For instance, we are renting a small flat instead of staying in a hotel here in Sitges. I like this type of accommodation as it feels more like actually living in the town or city you are in. It does require a bit more planning and effort, but allows you to enjoy some meals at "home" and immerses you a little more into the culture. Grocery shopping becomes part of your day. However, it does take a little longer since all the labels are in Spanish and you do end up with the odd surprise. We forgot the pocket translator back at the ranch and neither of us speak the language, so what we thought was Greek yogurt turned out to be plain sweetened yogurt and we spent at least 5 minutes trying to find dish cloths and garbage bags. They use a completely different type of cloth here and the garbage bags come in rolls, not boxes or flat packages. The we had to determine the sizes and what would normally be a quick toss into the cart turns into a cross-examination in aisle 3. It is humbling to say the least but hours later it was a source of amusement over yet another glass of insanely cheap Tempranillo.
This morning it was the washing machine fiasco. The icons don't even look the same. So I guessed at the dials and hoped for the best, but got it wrong and let's just say the load eventually got done, but whether or not it is really all that clean is debatable. Then the front-loading door refused to disengage the lock mechanism and for awhile it seemed we would be leaving a load of wet towels for the next guests who rent this apartment. These quirky little "first world problems" are really just that however. As I sit here writing this blog gazing out over the azure blue Mediterranean, I have nothing to complain about. These differences are exactly what makes travel an adventure and what propels one out of complacency.
Our timing could not be better in terms of the weather. The wisteria is in full bloom and many flowers, including roses are in their prime right now. The temperature is perfect for hiking and exploring and the evenings are cool for sleeping with no need for air-conditioning. As we make our way further south in a few days, this will change somewhat, but so will the focus of our itinerary.
Tomorrow we are heading into Barcelona for a day of culture. There is a wonderful Picasso museum I want to see and a stroll along La Rambla and through Barri Gothic, a lunch in the El Born area, all of which ought to fill the day before heading back here to our temporary home in Sitges.
For now, Saturday night looms, siesta has passed and it's time to say buenos noches.