Three Weeks in Lastres

by Lisa
Drinking one more cup of lemonade!

9/2/21 – I arrived yesterday to a tiny fishing village in the north of Spain, Lastres. Sight unseen, I booked a beach house for three weeks. Given the current state of the world, I have made a conscious decision to travel less and stay close to home over the past two years or so. I do miss the freedom of hopping on a plane without worry, sans mask and absolutely no cares in the world. I miss the fact that I haven’t seen my family or friends for so long…and I long for the carefree feeling of summer – no work, checking new countries off my list and making plans to meet in random places with those people I love most in the world. 

As the old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and I am hoping that I have made a few glasses (potentially even a few pitchers) of lemonade over the past couple of years. Off the top of my head, here are a few glasses of said lemonade. Glass No. 1 – working during the summer gives my savings account a little extra boost. Glass No. 2 –  I`m learning new and useful skills as a Teacher Coordinator for the online company I work for and loving it! Glass No. 3 –  Staying close to home provides me the opportunity to explore the hidden gems in the north of Spain, thus bringing me here.

So, Lastres! My criteria was simple when choosing a three-week holiday – sea views, salty air, small village, and someplace new (check, check, check and check!) Upon arriving, I did a bit of exploring, wandering up and down the very steep alleys, side streets and stairs. I was thinking to myself how lucky am I? It is definitely easy to make the most delicious lemonade out of these lemons when I’m in a beautiful Spanish fishing village. So, during the next three weeks, I’m focusing on gratitude, happiness, and the little things in life I often forget to pay attention to. My running list and a few beautiful photos during the holiday…

Happiness is –

…drinking a morning cup of coffee, listening to the waves, watching the sky turn from night – to dawn –  to daylight, all while wearing my favorite leopard slippers.

…morning walks in the mist, enjoying the fresh cool rain on my face. After a very hot summer, this is a welcome change. Sweater weather is coming!

…collecting sea glass along the empty beach, dreaming of my next art project. 

…when my AirbNb host takes me to the supermarket in the nearby town and stops by interesting places along the way (even though her driving is scarier than s#$t!!). During our Spanglish conversations, she learns that I am an English professor and she smiles and tells me to move to Lastres so I can be her teacher. (Tempting…very tempting!)

…learning about new customs and cultures, as I walk along the pier, watching the men and women mend fishing nets.

…when a little girl stops you on the street to show you her pet snail. Her face is full of joy and affection as she talks in rapid Spanish and I catch only about every 3rd word. She smiles when she asks me to touch the snail. I do so and she says no, not on the shell, here on the body! Snails are slimy by the way…but so worth it to see this little ray of sunshine! 

…thinking about how much this part of the world reminds me of the beaches in Washington State – wild, rocky, and beautiful. 5,000 miles away and I imagine I’m walking along the Pacific Coast, when in reality I am looking out to the Cantabrian Sea.

…Sunday morning, spending way too many minutes people watching from my balcony. I sometimes feel like an old Spanish abuela, peering out windows, watching for any gossip or suspicious activity. About 10 of these minutes were spent watching a cute, old man who was dressed in his Sunday best, cross the street painfully slow to get to his quad, equipped with a miniature Spanish flag and disabled parking sticker. After he donned his helmet and secured his crutches, he slowly drove up the hill and out of sight. Once I finished my Spanish abuela people-watching, I wondered to myself…how do I get a quad for myself? #goals

…realizing my new hobby consists of watching the clouds. Really, how many photos of the sky can one person have on their phone? My favorite, the pink cotton candy puffs that seem to appear every evening.

…wasting away the afternoon browsing through Idealista, looking at the ‘for sale’ properties. It is a sure sign I’ve fallen in love with yet another town in Spain when I plan my next property purchase. 

…fabada! Seriously, the best soup I’ve ever tasted! Food take-aways from Asturias – fabada, cheese, and cider. I promise, you are going to love it all!

I leave this beautiful slice of heaven soon, in fact I leave in just one day. I have spent three weeks watching every sunrise, walking barefoot on the sand, breathing the salty sea air. Lastres, you now have a piece of my heart and I thank you for filling my soul. And of course, helping me make another pitcher of lemonade.

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