So long for now

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June 22nd 2008
Published: June 22nd 2008
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With this final drive along the northern coast to San Sebastian we bid Spain goodbye. Our two-week tour of this most amazing country has drawn to a close. We will meet up with our French tour manager this afternoon and begin a journey to the French Riviera. This is the first overcast morning we have encountered, and it feels appropriate, for I am truly sad to leave Spain. The mountains around me are drenched in mist and the rolling hills are damp with morning moisture - it feels as if Spain is grieving our departure… Groups of overfed white sheep appear in clusters on the steep hillsides, in stark contrast to the lush green of the mountains.
We had a grand sendoff last night in Olvieda, a wealthy city in the territory of Asturias, which has offered some of the most beautiful sights in all of Spain. Our performance was in a public cultural center to a sit down audience, which is always an odd setting for a rock show. The hall was full of adoring fans and the sound was good, but it was difficult to reach our normal level of intensity with everyone seated and thus a bit subdued. Still, their screams and chants at the end of the show demanded an encore and we managed to have a good time. It was an early performance and we were eager to get out and celebrate the end of the Spanish tour with our tour manager David, who we’ve grown quite close with in our two weeks together.
The area of Asturias is known for its cider, an alcoholic treat that is a common staple at the local bars and restaurants. David found us a good place to dine and drink in the city. The cider arrived at our table in tall green bottles, and our server began pouring in an amusing traditional fashion. Holding the bottle high above his head, he poured a small amount slowly into each cup held a ways below, making the cider foam at the bottom of the glass. It is delicious and sweet, with a bit of a hard alcohol bite to it. We ordered several regional seafood dishes from the menu. The food turned out to be excellent and came at a nice pace. There was an amazing fish cake made of Cabaracho, perfectly prepared calamari, and a bacalao (cod) dish with mushrooms and peppers, as well as a few large, tasty langostinos - sort of a cross between shrimp and lobster. After the meal and several bottles of cider, we were all thankful for the opportunity to get back to the hotel at a decent hour. Two weeks of hard-working shows and Spanish-style partying had me exhausted and weary. A nice breeze came through the hotel window and I slept deeply.
This drive to San Sebastian is now lovely and tranquil. The sun is beginning to peek out and greet us. There are green hills to the right and a calm, morning ocean making appearances below to the left. We dip inland through deep lush farming valleys and back again to the coast. Although sad to leave Spain, I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead. Hasta luego, España. Te amo!

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