Today, on the way out of the hostel. Yanira stopped me to tell me that the travel agent would not be at work tomorrow for me to pick up the tickets to Granada, (there is a fiesta tomorrow) and therefore I needed to pick up my bus tickets today. That meant now.
Yanira was in a hurry to get to her German language class, and she offered to go with me, but because of the time squeeze, we had to get the tickets at the bus terminal, instead at the travel agent’s office.
Off we went. Yanira was my guide, protector and friend as she led me to the subway, watched me put the ticket into the right slot (after several tries), and got on the correct subway, with me and then get off at the right station.
She was my voice at the ticket booth and all I had to do was pay. But after we walked away, she had another question: would Laureen have to change bus companies in Madrid?
She waited, not in line, but behind the next person, and gently asked the person who was next in line, in back, if she could butt in and ask a question. “Go ahead,” the gentleman said.
The question was answered, “no, Laureen only has to change buses, not companies.”
I left Yanira at the bus stop where she would head over to her class on another subway and I headed to Casco Viejo, the old part of town…in the rain. I find umbrellas cumbersome, and never use one. I prefer to get soaked. At least it’s cool.
The weather has been humid and hot. So the rain we have had all day was welcomed.
Yanira is from Cuba, as stated before. She met her Spanish husband while she was working in a Cuban hotel. She has been married to him for twenty years and they have a son and daughter. Her mother also immigrated to Spain from Cuba.
Back to the roaming around inside the Casca Viejo:
I found the city library and went inside the stately old building, with stained glass windows, lots of wood and wide stairs that go up to another level. I asked in Spanish if there were any English newspapers, and the librarian directed me to two, both from England.
The library tables are slanted to hold books at a comfortable level with a light above each reader’s space.
It’s amazing to see how much American news there is in foreign papers.
After reading I continued my roaming around in the old town, and the fact that I was in Spain was the only thing I knew for sure about my location at any given time.
But, after going into one of the bar/restaurants and ordering a pie shaped tortilla and a cafe con leche, I only had to ask how to find the subway – or metro as it is called.
One gentleman went outside with me and pointed to the direction.
The bars, restaurants, lobbies and other buildings just strike me as classy. Most interiors are dark wood, unique lighting – some of it very old chandeliers – and upholstered furniture. The coffee I ordered came in a delicate cup and saucer with a cookie and served by the bar tender, as if it was as important an order as the two businessmen in the corner drinking wine and sparkling water.
I got back to the hostel in the rain, and took a photo of how it looks outside of my window.