The viking / El vikingo

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

SORRY. WE’RE CLOSED. THE BORDERS of the Spanish region of Andalucía, where we live, have been closed until 9 November. Except for justifiable reasons, no one will be permitted to leave or enter Andalucía. We join many other regions of the country in closing our borders. In addition, we’re observing a nationwide curfew between the hours of 11 at night and 6 in the morning. Strange times that just keep getting stranger.

San Geraldo is fine staying home. He’s finding it challenging tolerating the frigid October temperatures. Yesterday, when he waited inside a cafe while I had my teeth cleaned, it was only 62°F (17C)! Can you imagine?

It crept up to a mere 68F (20C) later in the day. You can see in the photos below how well he coped when he went out at 9 last night to pick up our take-away dinner. The temperature had dropped to an Arctic 61 (16C). And to think he grew up in South Dakota with two Norwegian grandparents (and a strong dose of Viking).

Meanwhile, I was out and about in the early evening in a short-sleeve shirt, and got together for a stroll around the nearby Roman ruins with Pedro, Kathleen, Luke, and Beckett. That was enough to warm up even the chilliest of days (which Thursday was not).

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LO SIENTO. ESTAMOS CERRADOS. LAS fronteras de la región española de Andalucía, donde vivimos, han estado cerradas hasta el 9 de noviembre. Salvo por motivos justificados, no se permitirá la salida ni la entrada de nadie de Andalucía. Nos unimos a muchas otras regiones del país para cerrar nuestras fronteras. Además, estamos observando un toque de queda a nivel nacional entre las 11 de la noche y las 6 de la mañana. Tiempos extraños que se vuelven cada vez más extraños.

San Geraldo está bien quedarse en casa. Le resulta difícil hacer frente a las gélidas temperaturas de octubre. Ayer, cuando esperó dentro de un café mientras me limpiaban los dientes, ¡solo hacía 17C (62F)! ¿Puedes imaginar?

Se arrastró hasta un mero 20C (68F) más tarde en el día. Puedes ver en las fotos a continuación lo bien que se las arregló cuando salió a las 9 de anoche a recoger nuestra cena para llevar. La temperatura había bajado a un Ártico 16C (61F). Y pensar que creció en Dakota del Sur con dos abuelos noruegos (y una fuerte dosis de vikingo).

Mientras tanto, yo estaba fuera de casa por la tarde con una camisa de manga corta y me reuní para dar un paseo por las ruinas romanas cercanas con Pedro, Kathleen, Luke y Beckett. Eso fue suficiente para calentar incluso los días más fríos (que el jueves no lo fue).

At the moment the below photo was taken.
Por el momento se hizo la foto de abajo.
On our terrace.
En nuestra terraza.

Lockdown Day 49: Bobby Van, Damn! / Encierro Día 49: Bobby Van, Baile Callejero

THINGS ARE IMPROVING, ALTHOUGH SLOWLY, around Spain. Some of our restrictions have been adjusted. Today is a very special day. San Geraldo and I are allowed to go for walks and exercise between the hours of 6 and 10 in the morning, and 8 and 11 at night. Together if we want! At other times, we can still go out alone to do our shopping, trash-dumping, and the other things we’ve been permitted to do all along.

Early this morning, people were already out on the Paseo and the beach enjoying this bit of freedom. I’m about to join them while keeping my distance. An added bonus is that the sky is clear and the sun is shining.

Soon I’ll be able to share some different views around town. Today, except for the above photo taken from the terrace before I head out, the photos are what I’ve seen in recent weeks. The monk parakeets are much less cautious with fewer people around. The gulls aren’t as common a sight on shore, but they still follow the fishing boats home. There are a couple of views from the other side of the penthouse across the way (click here) and its sunroom. There are images of a youngster and an oldster enjoying the Paseo. Of course, there are flowers. And now, I’m off. See you later!

An added bonus: San Geraldo was out early this morning (no he wasn’t) and I managed to capture his excitement on video. OK, I lie. But it’s what San Geraldo would do if I asked. Or at least it’s what I’d do if I weren’t always responsible for the camera (and don’t forget my ankle).

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LAS COSAS ESTÁN MEJORANDO, AUNQUE lentamente, en España. Algunas de nuestras restricciones han sido ajustadas. Hoy es un dia muy especial. A San Geraldo y a mí se nos permite salir a caminar y hacer ejercicio entre las 6 y las 10 de la mañana y las 8 y 11 de la noche. ¡Juntos si queremos! En otras ocasiones, aún podemos salir solos para hacer nuestras compras, botar basura, y las otras cosas que nos han permitido hacer todo el tiempo.

