Things you learn when you travel

More Observations Posted

trekker2013's Blog

Seat bottoms are very hard in an Airbus !

Jet Lag lasts more than a day !

Brews are very tasty. Spend 2 Euros for a tall brew and you get 5 Euros worth of Tapas for free. How does that work?

A Quarter Pounder with cheese is called a McRoyale. Ha.

Buy a soda and it comes with a glass ! NO STYROFOAM CUPS.

If you get a glass with one ice cube, it is like a lotto win.

The United States is the trashiest place you will ever find.

Truth in advertising?  Saw a billboard in front of a cafe, Great pictures of the table fare. A great looking “Sub” type sandwich was pictured, loaded with meats, cheese, tomato and lettuce.
Couldn’t communicate what I wanted so I took the proprietor outside and polnted. Oh, Si Si Senor. Soon I had a 4 ” sandwich. A hard roll…

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Where I have been

Late July, I was really bearing down on my preparations to leave for Spain and the Camino de Santiago. So excited to get going. Then a phone call from my long-time friend Jim. He told me his brother Paul has Cancer. The three of us were friends for more years than most of you have lived. Paul and I first met before I was in 1st grade. Many tough nights pondering what to do.

Three Friends 2013 600X800

I decided to go to Spain. My thoughts were consumed with my friend. I carried a stone on my Pilgrimage for Paul that came from Lake Ontario about 3 miles from his home. I left the stone for him at the Cruz de Ferro. I am not ashamed to tell you I had a serious melt-down at that point.

Shortly after my return from Spain, I was back in the Air to New York State. I found my friend to be very weak and frail, not the Gun-ho, Semper-fi Marine that I knew. So hard to hold it together for him. I was told he had stage 4 Cancer in both Lungs and one kidney. Just didn’t seem fair for a Non-drinker/smoker. He was in no pain ,very upbeat and optimistic. Denial, I am sure. On my last visit , He asked if I would return in the Spring to go Salmon fishing with him. That was Monday 11/11/2013. The next morning, found me jetting back to Texas. That evening, he had difficulty breathing and passed away at the hospital. 73+ years. God’s Peace my friend.

http://www.lockportjournal.com/obituaries/x819417333/Paul-R-Austin

Things you learn when you travel

Seat bottoms are very hard in an Airbus !

Jet Lag lasts more than a day !

Brews are very tasty. Spend 2 Euros for a tall brew and you get 5 Euros worth of Tapas for free. How does that work?

A Quarter Pounder with cheese is called a McRoyale. Ha.

Buy a soda and it comes with a glass ! NO STYROFOAM CUPS.

If you get a glass with one ice cube, it is like a lotto win.

The United States is the trashiest place you will ever find.

Truth in advertising?  Saw a billboard in front of a cafe, Great pictures of the table fare. A great looking “Sub” type sandwich was pictured, loaded with meats, cheese, tomato and lettuce.
Couldn’t communicate what I wanted so I took the proprietor outside and polnted. Oh, Si Si Senor. Soon I had a 4 ” sandwich. A hard roll split with one slice of cheese. That is all, no mayo, just bread and cheese , just grande.

Street signs are nearly impossible to find. Some buildings  have a street sign if you know where to look.

Stop signs are very rare. Intersections almost everywhere have ‘Round-abouts’. No one stops ! Just on you go, pick an exit and off you go, simple.

You leave your room key when you leave the building.

Motion detctor lights every where.

Took a cab to check on a car rental. Asked him to wait while I was there. Said okay and turned off the meter while Iwas inside.. New one on me.

Trains in Europe are mileniums ahead of the U.S. Fast, on time, frequent, quiet and cheap.

The rains in Spain do NOT fall mainly on the plain. They fall in Galicia.

Terrible traffic in the cities , but almost no horn blowing.

First time in a hotel? Leave your room, get on elevator and press 1. Surprise , you will end up on the second floor. (American) In spain, the ground floor is Numero Zero. After thinking about it, it makes sense. 🙂

When travel by train at 200+KMH do not try to look at nearby items going by, it will give you a headache. Also be prepared, when a train passes going the other direction, 4 ft from your face, it happens in far less than a second and it will get your attention.

