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Posted by Marley Beard on July 05, 19107 at 16:05:46:

Hola all,

Thanks for all the notes. I'm still in a slow zone here; it's taking a while to get back to this time slot for some reason --- maybe all this heat in the desert. I got used to a little bit cooler in Spain.

Spain was wonderful as you all can imagine. I was so glad to be back revisiting some old stomping grounds and exploring places I didn't see while I lived there.

I did spend my first night in Zaragoza; rented a car after arriving in Madrid and drove to Zaragoza but was off the next morning for the coast to meet up with a friend. Spend a week in Salou just south of Barcelona and took the local train in to Barcelona for a day trip. It did not strike me as being particularly dirty but I was in the main tourist areas also; perhaps they keep it up a bit better there. I did see graffiti all over Spain Mike; some of it was actually quite artistic. There doesn't seem to be any effort by cities or private individuals to cover it up. Talking to a taxi driver about it, he said that it is history repeating itself, maybe in a somewhat different expression -- but still an expression of the young people.

I went from the coast up near Barcelona and flew down to the southern coast near Malaga; then drove from there through the central part of the country back to Zaragoza where I spent four days. Joan I think my memory works like yours; there is much I have forgotten and the city is so different now it was like experiencing a new place. Now I do remember the hambergesas which were just incredible but had forgotten the name of the place; was Pago Pago's the Italian place where we got pizzas so often when the disco's closed during sets? or was it the Polenisian place? None of which I saw any signs of now. I walked and walked all over the place. The tubes are all gone Pam. I had known that from others. You could tell in some streets that they had been part of the tubes but mostly it is a pretty modern city now. Barb I think you have been back more than the rest of us. And Pam, I did see Hotel Aragon and think it was the Corona de Aragon. Dave-if there is any American radio I didn't hear it anywhere; I ran searches on the radio off and on while driving; there was one station that played alot of American rock but it was a spanish station; I bought a few CD's while I was there: one a selection of Spanish Guitar from various spanish players; one from a violinist playing on the street in Zaragoza; and a couple from Monserrat near Barcelona; didn't care too much for what was playing on the radio so these kept me content in the car driving between cities. I visited the Pilar several times including the first evening I was in Spain. Lynne, Maria was not dressed but still very beautiful; there has been so much restoration and they are working now on restoration on the opposite end of the cathedral from where the bombs hang. I did ride the ascensor up the North tower and look out over the city, taking several photos. Now, Marti, Beethovens is long gone, also Samantha's which was my favorite -- and Sharon I don't even remember the American Bar or the Las Vegas Cub. These were downtown somewhere?? Okay, what else... Barb, I did get to the Monaterio de Piedra -- a definate on my do list; I spent the night at the Monatery the day before going back into Zaragoza. I have pictures and video of more waterfalls that you can imagine. It was a wonderful stay. The park downtown in Zaragoza has changed alot from what I remember--a place where you could almost get lost among the grass and trees. The city has encroached on the sides and there are streets that come in from the sides up to the top. The entry is still grand with all the fountains. Along the Rio Ebro near the Pilar they are working on park areas that will probably be wonderful when it is all completed. Dan, there will definately be photos coming. I have got them downloaded to my computer but haven't had the energy yet to get them organized. I am planning on posting (or letting you post :) them for me; a grouping of the Zaragoza and Monasterio photos.

If anyone is interested in a copy of a CD with the whole photo selection of Spain and/or some of the travel notes for it all, let me know and I'll be glad to get one to you. I covered a lot of territory. After leaving the Malaga area I spent a week driving back to Zaragoza and was in a different city each night: Cordoba; Guadalupe; Toledo; Avila; Segovia; Soria; Monasterio de Piedro; to Zaragoza; from Zaragoza I drove back to Madrid and spend my last day and a half in museums before coming home.

Take care everyone,

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