Our spanish family experience
23.01.2013 - 26.01.2013 0 °C
Another 5.5 hours train ride- this time from Santiago de Compostela to Leon. The train passed through some mountains where it had just snowed. It was amazing to see everything around you covered in white. It snowed the day before we arrived in Leon but unfortunately not while we were there . We had promised Belen at Jade's wedding that we will visit her in Leon when we are in Spain. So here we are. When we arrived at the train station, Belen (who incidentally looks just like Blake's mum- must be a long lost twin..) was waiting for us. She took us home and fed us like we hadn't eaten in days. She made a massive pot of lentil & bean soup. (Paulyn: you think eating a whole plate of beans was bad.. try 2 bowls of lentils & beans soup!!!) Poor Blake.. kept getting given more and more food (he is a growing boy apparently). After lunch Belen took us into town which is only 5 minutes walk from home, and pointed a few things out for us to see and do for the next few days. She left us at the hands of the tourist information centre lady and went back to work. We spent the rest of the afternoon, strolling the streets of Leon and walked along the old city walls and accidentally walked into a church service (we just wanted to see the church where the kings of Leon were buried, love their music!). So we just quietly tiptoed in and out of the church. We were exhausted from travelling, so really couldn't be bothered doing much at all. Once we picked Belen up from work, we went off for a night of tapas. Leon is one of the very few places in Spain (besides Granada) that serves free tapas when you order a drink. Finally.. the real tapas experience.
In Spain, they eat lunch between 2-4pm. Have tapas after work around 8pm, then have dinner after around 10. We went out to 3 tapas bars.. So much food and drink.. and we didn't get home till midnight!! We were absolutely buggered..
We had a lunch date with Belen back at home with yummy empanadas and home made vegetable soup. Not sure how she manage to make all these food when she's busy at work. Belen went back to work after lunch and Miguel (Belen's husband) returned from Madrid. We have never met him before and he speaks NOT A SINGLE WORD of English. Our conversations were a bit awkward at the beginning, but once we threw in a few Italian words and hand signs we were best of mates.. everything was fine. We could probably only understand 30% of what Miguel is talking about but he is a really funny and jolly guy to be around.
He took us out for a walk to check out the river, and the Parador (like the one we stayed at in Santiago, but this one used to be prison and a barracks). We then picked Belen up from work and went out for Tapas AND dinner!!! We didn't get home till 1.30AM!! Not sure how they could get home so late and still get up early to go to work...
We decided to check out the Parador de Leon during the day. We saw it at night last night, but we thought we check out the inside too. It is very similarly decorated as the one we stayed at in Santiago. But still it was really cool.
We went back to check out the church in which Leon's kings were buried in. We didn't see any kings.. apparently they are in the museum next door. Oops..
Miguel & Belen came home for lunch and cooked up a feast for us. They both seem to work only for half the day of Fridays.. or maybe because we were there. But anyway, it was nice of them to come home and hang out with us.
Marina (their daughter) came back from Galicia. She took us out to experience the Leon night life with her mate Hector (Jade: its not her bf!!). She made us try Morcilla which is pigs blood, rice, onions and spices (ie. blood pudding)- surprisingly it didn't taste too bad. We went to 5 tapas bar in the span of 3 hours. Everyone was pretty drunk by the time we got to the 4th bar. I suppose that's why they serve you tapas to sober you up. Hehhe.. We finished up at the discoteca.
Morcilla; YES.. that is rubbish on the floor!! Apparently it is normal for them to just throw their rubbish on the floor (only in bars though!!). It felt really strange throwing our rubbish on the floor, but kind of therapeutic..
Day 4: Australia Day
We celebrated Australia Day in Spanish style with Pigs ears; Paella; & sea urchins. The pigs ears look fatty but it is actually all cartilage. It actually doesn't taste too bad. Paulyn: you made it sound soo bad!! It was actually quite tasty .
Every Spanish person will say that their mother cook the best paella. And i can say that Belen does cook THE BEST paella!! Unless of course Paulyn, you think yours is better (which incidentally is Belen's paella's recipe!! ) Miguel went a little overbored with sea urchins- he bought 3 plates full of them. Blake wasn't a fan of it, but luckily Miguel loves it. Hahaha..
That saturday night we went out with Marina to see her friends band at a bar. I (Blake) was told it was rock and roll but I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that they are a Led Zeppelin cover band (with a chick singer). The guitarist played his guitar with a violin bow, bassist played his base left handed and the singer was just wildly shaking her long hair around. We came out smelling of stale cigarettes and beer (as you should at a rock gig) and made our way home 'early' at 1am. When we decided to go to bed at 2am Belen and Miguel were still awake watching TV. Pretty bad when parents stay up later watching TV than we did partying
We had an amazing time with Belen and the family. Belen got a little teary when she dropped us off the next day. She sent us off with a bag full of food that can last us days.. Miguel packed us his jamon and tomato sandwiches (which Blake absolutely loved so much that he ate my other half of the sandwich.. What a little piggy!!) and Belen even made us soup to before sending us off at the train station.. We were VERY well looked after during our stay and we definitely won't be hungry for the next few days. Plus we've managed to mould our rubbish Italian into even more rubbish spanish, enough to get basic ideas across anyway...