Photo- Granada
©1999 Photo: Robert Altman

Carrera del Darro, Granada

December 20, 1999
Granada, Spain

In the beginning was the notion:   Spain by whim.

How romantic. The siren beckoned.

Add a merry automobile.

Slow dissolve with a sharp piano chord signaling reality's ignoble slap. The old wake-up call. Wet mop in my face time.

It fried my nerves as I lurched unknowingly toward each new city- and there were eight of them. Strange streets where my High School Spanish didn't have a chance; traffic and tension permeated; deciphering a map in a moving car? Yeah right. You try that one navigating solo.

I enter "New Town." I flag the first taxi. He leads. I follow...gratefully. Hey, I find my hotel, right? Fuggin' Yanks. Resourceful to the end.

I am still searching for the magic travel formula. I tried the one city approach... Paris for 10 days, which was fine but I missed the rest of the country.

In April I varied the recipe... the U.K. for another 10 days. I reluctantly split London (what an incredible town) after 5 glorious days and hurried to Bath, York and Edinburg. Too much, too soon. I raced back to London just to squeeze in one more day.

I gave myself two and a half weeks to discover España. Well friends, too many cities... too little time. My own version of- "If it's Tuesday, it must be the Toledo."

'Nuf whining. Who's kidding who? I had a blast. More!

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