Blogging about Castillejo de Robledo

The Knights Templar built this castle in the 12th century.

Castillejo de Robledo

They built it over a previous Muslim fort.

ruined castle

Today the whole thing is nothing but a ruin. That’s the problem with time. It ruins all kind of stuff; buildings, literature…

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I know what you are thinking: time can destroy a castle, but it cannot destroy an intangible good like literature.

Wrong. It can. Yes it can.

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Literature is almost dead. Cronus is killing it.

Just in front of the Knights Templar castle, walking downhill, the melancholic wanderer finds a little Romanesque church…

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Cronus brought social networking sites. And the so-called “smart phones”. And selfies. And video-games. As a direct consequence, human attention span is dwindling. Year after year it’s getting shorter and shorter. A tweet is easier to read than a book.

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This old rural church has a wonderful portal.

Hard work. Good taste. Medieval art. Romanesque.

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It is a simple church, full of surprising details. The kind villager who opened its door for me, told me that taking pictures in its interior wasn’t allowed. Consequently, no interior views in this post.

A myriad of cubical figures painted in Templar colors (black and white, like the Templar Beauseant) decorate the apse vault. There is a dragon too. It is a strange mix of medieval painting and Picasso.

Asunción apse

In his novel “Fahrenheit 451”, Ray Bradbury presented a future society where books are outlawed. Firemen start fires in order to burn books. Books burn at 451 degrees.

I’m afraid that Mr. Bradbury’s dystopian novel is getting a little bit outdated. In a few years there won’t be any book left to burn, nor e-books to delete.

Blogging is dwindling too. Yes it is. I have it on good authority (at least, as far as my blog’s stats page is concerned)

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The castle and church featured in this post are located in the tiny village of Castillejo de Robledo (Castile, Spain). In other words, they are located well off the beaten path, which is the perfect place to locate castles and Romanesque churches.

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The oldest preserved Castilian epic poem is “El Cantar de mio Cid” (The Poem of the Cid). It is based on a true story about the Castilian warrior and nobleman Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (1043-1099), in medieval Spain…

Entrados son los ifantes al robredo de Corpes,
los montes son altos, las ramas pujan con las núes,
e las bestias fieras que andan aderredor.
Fallaron un vergel con una linpia fuent,
mandan fincar la tienda ifantes de Carrión,
con cuantos que ellos traen ý yazen essa noch,
con sus mugieres en braços demuéstranles amor,
¡mal ge lo cumplieron cuando salié el sol!

The verses above belong to The Poem of the Cid, in its very original version, written in ancient Spanish in 1207. The action corresponding to this excerpt takes place in Castillejo de Robledo (Robredo de Corpes in medieval times).

A corner of said village commemorates the “Robredo de Corpes” passages of El Cantar de mio Cid…

The Poem of the CId

What a pity. Nobody will read this 811 years old masterpiece of literature in the future.

Nobody will read my blog either.

Thanks God, the huevos fritos con patatas y morcilla de Burgos will be always available…

fried eggs with morcilla

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The sweet Madrid of Expoclausura

If you happen to visit Madrid in December, any year, you should consider seriously the “ora et labora” (pray and work) principle that governs the monastic life.

Sweet Mad 1

No, I’m not trying to convince you to become a monk or a nun in Madrid.

Castilian monastery

What I want you to know is that all those old and imposing monasteries that are spread all around Spain not only have cloisters, churches or chapterhouses…

Monastery of Las Huelgas

…, but kitchens as well:

Monastic kitchen

Kitchens where monks or nuns elaborate delicious pastries, cookies, marmalades, dulces de membrillo, turrones, figuritas de mazapán, tejas, alfajores, marquesitas, florecillas, feos, almendrados, hojaldres, empiñonados, rosquillas de anís, amarguillos, polvorones, mantecados and so on, following recipes whose origins are lost in the mists of time…

Suso Monastery

The very same recipes that made kings and emperors happy or, at least, made them forget their royal worries whenever they visited a monastery…

Emperor's monastery

Yes; ora et labora, pray and work… This monastery (pic below) is surrounded by outstanding vineyards:

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The best Gregorian Chant of the world is sung by talented monks around this cloister (btw, a cloister that is a masterpiece of Romanesque Art):