Hemos leído que debemos quedarnos a 1 kilómetro (.62 millas) de la casa, y eso no es mucho. Por si acaso, ya lo he mapeado 1 km en todas las direcciones (bueno, excepto la dirección del mar Mediterráneo, que solo nos permitiría caminar aproximadamente un minuto y medio; no se nos permite nadar).

Pronto podré compartir diferentes puntos de vista de la ciudad. Hoy, a excepción de la foto de arriba tomada desde la terraza antes de salir, las fotos son las que he visto en las últimas semanas. Los pericos monjes son mucho menos cautelosos con menos personas alrededor. Las gaviotas no son tan comunes en la costa, pero aún siguen a los barcos de pesca a casa. Hay un par de vistas desde el otro lado del ático al otro lado del camino (haz clic aquí) y su terraza acristalada. Hay imágenes de un joven y un viejo disfrutando del Paseo. Por supuesto que hay flores. Y ahora me voy. ¡Nos vemos más tarde!

Una ventaja adicional: San Geraldo salió temprano esta mañana (no, no lo estaba) y logré capturar su emoción en video. OK, miento. Pero es lo que haría San Geraldo si se lo pidiera. O al menos es lo que haría si no fuera siempre responsable de la cámara (y no olvide mi tobillo).

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Lockdown Day 9: Gourmet Breakfast / Encierro Día 9: Desayuno Gourmet

SPAIN’S PRESIDENT PEDRO Sánchez announced Sunday that our two-week lockdown has been extended to four weeks. This news wasn’t unexpected and we’ll do whatever is needed and what is expected of us. We may sometimes whine, but we will not complain. We have it easy in comparison to so many others. We’re proud of Spain and, especially, of the people of Andalucía.

Meanwhile, we try to keep ourselves busy and productive at home. I’ve taken up cooking in earnest. It’s the truth! To prove it, I’ve shared a pictorial recipe of my latest breakfast. If you need me to write it out for you, I’d be happy to. But, somehow, I don’t think it will be necessary.

San Geraldo continues to try and compete with my kitchen brilliance. He’s been cooking dinners that we can have as leftovers for two other meals (usually served in a slightly different way). Saturday night he made beef stroganoff. He was upset, he told me, because he had confused the proportions of milk and flour. As if I would notice. I do, however, know the difference between milk and flour. The meal was delicious. If he keeps at it, he might even reach my level (although I hope he never sinks that low).

I didn’t appreciate how difficult creating a pictorial recipe would be. I had to go back in the kitchen several times after the fact, to reenact portions of the preparation. And, after all that, I forgot to share photos of the heating of the water for the tea. Our electric tea kettle is deceased, so it’s been back to the microwave every morning. I know. I know. It’s not quite as good as real boiled water. Then again, it suits the rest of my meal perfectly, don’t you think? Oh! I also broke the walnuts into smaller pieces before adding them to the bowl. And, yes, as a matter of fact I am getting a little slap happy.

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EL PRESIDENTE PEDRO Sánchez de España anunció el domingo que nuestro encierro de dos semanas se ha extendido a cuatro semanas. Esta noticia no fue inesperada y haremos lo que sea necesario y lo que se espera de nosotros. A veces podemos quejarnos, pero no nos quejamos. Lo tenemos fácil en comparación con tantos otros. Estamos orgullosos de España y, especialmente, de la gente de Andalucía.

Mientras tanto, tratamos de mantenernos ocupados y productivos en casa. He empezado a cocinar en serio. ¡Es la verdad! Para probarlo, he compartido una receta pictórica de mi último desayuno. Si necesitas que te lo escriba, estaré encantado de hacerlo. Pero, de alguna manera, no creo que sea necesario.

San Geraldo continúa intentando competir con el brillo de mi cocina. Ha estado cocinando cenas que podemos tener como sobras para otras dos comidas (generalmente servidas de una manera ligeramente diferente). El sábado por la noche hizo stroganoff de carne. Estaba molesto, me dijo, porque había confundido las proporciones de leche y harina. (Como si me diera cuenta.) Sin embargo, sí sé la diferencia entre la leche y la harina. La comida estuvo deliciosa. Si sigue así, incluso podría alcanzar mi nivel (aunque espero que nunca se hunda tan bajo).

