Marcia and I greeted the New Year last night in the mobbed periphery of Madrid’s historic Puerto del Sol, which serves as Spain’s own Times Square for purposes of counting down the final seconds of one year, then welcoming the next one with fireworks and festivities. We both completed the Twelve Grapes ritual, eating a dozen green globes between the first and last tolling of Sol’s central clock tower, thereby guaranteeing us good fortune through 2023, per local tradition. It was exciting and interesting to be in the midst of such a felicitous public assembly.
This morning, we rose early and took two trains northward, one high speed to Zaragoza, and one not so high speed on to Bilbao. This is our first time in Pais Vasco, and both the countryside surrounding and the capitol city of this autonomous community are lovely on first day’s blush. We’ll be visiting Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum tomorrow, and we have two good meal options reserved to inundate in this region’s rich culinary traditions.
I’ll do my usual photo album of this entire trip when we get back, but as an interim teaser, here’s a bonus installment of my 10,000 Words series, featuring ten pictures taken during our first five days in Spain, in no particular order. We’re not even halfway through this vacation, which feels really great, for our first trip abroad in three years. We’ve got plenty more to see and learn about and eat. And then eat some more. Yum! (As always, you can click any photo to enlarge it, should you so desire).