Monastery of SIlos
Sadly, lots of old monasteries are abandoned or semi-abandoned today…

Santa Cristina Monastery
But, thanks God, not all of them…

Monastery of Huerta
You can even find shelter from this hectic and materialistic world, for a few days, in some monasteries. At this regard, the rule of St. Benedict includes the following norm: “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ”. So, visitors should stand ready to close their mouths and to open their souls. An unforgettable experience awaits those who dare to cross a monastic door…

Las Batuecas Monastery
In any case, as I told you above, monks and nuns cook delicious stuff in some monasteries, and they sell it to the adventurous travelers who visit them…

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The bad news is that monasteries are usually hidden in difficult to reach locations…

Canyon Monastery
The good news is that anyone can contribute easily and happily to the maintenance of such historical buildings (and support the monastic communities that work and pray in them) while enjoying divine recipes by visiting a pop-up shop called “Expoclausura”. It “pops up” in Madrid (usually in the “ABC” shopping mall) during the first weeks of December, every year. Quite a few monasteries (46 in 2017) sell their delicatessen there. No need to hike or climb. Just take a taxi.

This is an interior view of the ABC shopping mall, located in Serrano Street 61, Madrid:

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And this is a glimpse of Expoclausura (within the ABC shopping mall)…

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Sorry. I must leave you now. I have something very urgent to do…

Sweet Mad 25
Yum!

Mrrry Xmass!!!

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The Mediterranean landscape of Foixà

From time to time I like blogging about little medieval villages hidden in the Baix Empordà’s countryside.

Foixà is a little medieval village hidden in the Baix Empordà’s countryside.

I guess that my extraordinarily sensitive bunch of loyal readers like discovering through this blog little medieval villages hidden in the Baix Empordà’s countryside. If they don´t, I hope they’ll drop me a line saying something like this: “Hey, Covetotop, for God’s sake, don´t blog about little medieval villages hidden in the Baix Empordà’s countryside anymore!”.

Ok. Let’s start at the beginning, and let´s follow this nice Empordanian path:

Mediterranean path

On the horizon you can see the Montgrí mountain. A castle sits atop. Both, the mountain and the castle, appear as background in quite a few Dalí´s paintings and drawings…

Castle Mediterranean

But that is another story.

We turn left some kilometers (or miles) before reaching the Montgrí… then we turn right…

Foixà 7

… and we are in Foixà:

Castle of Foixà

First time documented in 1019. Foixà is split in two areas: the castle and the church. The castle (nothing to do with Montgrí’s) was built in the 13th century, and refurbished and re-re-etc in the following centuries.

Foixà 5

Taking pictures is a difficult task in Foixà because there are lots of stones…

narrow stone street

… and stairs to climb and narrow passages to cross…

Foixà 6

Its medieval atmosphere is a little bit scaring in some corners…

Foixà 9

But actually it is a charming place surrounded by the typical Mediterranean vegetation…

Foixà 3

Agriculture and cattle industry are important activities in Foixà. The Mediterranean diet is a healthy one.

Catalan landscape

There was a good restaurant in Foixà. It was an unpretentious, rural, traditional (last owner: 4th generation) and charming restaurant…

Foixà restaurant

I will miss those old fashioned dining rooms… and their carn d’olla…

Foixà 16

In Foixà there are country houses with defensive towers, like this one…

Can Cruset

Legend has it that King John I of Aragon died suddenly on May 19, 1396 while hunting in the forests of Foixà. On the path leading from the castle quarter to the church quarter, the mindful wanderer will see an old Gothic cross: it is a memorial that purportedly marks the spot where this accident happened.

Foixà Gothic Cross

Phoenicians and ancient Greeks spread the “Olea Europaea” (olive tree) to the Western Mediterranean. As a matter of fact, the word “Empordà” comes from the Greek “Emporion”, which means market. I say all of this because (i) I’m a nerd and (ii) this is an olive tree:

Tree by the church

Olive trees surround the Foixà’s church. It’s Gothic. Simple.

Old Mediterranean church

For further info about the church, see this pic:

Foixà 12

The landscape around Foixà is Mediterranean because Foixà is just a stone’s throw away from the Mediterranean Sea…

Empordanian landscape

This is Foixà’s closest beach:

Pals beach

And that is it.

