The wedding invitation said Marbella. What else could we do but book our flights and dust off the Spanish in Three Months?
As grandparents of the groom, Mom and Dad simply had to be there, and as Michael’s aunt and Available to Travel, I undertook to carry their luggage and chauffeur them around Spain.
We agonised over the itinerary for weeks. Mom and Dad had no desire to see the inside of another museum or cathedral, having travelled extensively all their lives and seen the inside of every cathedral in the British Isles and a fair portion of Europe. So that left out most of the usual tourist spots and left us with the Spain that the Spanish live in. We agreed that seeing how the people go about their daily lives would form the basis of the trip, with the cherry being their grandson’s (my nephew’s) wedding to his beautiful Spanish bride in Marbella.
When we found that we could fly into Madrid and leave from Paris on the same ticket, I persuaded my parents (with no difficulty) to spend a week in Paris after the wedding, seeing as we would be in Europe and they had never been there.
Dad booked all the accommodation and car hire on line, no mean feat for an 83-year-old, and I sorted out my passport renewal and international driver’s licence, not without some trepidation about driving on the wrong side of the road, or the right side depending on your point of view. My main concern was the left-hand drive aspect, as I am left-handed and would then have to change gear with my right hand. I have difficulty with the words ‘left’ and ‘right’, not being able to quickly distinguish between the two when being given verbal directions and relying completely on visual cues, such as arrows. I gave myself a mental slap on the head to remind myself that I was not completely incapable and to just take it in my stride when I got there, but I still had a few sleepless nights.
This is an account of what happened, written in our journals as we progressed along the byways of Spain and boulevards of Paris. It reveals how everyone sees things differently and provides a perspective from a few points of view, documenting the same events in a style that is unique to each one. I hope you will enjoy the trip as much as we did!