Me no hablo espanol
Flying into Santander definitely leaves an impression. The plane’s wheels skim the water of the bay and out the window are lush green hills. Santander itself doesn’t disappoint. Food is hard to come by in the center, but that’s fine because every second shop is an ice cream parlour. You definitely get the impression that the Spanish are very social beings-you can hardly walk a block without coming upon a new plaza or park, and everyone just seems very relaxed and unharried (although this may just have appeared to be the case given that they’d just come off a 3 hour lunchtime siesta). I’m sure all of the vitamin D has something to do with it.
Speaking of the people, they are EXTREMELY friendly. I had so many people stop me to give directions that I had to specifically look up how to explain that I actually knew where I was going and didn’t require any help- can’t say I’ve encountered that kind of language barrier dilemma before.
Settling into the albergue (9 ruamayor) was a similarly interesting experience. Not a hint of English anywhere in sight, let’s just say that after this trip I will kick all of your asses in charades. Luckily a-you guessed it-Irish lad! with sliiiightly more passable English came along and between the two of us we were able to figure out the credentials situation. The albergue was nice enough, and had WiFi in bed! (I know, I’m so western). I realize it sounds entitled but I was a bit disappointed that other than Ireland and I no one spoke any English (or anything other than Spanish, really). I enjoy figuring out ways to communicate with people from other places, but when there’s no middle ground it’s hard to get past anything but the absolute basics.
Basically spent the night figuring out where to go next before turning in around midnight. Slept like a log though, thanks sleep dep?