 

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The Knights Templar and the Lobos River Canyon

The Knights Templar were a Catholic military order active from 1119 to 1312. These skilled warrior-monks’ main mission was to protect Christian pilgrims traveling along the coast of the Mediterranean to the Holy Land, Jerusalem… But it is supposed that they carried out other kind of missions. Secret missions. Like unearthing the Ark of the Covenant or bringing the Holy Grail to Europe…

Yacht by the cove

Pic above: The Mediterranean coast of Spain. A sailboat lies safely at anchor, sheltered leeward of Cape Creus, peninsular Spain’s easternmost point.

Pic below: The Atlantic coast of Spain. Waves breaking near Cape Touriñán, peninsular Spain’s westernmost point.

Atlantic wave

Pic below: Lobos River Canyon. It is a deep limy canyon (26 kilometers or so -16 miles- long) located in the heart of Castilla, central Spain, far away from the Mediterranean, far away from the Atlantic, far away from it all in modern times and very, very far away from it all in the Middle Ages…

Lobos River Canyon

You feel solitude when you visit this hidden canyon…

rocks in Soria Lobos

All sorts of birds of prey, flying slowly up in the sky, will wonder who the hell are you, daring visitor…

birds at Lobos

Griffon vultures perched on promontories will stare at you with curiosity…

Griffon vultures

Perhaps you’ll even feel observed by… strange entities… and you’ll start feeling fear…

rock face

But your reason will whisper to you that actually there is no reason to worry. This is a karstic landscape, which means a plethora of sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns…

Cueva Grande

No, there’s no logical reason to worry about.

flying vulture

But… what about illogical reasons to worry about?

I am referring to all those old stories about the strange telluric forces that surround you as soon as you reach this mythic place…

mysterious natural face

I mean the ancestral magicians who painted their prehistorical enigmas (drawings) on the walls of “Cueva Grande” (“Big Cave”) or, in times of the Roman Empire, the “Mundus Patet”, which was an Underworld’s pit opening ceremony held here on each November 8th. Mundus cum patet, deorum tristium atque inferum quasi ianua patet.…

Big Cave Lobos

Brainy scholars maintain that the Knights Templar hid in this “magic” cave their most valued mystic treasures…

Your reason will begin to hesitate. You are exactly in the middle of nowhere. There are no villages nor human traces in lots of kilometers around this cove. Look: nothing to the West…

… and nothing to the East…

No, there is nothing here, apart from a wonderful church built 800 years ago by the Knights Templar, just in front of the big cave, guarding its daunting entrance…

cave and church

Surprising, isn´t it?

It is a very well preserved church of the late Romanesque period…

San Bartolome church

One nave, Latin Cross plan…

It has a simple portal, with a pointed arch (protogothic). Skillfully sculpted vegetal motifs and geometrical patterns decorate the archivolts…

Romanesque archivolts

A troop of intriguing corbels explains stories that nobody understands today…

Apparently funny stories…

fun Romanesque

“Lobos” means “wolves”. There is a wolf looking at you from the church’s facade…

Romanesque worlf

A window, two faces…

A window, two faces… terrified… facing Cueva Grande…

No doubt. This is a quite dramatic location…

Lobos River flows quietly by the old church…

river by the church

The legend goes that the Knights Templar built here an important monastery. They were wise guys. In the Dark Ages, this area was very far away from commercial routes, frontiers, battlefields… It was a safe territory, uninhabited, hidden. Even today, this part of Spain is one of the less inhabited areas in the whole Europe (at this regard, see my previous posts “Somewhere in the middle of nowhere” and “The Burgo of Osma”)

In other words, the Lobos River Canyon was the perfect place to establish some kind of Templars’ CIA headquarters…

Knights Templar headquarters

The monastery disappeared. Only its church survived. Its miraculous, mysterious, solitary church…

Templars church

The rose window tracery, made out of stone, encloses quite a few esoteric figures, dimensions, reflections, secrets…All interpretations depend on your point of view, or the Sun’s position in the sky, among other circumstances.

Knights Templar window

But the most surprising mystery of them all is precisely the church’s position.

