<<  Aranjuez, 30-Jun-2014  >>

Into Irene's world

Spain, Aranjuez: family, friends, friends, friends, family, family, friends… Royal Palace, gardens and Spanish sun

So I arrived to Spain, to Aranjuez, some 40 km south from Madrid.
This is Irene’s home (well, as much home as Bratislava is for me, she hasn’t really spent too much time living here in the last couple of years).
The first thing I understood was: Irene’s family is HUGE. And they surely do keep in touch. In less than a week I was introduced to some 50+ people, counting just family and close friends. Parents, brothers, cousins, cousins’ wives and husbands, their children, class mates, scouts, pets… It took me at least 2 weeks to organize my brain around all of this and connect the right names with the right faces. I swear I’ve never met so many people in such a short time.

First things first: Aranjuez is a very nice town. It ought to be, it is on UNESCO list. Due to a royal palace and surrounding gardens. The town itself is not so old, it grew around the king’s country residence in 18th century, so it doesn’t seem ancient, but due its fast growth within short time it was built in same style and so it’s center has a lot of charm. And luckily, due to its UNESCO status, construction within the city is regulated and efficiently put limit on any ugly buildings. There’s probably not too much going on in Aranjuez, but it suits me just fine. I’m not fan of crazy metropolises anymore.
Within few days after arrival I was invited to a wedding of Irene’s friends. It’s good to know, that in Spain at weddings they play the same crappy music as in Slovakia. I mean different crappy music, but the same quality. The most surrealistic moment of the wedding was when some Papa Sapo (Daddy Toad) song started and everybody joined in doing some silly Toad dance. Hallucinating. The only song at the wedding which I recognized during the first 2 hours was YMCA by Village People, and that means I’m gay :-)

Needless to say, Irene’s friends and family are all extremely nice, exactly that kind of warm-hearted people you would expect in Spain. Unfortunately, my Spanish is hopeless, so theirs is very limited communication with all the folks, but I hope it’s gonna get better in time.

After just few days we did our first trip to Toledo, which is just around a corner. Toledo is one splendid city and is typically referred to as “city of 3 cultures – Christian, Moorish and Jewish”, but of course the good old Christians kicked out all the Moors and Jews, so those two cultures are represented now only by leftovers of Mosques and Synagogues.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak