After hours upon the long and dusty road to La Mancha, the windmills of Campo de Criptana finally emerged ahead of us, as if they were lighthouses guiding the Membus. The story goes that fictional hero Don Quijote launched an attack upon the mills, in fear that they were ferocious giants. Who knows what he would have made of our big blue bus.
We stayed in a beautiful house with whitewashed walls and a blue ceramic interior. It was perched upon the highest point of the plateau, and its wooden front door, which creaked wildly in the winds of the sierra, seemed to be an ancient gateway to the town below.
The magic of the Membus had clearly spread back home, for that evening a trio of Memrise girls turned up on our doorstep. We had Olivia, Mexican marketing maestra, Kristina, Estonian tech-goddess, and Ana, Spanish señorita who translates the app for all of you to enjoy. We realized the bus had suddenly become very girly. What a paradise for Ruben and Renato.
That evening was the solstice, and our rooftop terrace was the perfect place to be. Renato was at the helm of the barbecue, dipping rabbit meat in rosemary infused sauces, the girls were drinking vino blanco seco and learning the town’s history from local expert José, and we watched the bulging evening sun slowly giving way to the rising red moon. Glorious sights.
The next morning, we travelled to Valencia, arriving just in time for La Fiesta de San Juan, yet another celebration of summer. Classic Spaniards. The beaches were ablaze with bonfires, the smell of gunpowder hung thickly in the air, and our filmmaker Diana joined those daring enough for a refreshing dip in the ocean.
By the time we arrived in Barcelona, we had fully adjusted to the Spanish way of life, dining at midnight, dancing until midday, and changing our filming routine to avoid the six-hour siesta period which empties the streets of Spanish cities. Obviously we still had to visit the famous sites, to get those all important landmarks in the backdrops of our videos. But who’s complaining about having to visit Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia, two showstoppers of the famed architect Gaudi.
And so, after 2 weeks, 2000km, 600 locals, 3000 phrases, and far too many montaditos in chiringuitos, the Membusito’s adventures in Spain have finally come to an end, and our Spanish video dictionary is now complete! Very soon you’ll be able to enjoy this brand new video immersion mode on your favourite app, learning Spanish directly from the Spaniards themselves. Which, as we all know, is the best way to learn any language…next chapter, French!
sierra – mountain
vino blanco seco – dry white wine
La noche de San Juan – St. John’s Eve
montaditos – small sandwich snack
chiringuitos – beach bar