Knights Templar church hidden

This church is exactly 532 kilometers (331 miles) in straight line away from Cape Creus (peninsular Spain’s easternmost point, Mediterranean Sea) and 532 kilometers (331 miles) in straight line away from Cape Touriñán (peninsular Spain’s westernmost point, Atlantic Ocean).

Id est: the very axis of the Iberian peninsula.

Id est: NASA’s accuracy in the Middle Ages.

Templar sign

Too many scary myths and esoteric legends for a humble blogger like me. I rush away.

Rio Lobos Canyon

I left Lobos River Canyon and its secrets behind me, but I kept some atmospheric views of this Templars’s realm…


… in order to share them with my little bunch of loyal readers, here, in this very post.

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The Burgo of Osma

The original name of this little town is El Burgo de Osma.

It’s Spanish. But I’ve translated it into English. Yes. El Burgo de Osma: The Burgo of Osma. Great.

Castilian wall

Thanks to this intellectual effort of mine (that of translating El Burgo de Osma into English), if any English-speaking-human-being, no matter where he/she/it is, happens to google “The Burgo of Osma”, that lucky English-speaking-human-being will find this post.

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In addition to my translation, I include here lots of pictures of The Burgo of Osma. I took them with my own camera. Yes I did.

Oh, what a wonderful gift I am giving to the humankind…

Main square Castilla

Imagine an American astronaut working in the International Space Station. His boss, captain Kirck, tells him: “Hey, Peter, ten minutes smoke break!

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But astronaut Peter, who is a wise guy, doesn’t smoke…

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What will astronaut Peter do during his well deserved ten minutes break?

Castilian cathedral

Astronauts undergo an extraordinarily rigorous selection process. Only the most talented and psychologically strong minds can aspire to become astronauts. In other words, they are just like this blog’s followers.

Gothic arch Burgo
Combining that undeniable equation (astronauts = intelligent and psychologically strong people = my loyal followers) with the latest scientific theories about the multiverse, the holographic principle and the microwave ovens, we have to conclude that there is a one-in-a-trillion chance of having astronaut Peter googling “The Burgo of Osma” in his astro-iphone and reading this very post during his ten minutes smoke break.

Burgo de Osma street
I take for granted that astronaut Peter would be immensely glad to discover The Burgo of Osma.

– Why do you think so? -my intelligent and psychologically strong followers might ask.

– Because, as everybody knows, astronauts love to explore uninhabited planets -I would answer to them.

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The Burgo of Osma is located in Soria. Soria is not an uninhabited planet. Soria is a semi-uninhabited province of planet Earth (Spain, Europe, to be precise).

Ayuntamiento Burgo de Osma

As a matter of fact, the wonderful province of Soria is part of the so-called Celtiberian Highlands, an area in the Iberian Central System that boasts one of the lowest rates of population density in the whole European Union.

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The Celtiberian Highlands is a relatively big area: twice the size of Belgium.

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A relatively big area full of poetic landscapes, mysterious castles, ancient ruins, secluded Romanesque hermitages… and charming little towns without tourists, like The Burgo of Osma. No doubt: astronaut Peter would be very glad to land here and wander around…

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On the contrary… What the hell can a talented astronaut like Peter do in places like Mars, Ganymede or the Moon? I’ll tell it to you: picking stones. Picking stones!

At least, here, in The Burgo of Osma´s main square, astronaut Peter can take a beer and interact with local life forms…

Burgo bar
Btw, picking stones (sculpted stones) is strictly forbidden in The Burgo of Osma…

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The Burgo of Osma´s cathedral (13th-16th centuries) is nice. If astronaut Peter ever decides to abandon the ISS and to explore this town, and if he´s luckier than me, perhaps he will find the cathedral open. That´s the problem when you fly your rocket (or drive your little car) to charming places located far away from the touristic routes: they are not always ready to please casual visitors.

