Sunday 11 January 2015
6 degrees cold and clear
Wake up in a fog and don't know what time it is. The sky is clearing over the church tower and the streets are deserted. Turn up the air con as it now feels chilly in the room. Back to sleep for another two hours.
There is something blissful about a hotel bedroom. The crisp,white linen, the long bolster pillows so typical of Spanish hotels, the fact that nothing sticks to or in your feet when you walk around the room. Central heating. Long, deep baths full of piping hot water and a selection of scented bubbles. The luxury of lazing in bed, reading a magazine whilst catching up on the news of the day and listening to people down in the street. The news is that over two million people turned out onto the streets of Paris to voice their support for the right to free speech and to say they are not afraid. The newspapers are afraid. Not a one of them has published any Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
Spanish people start to emerge and move around at about 10 am. I usually go out and wander the streets for a couple of hours, taking picture and drinking coffee when I find the occasional bar open at 8 am onwards. Spanish is coffee is wonderful - fresh ground beans and heated milk shot with steam into the silky black café solo. We find a bar with some life and sit by the window and order cafés con leche, croissants à la plancha con mermelada and zumo de naranja.
The museum and art gallery is open and OH is delighted to find, free entry on Sundays. Stupendous Roman floor mosaics taken from Roman villas. Retablos (back altar pieces) dating from early to late medieval and the colours as fresh and bright as if painted today. On peering closely at a little triptych, I note the choristers have very bored expressions on their faces and sense the ennui of the person who painted it 450 years ago.
Leave at 1.30 and drive home leisurely.