29 February, 2012

Walking through Vitoria

The Center of Vitoria

This morning I awoke early, got dressed and after a breakfast of bread, cheese and milk tea, went off to the hairdresser. I was cut, curled and dyed and I am happy. It took two hours of pampering, and I enjoyed every minute, leaning back and getting a head massage, a wash, and little curls all over my head like a little old lady should have. 
Not a good photo, too much sun. But if you look closely there are overhangs on the corner of the buildings.
I decided to walk back, but very slowly. So I took some photos of the square, stopped and got some money out of the bank and then strolled down the avenue toward the railway station. I had to ask directions, but Suzanne lives only 7 minutes from the center by a normal person's walk, so I figured it would take me half an hour. 

Then I heard violin music in the distance and I was drawn like a moth to a flame. There was a bald headed man, playing one classical piece after another, with the sound of an orchestra behind him. I sat at a cafe across the way and listened over a cup of foamy coffee. I remembered playing some of those pieces when I played with the orchestra in the  Eau Claire city when I went to college there. Then life bumped into me and the violin was left, forgotten, collecting dust in some corner ot the other. At the time I felt I had no time to keep it up, and now it would be a comfort to play again.

The man played on and I relaxed and let the music wash over me. I remembered the story of Joshua Bell in New York. He was going to play a concert at the Met, so in the afternoon he took his Stradivarius and stood in the metro station playing the same music that people would pay $150 a seat to hear that night. No one stopped to listen, no one noticed the good looking lad with the Stradivarius playing a concert for free for those who would take a few minutes and stop and listen. Everybody was rushing somewhere. Is that just New York? I doubt it. So when I decided to wander on I dropped 5 euros in his violin case.

I have been pleasantly surprised in the Basque country. On the bus from Bilbao, cds of the three tenors played the entire trip and in the streets a violist played classical music. Better than Vienna.

It was warm today, more than 75 degrees F (19C) and I left my jacket at Suzanne's. Even the sweater was too much before I finally returned for lunch. But while I sat in the cafe I looked for a man in a Basque uniform, so I could grab a photo, but alas, no such luck. However, I saw manlike women sitting talking to each other, actually real women with women's voices but they had big, big faces and huge features like a man normally has. I had asked Suzanne yesterday if they were really women and she affirmed it.

So I walked all the way back and my leg did not cause me any problems. You see when I can walk at my snail pace, I can manage. 

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