And so, another year passes by and we enter 2018. I wanted to do a quick round up of 2017 before it ended as it was quite a year in some odd ways. Due to being away from home for a few days either side of new year I will have to make that recap in a week or so…
First Time Skiers
For the New Year period we stayed in the small town of Riaza north of Madrid. One of the reasons was the close proximity of a ski resort called La Pinilla. Dani and his cousin had their first ski lesson on the beginner’s slope at the top of the first chair lift.
It would be an exaggeration to say that they enjoyed their first experience locked onto two planks but they went through the motions nonetheless. Meanwhile those who wanted to ski made a few trips down the mountain and back up again.
It is bad enough for adults with those super uncomfortable boots but for the kids it is seriously hard work. Just getting them to put that unnatural footwear on their feet was a challenge in itself.
At least it was sunny and just enough snow. Once they were with the instructor they were more or less fine. To try and teach your own kids something so different is near impossible. Leave them with a complete stranger and hey presto! they listen.
A few days later – and in another year – they tried again. This time the weather was not so good but amazingly the kids went through the booting ritual with no fuss and had a second lesson. Now they are making progress.
New year came with a bang. Literally. This is Spain. In the town plaza at midnight the fireworks went off and as usual some were very loud – not to Dani’s liking.
Riaza is a nice little town with an old (very small) centre built around a sand covered circular plaza. Perfect for converting into a plaza de toros. And that’s exactly what they do on occasion during the summer. The town is well known for its cordero (lamb) dishes.
At this time of the year they place a Christmas tree in the centre and decorate it with recycled (or should that be reinvented?) decorations made from used plastic bottles etc… (see photo)
And so thoughts now turn to the Three Kings and more presents for the little ones. Three days and counting…
Geared up and ready to go? It doesn’t look like.
On the slopes. Well you will have to take it from me; there was a slight incline
A Lavadero just outside the centre of Riaza, where the people of the village would have once gathered to do their laundry.
A typical Riaza doorway complete with crest.