Catedral Burgo de Osma

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Notwithstanding the above mentioned off-the-beaten-path thing, surprisingly there is a tourist office in The Burgo of Osma. It is located in an old chapel within a quite impressive building (built in 1694-1701, pics below)

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In The Burgo of Osma was born Dionisio Ridruejo (1912-1975). He was a writer (a not very famous writer) who translated Josep Pla´s “El Quadern Gris” (The Grey Notebook) into Spanish. It is a delicious, superb translation of said book. He worked in such a wonderful task with his wife, Gloria de Ros. At this regard, I am aware that some of my luminous digital friends are reading the recently available English version of Pla’s masterpiece (“The Grey Notebook”)…

Dionisio Ridruejo and his wife were good friends of Josep Pla’s. This couple used to spend their summer holidays in Tamariu, a Mediterranean village located in the same municipality (Palafrugell) where Josep Pla was born and had his home.

I have blogged about Tamariu here. I have blogged about Palafrugell here. And I have blogged about Josep Pla here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here

El Burgo Virrey Palafox

Food in the province of Soria, as almost everywhere in Spain, is superb. In The Burgo of Osma there is a very good restaurant named Virrey Palafox (pic above) .

Some of their dishes: Ensalada templada de corzo con higos y trufa negra, pastel de hongos y verdura, lubina salvaje al horno con refrito de ajos y vinagre añejo, cordero lechal churro asado, solomillo de vacuno al hojaldre, rabo de toro deshuesado con patatas paja

Anywhere in Planet Soria it is mandatory to ask for a D.O. Ribera de Duero red wine.

There are very few hotels in The Burgo of Osma. This 16th century building (pic below), with plateresque facade, cloister etc, is one of them…

Hotel el Burgo de Osma

(Note: as my loyal readers may well know, this is NOT a sponsored blog)

There are a few shops too…

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Sadly, there isn´t any rocket launch site in The Burgo of Osma…

Mystic rocket

Anyway, if you feel like crossing the wall’s door…

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…and exploring a little bit further…

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…coming closer to telluric marvels and being amazed by legendary Templar Knights’ spaces like this one…

Mystic space

… you only need to read my next post.

To be continued.

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A lady from Elche

She is very nice, and looks quite young for her age.

But what I find more surprising about this charming lady is the emotional ambiguity of her face expression. I have visited her a lot of times (she lives in Madrid now), and she always stares at me with the same mysterious aura.

Every time I see her, I wonder what she could be thinking about. But I never dare to ask. I don’t dare to ask because I am very shy. Moreover… what would people say if they see me talking to her? She is 2500 years older than me…

And then we have the language problem. She was found in Spain, but she doesn’t speak a word of Spanish. She is Iberian. I don’t speak Iberian. Nobody speaks Iberian these days. Iberian became extinct when the Roman folks invaded the Iberian peninsula a lot of centuries ago. The romanization meant that everyone started to talk in Latin. The Spanish language is just an evolution (like Italian, French…) from the Latin language, as you know. Yesterday, we all were Roman citizens. Today we, the candid inhabitants of this old continent called Europe, are Europeans, but… you know what? The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century.

Yes, it did.

Depressing.

And then the Dark Ages came…

Horrible.

No more sophisticated Art, no more brainy Philosophy, no more high Literature… Just a very looong age of darkness, superstition and stupidity.

That’s precisely what my friend, the lady from Elche, is thinking about. I am sure. She knows a lot about the decline and fall of successive civilizations. And she suspects that ours is about to fall again. I bet she does.

Why? Let me show you a surprising building of Madrid.

This is its western side (Paseo de Recoletos Street):

Spanish National Librery

The National Library of Spain (above), is one of the biggest libraries in the world, containing 33.000.000 catalog records for books, manuscripts, maps, etc. That amazing collection includes Don Quixote first editions , some authentic Da Vinci codes (handwritten and drafted by Leonardo himself, i.e. the real stuff, not the bestseller bullshit), and all the bibliographic treasures you can imagine…

Sharing this very same enormous building (eastern side, Serrano Street) you’ll find the National Archaeological Museum of Spain:

Archaeological Madrid

I think it’s needless to say how interesting this museum is. In their webpage (www.man.es) they say that the museum’s mission is “… to offer the general public an accurate, attractive, interesting and critical interpretation of the objects that belonged to the different cultures which populated the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean region, ranging from Antiquity to more recent periods, in the firm belief that a knowledge of this history can shed light on society as we know it today

And what the hell has all this to do with a lady from Elche and the fall of the Western culture?

