Our Pandemic Tour

Bars and beaches are crowded. Diners, drinkers, and bathers aren’t masked up. The people threading their way through packed streets might be wearing masks. We are seeing a lot more faces than usual.

Officially masks, social distancing, and using sanitizer every time you enter a shop are required. On the train anyone whose mask has slipped below their nose is reminded to pull it up. In local markets security personnel are vigilant. Those cups of fresh fruit you just bought are to be enjoyed outside.

Spaniards for the most part are following covid protocols. It’s a mixed bag among tourists from other countries. When you hear accents from some of the big brawny Northern countries, you don’t expect to see masks. (This is not a scientific fact. Louder voices could account for this being more noticeable.)

Just outside of the zones filled with maskless throngs social distancing is possible. We are sticking to that territory. We’ve pulled out our stash of highly rated masks and are wearing them. We pay the 5% terrace surcharges and eat outside. Museums and cathedrals aren’t drawing big crowds and are strictly managed. If we see long lines, we keep moving.

I keep reminding myself that Seattle isn’t just the Space Needle, The Market, and Starbucks. Each of us finds our favorite haunts and they become loosely kept secrets. Some of them stay strictly local. Some of them are discovered and survive with their souls intact. Staying healthy means directing our energies into finding those places. We’ll let you know what we find.

Pintxos San Sebastián…

In the meantime rain and thunderstorms are being forecast. The reaction to the slight drizzle we witnessed has us hoping for thinner crowds. A little thunder should make people scatter.

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