Today we have mastered the Spanish breakfast, finally inhaling some baguettes at 1pm. Yes, you read that correctly. We slept in until 9, packed up the apartment, had cups of tea, took on two metro stations, and after doing some unscheduled circle work detours of the streets, wound up at our car hire place. This took, roughly, an extra two more hours than anticipated. So. I WAS STARVING. Karl is lucky I didn't eat him. I didn't even get grumpy. I think.
Let me go back to those breakfast baguettes for a second. Mine had omelette and prosciutto in it. Karl's had prosciutto and an entire wheel of brie. They were utterly sensational. How bread can taste so amazing is beyond me. I'm sure it wasn't just the starvation either.
Speaking of eating. The man at the car hire place was oogling over Matisse, then casually tells us.
"You should just eat her now?"
"Eat her?" I clarify, thinking this must be a translation issue.
"Yes!" He says. "When she is 16, you will want to eat her, but it's much easier to just do it now when she is smaller."
That's so sensible. I don't know why I didn't think of it myself. I just hope he meant eat her because she was naughty and not sexy or something weird like that.
We had booked an infant seat for the car, naturally. But holy shit, you should have seen this thing. It was seriously flimsy, like a cardboard box with a felt cover. And it only fastened to the car with the seatbelt. That meant you could do 360s with it in the seat. It must even just tip sideways for fun. I was not hedging my bets on that thing keeping Matisse safe, or even in her seat for long. So we swapped it for a forward facing seat. I think Matisse is still a tad too small, but at least this seems to meet some of the Australian regulations.
We hit the highway, aiming to get 300km under our belts with one screaming child in the back. This wasn't reminding me of Turkey, but once Matisse fell asleep and I switched the voice on the TomTom to "Ken" things started to sound the same. I had received an email from Gary telling me that only tradies and truckies eat breakfast before 10am, and to get the best food and coffee at the local truck stops. Admittedly, it wasn't breakfast time, but we did just that. The food was pretty amazing. Matisse was gutsing down the paella. And my baked sausages were mouth watering, so was the chocolate croissant, for good measure.
By the time we got to Zaragoza and drove around in circles (and down the tram line by accident) looking for a parking spot, it was 6pm. We needed all of these things at exactly the same time: food, milk for Matisse, toilet, gallons of water, nappy change, wifi to book accommodation, something for Matisse to climb. This little Irish pub in the mall was an oasis for all these things. The magical feeling when I walked in, was indescribable, or possibly, the same feeling Steven and Elaine have every time they enter a pub.
The place we booked was awesome to me because there were chocolates on the counter, table and bed. Karl was moonwalking because there was complimentary oil and vinegar. But he came crashing down in a bad way (not dissimilar to Michael Jackson I guess (sorry Elaine)) when he realised there was no complimentary bread. By this point, I had accidentally eaten all the chocolate so there was nothing to console him apart from a walk to get tapas.
Other awesome things about this place were that a man who looked like James Kennedy owned it, and he generously gave us free parking in the only spot on the street. As you can see, the spot was highly sought after. Did I mention we are driving an A4 Audi? Oh shit. Can anyone handle that understated narcissism?
This was a single car park. He used the small space behind us and wedged himself in between us and a pole. I have no idea how he got in, or out.
We picked a restaurant and ordered food, whatever transpired from the no English, no Spanish dialogue. All I knew was that, we had ordered torro. Bull. How could you go wrong in this place, a shrine to bullfighting with photos of autographed esteemed bill riders all over the walls. It. Was. Amazing. Slow cooked beef knuckle in red wine and other magical flavours. I was in heaven. The calamares was divine too. I have had a similar dish numerous times in the last week and the common denominator is lashings of butter and salt for the grill. I am definitely adding this to the weekly menu when I get home.
Suddenly, there was a massive commotion outside the restaurant, including police. A protest was happening. We couldn't understand a word of it, but there was Hewlett-Packard logos all over the signs. So either they were sponsoring an angry march, or doing something bad. It turns out that it was the latter. Thanks to google translation we gathered further details. They were firing lots of people. Still, decent branding for them nonetheless. Neeeeeeeh.