THE ‘GRAND TOUR’ 1981 : BENJAMIN OF TUDELA, CROWN OF ARAGON, THE SHEPHERDS, GIBRALTAR, PRADO (03.01.2018)
In 1981 I travelled around Europe for three months by rail. In those days you could travel across much of Europe on a young person’s Inter-rail travel pass for £100 a month.
... the witness... sephardi... catholic...
1981 was six years after Franco had died.
1918 was the fifth and final year of the First World War.
I didn’t know I would need a visa for Spain, so I slept overnight on a bench on the railway platform at Hendaye train station before going to the consul the next day to get a visa and crossing over at Irun.
I vividly remember going to El Escorial, and El-Greco in the Imperial City of Toledo, along with seeing the most beautiful art in the world I have ever seen in the Prado Museum in Madrid.
I travelled onwards to Morocco for the first of several times over the years (which was included within the rail pass then too) which is a timelessly beautiful country, most memorably visiting the Berber villages in the Atlas mountains.
On my way back through Spain, I passed through Catalonia on my way to Marseille and onto Nice, Monaco and into Italy.
I heard about the legend of Ireland and Gibraltar.
The people who live in Bausen in Catalonia in Spain are the same family as the people who live in Bagnères-de-Luchon in France in the European Union.
... etc etc etc...
1: 555... 05 01 2018 + 17 01 2018 = 23 01 2018
I am travelling onwards to the olive groves.