The other day I visited the Dama de Elche at the Archaeological Museum. Its rooms were almost empty. I could easily hear not only my steps, but my heart beats as well. And, from time to time, here and there, among so many treasures of art and history, I also heard some conversations from other visitors…

All of them, with almost no exception, were talking about the last chapter or episode or whatever of a tv series called “the games of the throne” or something like that.

Yes; the decline and fall of the Western culture is here again.

And the Dama de Elche knows it.

I’ve no doubt at this respect.

Look at her face…

Iberian lady

Dark Ages are coming…

 

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Via Lucis’ visit

Via Lucis is Latin. It means Way of Light.

Visit means visit, and some visits mean a lot.

—   —   —   —   —   —  —   —   —

It all happened on a sunny morning of May…

My castle

I was practicing mindfulness in my humble castle, when a burst of light exploded within my empty head, just like a top-notch-flash blows within the walls of a little Romanesque church.

Shocked and tousled, I heard a telepathic message:

-We wish to contact the fabulous Covetotop… We wish to contact the fabulous Covetotop… We wish to contact the fabulous Covetotop…

-Who are you? -I asked with my fabulous mind powers and with my poor English.

– We’r pjandnis of vaicis. How’re ya doin’, hoveop?

– Can you repeat it, please? -I asked with my fabulous mind powers, because I didn’t understand a word.

– We are PJ and Dennis, of Via Lucis. How are you doing, Covetotop? -answered the telepathic voice.

– PJ and Dennis! What a wonderful surprise! I am fine, thank you. And you?

– Everting key’s airplanes!

– Can you repeat it slowly, please?

– Everything is ok; as planned.

– Ok!

– Cvtop, we’re n’ spin. Wild be deleted to hostyalanch day, what da ya thin?

– What?

– We have just arrived in Spain. Please, allow us to host you at lunch today.

– Of course! Lunch today! Yes we can!

– One clock a Ken Rocket.

– Great! -I didn’t understand a word again, but I was so embarrassed by my English cognitive functions, that I didn’t dare to ask for further clarifications. So, I said “Great!”, which is a great word to say when you don’t know what to say.

– Siyater!

– What? -Dammit. I couldn’t help asking “what?” again.

– See you later, Covetotop!

– See you later, PJ and Dennis!

Our kind telepathic conversation ended. I got up, lit a lamp, sat at my desk and breathed deeply.

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I was very excited. I was very excited because of my digital friends’ imminent visit and because I had discovered that my telepathic English was as bad as my spoken English. As a matter of fact, I thought that my friends’ phrase “allow us to host you at lunch” meant that they were coming to my castle to have lunch with me…

I looked around and felt a little shame. I haven’t run the vacuum cleaner over the carpets since 1842 or so. Everything was dirty here and there. And the dinning room was a total mess…

When I realized the situation, I made a significant effort in order to avoid a panic attack, but…

Panic

I had to resume my mindfulness exercises urgently, taking control of my breath and focusing my attention on my belly button while cleaning asap my dinning room…

VL3

Well. I did a good job. I only needed to get some food. So, I rushed downstairs, towards the castle’s beach, to fish sardines.

castle beach

I got two and a half tons of sardines. I rushed upstairs, willing to grill the sardines before my digital friends’ arrival.

In a moment of lucidity, I rewinded and played again (in my mind) my digital friends’s telepathic message “One clock a Ken Rocket”.

– Oh my! I was terribly wrong! They actually said “One o’clock at Can Roca”! They want me to have lunch at a restaurant! What a psychological relief! -I exclaimed to myself.

I stopped practicing mindfulness while grilling sardines, and started to think seriously about how should I dress for such a special occasion…

-They’re very cultivated Americans. And they have traveled thousands of miles via Iceland before arriving this far. I cannot show up at the restaurant dressed in jeans and a simple white shirt. I should wear something more formal and ethnic. A pre-Roman Iberian suit from the 4th century BC is perhaps a more adequate apparel. Yes it is -I said to myself.

Protoiberian
It seemed an adequate apparel, but in fact it was too old, too heavy and smelled very bad.

