- Faraway Places – Margaret Whiting hit song of 1948
Castles in Spain – My childhood friend W mentioned that she was planning to make a trip to the area in Spain from which emigrated some of the families she had known during her Peace Corps service in Peru. She thought maybe she would stay an extra week in Madrid to see the art museums. Naturally, I invited myself to come along.
My contribution to the trip was a further extension of a third week to accommodate a visit to my niece J who lives with her Spanish husband and two children in a smallish town in northern Spain. We planned to travel mostly by bus and train, except for the visit to the smallish town, where we would need to rent a car – something I had never done in all my foreign travel.
Smart thing I did: Hang my plane tickets and passport in an easy access pouch around my neck, so they were visibly THERE at all times and easy to get to even though I was using carry-on luggage.
Dumb thing I did: Omit the last-minute-before-you-leave-the-house check for all necessary documents. Thus I failed to notice that my wallet-on-a-string had snagged itself on a towel bar in the kitchen as I zoomed past and had been pulled out of my fanny pack. Panic in the car on the way to the airport. Go home? Risk missing the plane? Decision to rely on W for credit and ATM for a few days, assuming Capable Husband could find and FEDEX the missing wallet.
Smart thing we did: Book our first full week staying in one hotel central to Extremedura, so we could settle in – and the wallet could catch up with me (which it did, a day earlier than I had thought possible. Blessings on CH and FEDEX!)
Eighteen hours after leaving my house, via car, plane, subway, bus, and taxi, W and I arrived in Caceras, equipped with two Kindles, an iPad, a MacBook, and a cheap cell phone purchased at the bus station for making calls to my niece. We were to become very attached to this phone.
Travel Trivia: Caceras, with its intact medieval Old City, was the second World Heritage Site created in Europe.