Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not just a tourist, but part of the family!

We left Gijon on Sunday and made our way to the family home of Marcos’ friends located in a remote village called Valpoesta in the Basque country where we stayed the night. This would have to be one of the major highlights of our trip so far despite the fact that the whole family didn’t speak a word of English. From the moment we stepped into their home though, they accepted us as if we were their own. Thankfully, Marcos and Adri did interpret for us a bit, but we also tried to communicate using lots of hand movements and our phrasebook – although the phrasebook proved pretty useless in this situation! It just didn’t contain what we wanted to say! Lol They cooked us a beautiful meal (first time we had squid ink risotto – surprisingly yum) and we sat around eating and drinking vino (wine) all night, getting merry and having a good laugh trying to decipher what we were all trying to say! It was Tim’s birthday the next day and it was such a special moment when the clock struck midnight and everyone sang happy birthday to him in Spanish and then in English – a rare moment we really should have captured on video. They then cracked open a bottle of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) to celebrate the occasion. It felt so surreal at the time, that we were sitting around the table with a Spanish family, experiencing REAL grassroots culture and incredible hospitality. What an amazing privilege that we were definitely not taking lightly!

We were so mesmerised by their beautiful, multi-level farmhouse - the solid wood beams, colours, textures, shapes and the food on display were straight out of a dream, only this was real! How do you comprehend or take all this in? Their home is situated amongst the mountains of the Basque Country, such a gorgeous location, one that we didn’t appreciate until the next morning because we arrived so late the night before. I won’t forget the moment that I got out of bed and went to the window – I think my jaw hit the floor right then and there! WOW!! Time to pinch myself! Ancient buildings, Church steeple, mountains, lush greenery, dew on the grass…. I literally wanted to capture in a frame every glance at this utter beauty and take it home with me.

That morning, the man of the house (Marcos’ friend Paul’s Dad - can’t remember his name) showed us around an old Church located next door. The Church dated back to 804 A.D. and despite it being extremely run down, it was full of gold detail and displayed the original robes worn by the priests - fascinating and beautiful.

We left there feeling sad because in one night we had become a bit attached to this beautiful family. Paul’s Dad actually had tears in his eyes as we drove away and it really spoke to us about how much love this family has to give. We were blown away.


Post a Comment