Driving: Highways were Amazing! different story in towns and Cities. Very little signage there. Some buildings will have a small sign on the corner. but many streets will have Four or more words in the name, so if you are going more than 5 km/hr, you will not see the sign or be able to read it even if you do see it. Strongly urge you to get a free APP with GPS. NO POTHOLES anywhere ! How does that happen? Saw a crew of Six workers, All 6 were working, not the usual 1 worker and 5 observers. Truckers….On the Super highways, all truckers stayed to the right and were always under the posted 120 km/hr. Not one time was I passed by a truck and I was never speeding. If you own an Audi or Mercedes, there is NO speed limit. At least that is my observation.

How does Ibiza make a Diesel powered engine for their cars that has plenty of power and gets 45 MPG ???? I want one ! (Yes, I converted from km/liter)

Chamartin train station in Madrid is a very busy place.

Spains version of the TSA get really grouchy when you video them.

Ever seen a pastry with a fish inside right next to a pastry with apple inside? I have.

Buy a salad mix? You better like oil and vinegar, If you want anyting else,  bring it with you.

About the only condiment you get is sugar. Lots of sugar. With a cup of coffee, you will get two Huge packets of sugar. Each contains a heaping Tablespoon of sugar. Not kidding.

Coffee can curl your hair. Starting to like itl

Street people looking for money followed me here. I didn’t see them on the plane.

An Airbus is actually a human sausage.

Iberia Airline girls are beautiful except for the one that tended to me. 😦

The Royal Family of Portugal get special seating at the Pilgrims’ mass in the Cathedral of Santiago Spain.

No 911 here, it’s 092 or 112 or…. frequent changes so I think if you get seriously injured in Spain , you should carry one of those random dialers that sales people have…. 🙂

Pizza is served COLD! Yuk ! Who came up with that? I’m thinking it was the same person that ate the first raw Oyster.

I was wrong, Chamartin train station is not busy. For real excitement, visit the Atocha train station in Central Madrid. People everywhere ! Trains coming and going everywhere. So efficient ! Just read the signs, purchase a ticket from a machine (Simple, choose your favorite language), check the loading platform # , Stick your ticket in the cattle (human) gate and get on train. Not to worry, if you are at the wrong gate, it will not open. It’s kinda like a ride at Disney World.

Seems like all the Teens in the Cities are smokers……How sad is that.

Hmmm, just realized that everywhere I have been, there are NO screens on windows. I guess you don’t need them if there are no insects. How does that happen? Beautiful Hotel in Alcala. Room on the 8th floor. Window swings Wide open, look straight down !!! Talk about Tail-bone tingle! So if you ever have the urge to do a “Peter Pan”, Don’t go there. 🙂

There is virtually zero wildlife in Northern Spain. Traveled several thousand kilometers and I saw One wild Rabbit at Finisterre,2 Seagulls along the Coast, two Pigeons in Alcala and a small bunch of Sparrows that wanted my Tapas. Saw a lot of Deer, but they were all painted on warning signs. Not a single Road kill either. Strange.

Crossing the border into France from Spain was a BIG let-down. I was expecting a little Guard house with a Red/White pole across the road and a grumpy soldier demanding to see my papers ! No soldier, No guard house, No Red/White pole, no nothing, just a language change on the Road signs. Guess I watch too many old movies. 😦

All the friendly people have left France and now live in Spain. Yikes, what a difference. No problem, the French people will Love us The next time we bail them out from being occupied by Germany again.

Never too old to learn !

Santiago Espana

Santiago Spain is a beautiful place. The cathedral is a very emotional experience.  I´m sorry there are no photos at this point. Lost Ipad yesterday and camera today. Think the lightweight battery charger killed my batteries. Still taking video and still photo with video camera. Many pictures to follow when we return to US.  Starting tour of north coastal regions of Spain tomorrow.  Back injury is no problem today, so hoping for some good days ahead. 

Jet lag

image

Picture taken from my room in Ponferrada. Soooo tired. Closed my eyes and it became 10am. Yikes, like way late..  repack, something to eat and it’s noon. Duh, lm in trouble. Coffee con leche snapped me alert. Wow, right across the street from the Templar (sp) castle. Very impressive. 

All the training paid off. It was a good day for a hike. Cold early, hot late. Made it past Fuente Cacabelas then had to return because albergues were full. Oh, privacy is kind of nice. Saw a forest fire today. Have pictures for later.

Off for Pinchos and servesa.