– Mmm … Maybe I should wear something lighter. A torero suit, for example, with hat and cape… Ernest Hemingway was American too, and he loved Spain. And he loved bullfighting. I don´t like bullfighting at all, because I love animals (grilled sardines included), but I must act as a very well educated person and dress appropriately (from the ethnological and folkloric point of view) in honor of my friends PJ and Dennis. So, here we go…

VL4
No. Definitively no.

– I’d rather show up dressed as a Spanish guitarist from the Romantic period -I said to myself, and… voilà!

VL5
– Olé! That´s perfect. Now, I can go to the restaurant at a slow pace, because I have plenty of time before the scheduled lunch time, which is one o’clock -I said to myself.

I had so much time, and I was so relaxed, that I took my eco-friendly mean of transport in stead of my noisy and polluting car:

P3312175 - copia

– Hola! -I said to my eco-friendly mean of transport.

– Hola. ¿A dónde vamos hoy, Covetotop? -it asked me, in Spanish, because my eco-friendly mean of transport doesn’t speak English; and, in any case, it couldn’t make sense a conversation in English between the both of us.

– A Can Roca, y despacito, que no hay prisa -I answered it.

In our way to the restaurant, my wise eco-friendly mean of transport made me a suggestion (I translate it into English, for your convenience):

– I am aware that your friends PJ and Dennis are some of the best photographers in the world, as far as Medieval architecture photography is concerned. I also suppose that they must be working very hard just now, in the old churches of Besalú and surroundings… To this regard, it is mandatory to take into account that, most probably due to the climatic change, temperatures are abnormally high these days. You should invite them to a refreshing ride in your luxurious motorboat after lunch. They will love our Mediterranean coast and its mythological breezes.

My eco-friendly mean of transport is a little nerd, but it was right this time; hence, I accepted its suggestion:

– What a good idea, my dear eco-friendly mean of transport! Turn 180 degrees and rush to my luxurious motorboat! I will polish and clean it a little, before lunch! I think we have enough time to do it! -I said to my eco-etc.

– What does turn 180 degrees mean? -it asked me.

– I am not sure… It has something to do with directions and that sort of concepts. In any case, run as fast as you can to my luxurious motorboat! Now! Go Go Go Go…

We went went went…

And we arrived.

My luxurious motorboat was in a very bad condition.

I had a lot of work to do…

oldboat

I worked hard.

I cleaned, painted, varnished and brightened my luxurious motorboat.

I got this result:

VL6

I ended up exhausted, sunburned, bald and almost naked (due to such superhuman efforts)

I even lost my Spanish guitar.

And I took a selfie, just for the record:

VL7
I asked very politely my eco-friendly mean of transport to take me asap to my humble castle. I needed a shower and a new suit. A white suit, to be precise.

My eco-friendly mean of transport took me to my humble castle as fast as it could. Sadly, that was the last service it rendered to me (due to the effort, the abnormally high temperatures and the merciless sun)

Clean and well dressed (white suit), I took my noisy and polluting red car (yellowish later, discolored by the merciless sun too)…

VL8

And I drove to Can Roca, where finally I had the pleasure of meeting PJ and Dennis… in the real world!

What a good time we had at the restaurant! I talked in English all the time, and my friends seemed to understand each and every word I said. I was very happy. They mentioned that many of the Catalan churches were closed and their disappointment in not being able to photograph. I was very sorry for that. Then I talked about my wooden boat and so on. We talked about a lot of things and I drank a lot of local red wine, just to speak more fluently in English…

I don’t remember anything more.

I woke up some days later, in my humble castle, just in time to discover that Via Lucis had published a new post…

Its title: “All Hail Covetotop

Panic

 

My dear little bunch of digital friends: To be sincere, I must admit that I don’t own a castle, a motorboat, a torero suit, a classic car, an eco-friendly mean of transport other than my folding bicycle… Via Lucis, as some of you know, is an astonishing blog about Romanesque architecture. I actually had the pleasure of meeting its authors, PJ and Dennis Aubrey, and having lunch with them, a few days ago, in Catalonia. Now, they are not only my digital friends, but my friends in the real world as well.

They published in Via Lucis an hilarious, fanciful post called “All Hail Covetotop”. And I am overwhelmed. That’s also true.

And my telepathic English is very bad.

 

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