spotted dresses, flying shawls, flowers in hair.
Moorish evidence everywhere, patterns, shapes, colours.
Generous wide streets, cycle lanes marked by metal discs in the cobbles.
The Feria is still in full flow so lots of flowers in lots of women's hair, elegant clothes, very high heels.
Interesting combo with cobbles.
Extravagantly beautiful women, suited, dull men.
We stopped often, for a coffee, an ice cream, a beer, some tapas, a sit down.
Cold tomato soup, chips with various sauces, fried aubergine rings.
Queues for things were avoided, it is lovely to stroll and see things, by the river was a delight.
Purple Jacaranda trees, in bloom, like froth - purple heaven for a purple lover!
Boat ride, many bridges, many buildings, much sitting down with feet up!
A good breeze was welcome, it was getting warmer and we sought out shade. 
Specially me.
People were friendly and helpful, some were incredibly stressed, space in bars is tiny.
Toilets do not meet Portuguese standards, at all.
One random lady that Daveen asked for directions to a good tapas place walked with us for several blocks, letting her husband take charge of a pram and their three little daughters.
The Feria meant many places were closed, but we found food, and high stress levels at a bar full of locals.
It also meant we saw more horses and wagons than I've ever seen in my life if you added all previous sightings up!
And more superior looking people with sombreros, and whips, and attitude.
There really was a lot of street theatre to be had all day long!
And we ended the day calmly, half a block away sharing more tapas outdoors, a tuna salad, delicious roasted salty peppers.
More expensive than stressville up the street, more conducive to conversation.
And the toilets almost reached the dizzy heights of Portuguese toilets.
Back to the coach, everyone in good time, everyone content.
Quieter, but not subdued.
"How was the bull fight?" "All six bulls died" said smiling, happy.
Then hours of driving in the dark with almost everyone asleep in some weirdly uncomfortable position or other.
There were little bars and cafés still open, or just closing for the night as we whizzed through villages..
Life is lead in different ways, at different ends of the day in different places.
Off the bus around 12.30, driven home to our caravan accommodation and into a warm and soft bed in no time.
A day of impressions, tastes, smells, meetings, spent in good company, a day to remember.

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