No aprecié lo difícil que sería crear una receta pictórica. Tuve que volver a la cocina varias veces después del hecho, para recrear porciones de la preparación. Y, después de todo eso, olvidé compartir fotos del calentamiento del agua para el té. Nuestra tetera eléctrica ha fallecido, por lo que ha regresado al microondas todas las mañanas. Lo sé. Lo sé. No es tan bueno como el agua hervida real. Por otra parte, se adapta perfectamente al resto de mi comida, ¿no te parece? Oh! También rompí las nueces en trozos más pequeños antes de agregarlas al tazón. Y sí, me estoy volviendo un poco loco.

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Click the below images to increase the daily excitement.
Haz clic en las imágenes a continuación para aumentar la emoción diaria.

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Nothing but the sounds of the sea and the breeze. Very strange.
Nada más que los sonidos del mar y la brisa. Muy extraño.

Did Dolmens. Didn’t Die.

We drove 50 minutes to Antequera Wednesday. We’d been there before (click here and here) but hadn’t explored the World Heritage Site, Bronze Age burial mounds outside the city.

Created between 3000 and 2000 BCE, these “dolmens” are the largest in Europe. When “Dólmen de Menga” was opened in the 19th century, several hundred skeletons were found. Just beyond it is Dolmen de Viera.

A bit further from town is the Dólmen del Romeral. It’s newer, dating back to ‘only’ 1800 BCE. When we arrived at the entrance path, it was swarming with bees. I’m allergic and I didn’t have an EpiPen, so I decided to stay clear.

San Geraldo walked through the bees and went inside. He came out and told me that I really had to see this one because it was so different. He said the bees didn’t seem to be bothering anyone. No way, I thought. “No way,” I said. I refused to take the chance.

But then I said, “Antequera Hospital is just 5 minutes away. OK.”

Inside was wonderful. I was so grateful to have risked tit — especially since I didn’t get stung by the largish, blackish bees. Maybe some kind of Carpenter Bee? They were frenetic. A couple bounced off my bare arms as I passed, but they weren’t at all aggressive.

I feel so brave. And yet, today I think I should pick up a new EpiPen.

(Click the images to see them swell to twice their size… at least.)

VISITOR CENTER AT LEFT. SAN GERALDO IN THE LEAD.
THE TRAIL. DOLMEN DE MENGA IN CENTER.
I LAGGED BEHIND TO TAKE PHOTOS.
I THOUGHT THOSE WERE SAN GERALDO’S BUNS, SO I FOLLOWED.
BUT, THIS GUY WASN’T GOING ANYWHERE.
DOLMEN DE MENGA.
SOME OF THE MEGALITHS INSIDE.
IT LOOKED BOTTOMLESS TO ME. SO GLAD IT WAS COVERED.
SAN GERALDO HEADING BACK OUT.
DOLMEN DE VIERA.
SAN GERALDO IS ALREADY INSIDE.
(TO STAY OUT OF THE WAY OF MY CAMERA.)
SAN GERALDO BACK OUTSIDE.
ON HIS WAY THROUGH THE PARK AND BACK TO THE CAR.
DOLMEN DEL ROMERAL, ALSO CALLED THOLOS DE EL ROMERAL,
FOR THE DOUBLE-DOMED STYLE OF THE BURIAL MOUND.
THE PATH AND ENTRY WERE ASWARM WITH BEES.
PEACEFUL AND SURPRISING INSIDE.
THE PORTAL LEADING TO THE TWO DOMES.
LOOKING INTO THE (BARRED) SECOND CHAMBER.
THAT’S A ROUND MIRROR SET UP TO REFLECT THE SECOND DOME. 

Butterflies

It’s been a long time since we paid a visit to Mariposario de Benalmádena (Benalmádena’s Butterfly Park) just 10 minutes away by car (I guess it helps to have a car), so for Judy’s last day in Spain yesterday (she’ll be back in several months), we drove over and then went to lunch in Benalmádena Pueblo (the old village another 10 minutes away). I’ll share more of the park and pictures from our exceptional lunch. Today, it’s just butterflies. (Click the images to see the flying flowers.)

ONE BUTTERFLY, CONSTANT MOTION.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,

To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow, and beyond.

                                              — Irish blessing

TWO (GOING AT IT).
AGING BUTTERFLY HELD BY MARINA, THE CHARMING DOCENT.
CAMOUFLAGE.
THE WATERING HOLE.
TINY AND BRILLIANT AND ALWAYS AFLUTTER.