December 6, 2015
The next morning we he had to wake up early and eat a quick breakfast of freshly brewed coffee, toast, and homemade cake before jumping in the car to explore the beautiful region of Navarre. It’s so different from other parts of Spain such as Andalucia that it feels like a completely different country.
It was very foggy and a bit eerie when we first stepped out of the house. I excitedly exclaimed ‘Oh, look at the moon!’ because it was glowing in the sky but it turned out to be the sun covered by a cloud. In my defense, it really did look like the moon.
Our first stop was a city called Urdax where we took a tour through the bat-filled caves. I find caves gloomy and a little bit scary because there’s no natural lighting. It was cold and damp inside; we could hear the water gently falling. The coolest thing about the inside of caves is that they are the result of nature working for centuries. One part of the cave was called ‘Room of the three Kings’ because the rock formation resembles the three kings coming to the manger. Whenever I caught sight of the roof of the cave, it reminded me of Balto.
Onward we drove past three-tiered fences keeping in sheep and donkeys. The next stop was actually FRANCE. Yes, we parked the car and walked right over to France. If you are wondering what it looked like, it looked exactly like Spain. The houses were very country and cozy looking. I’m telling you, I really need to get a country house one day. I’ve always wanted to throw open the shutters and stand at the window looking out at the world. I love how you can easily walk over to another country – many people cross over to do their grocery shopping in Spain because it’s cheaper!
After France, we went to a town called Elizondo. The brown and white buildings overloaded with flowers reminded me of Germany. As we walked past the river and through the little streets, I thought again about how much it looked and felt like fall. We stopped for a drink (red wine for me) and the kids had a good time laughing at my Spanish pronunciation and trying to help me fix it. It was cute!!
Finally we made our final stop – Santesteban, where we had lunch. When I say we had lunch, I really mean we had enough food to qualify for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. There was so much food! It never stopped coming: typical Spanish bean soup, bread, croquetas, pasta, and fish. For dessert I had cuajada, a type of curdled milk dish typical of Navarre. It’s eaten with honey or sugar but even so, I did not like it and I have liked everything in Spain so far. Luckily I was able to trade mine with Alicia for cheesecake!!) For my sake, thank goodness Leire was there to make me feel okay about not liking it by saying, “It’s not your fault; it’s the fault of the person who invented it.” Ah, the things kids say. Makes me smile.