street from the giant cathedral, and dropped off Jane at the airport
for her trip to London. It was a shame to see her go, but I'll think
she'll enjoy her further adventures. We exited the airport the back
way to avoid the freeway slowdown we saw in the opposite direction.
The GPS directed us to what looked to be some sort of military
Some personal history: a few years ago I drove down a freeway that
went through Fort Bragg, NC. For security purposes, part of that
freeway is only open to military people. I didn't know that and
thought it was a through road. I was told to use the U-turn exit to go
back off base. I got confused and started toward the wrong exit and
the guards started raising their guns.
Which somewhat explains my reaction. I don't what Spanish words would
be on a sign that meant, "We shoot unauthorized vehicles," and I
didn't want to find out. So I panicked and shifted into reverse (after
a long learning process, I now have grasped the strange grasp shift
up, then first becomes reverse method of the Renault). Jenny, who had
come to see her sister off to the airport and not to see a vehicular
disaster, stopped short of panic but made it evident that reverse into
oncoming traffic was not a good idea.
I shifted back to first, drove past the guards (they may have been
loiterers for all the concern they showed), and made a U-turn toward
Seville. The non-freeway route had enough traffic circles that I
started to feel a little motion sick.
Hellhole. It's a word I don't normally use, but it kept shooting into
my mind. Durham is hot, but it doesn't have as much of the "everything
is paved over so we are walking on top of one of those pizza stones
for the oven" feel. The girls went touring and shopping. I like to
walk around and explore cities and at some point I found myself out
and about at that the magical (evil magic, sorcerical?) time of day
when the sun's angle seems to deny any shade to the whole city. I
went to the tourism office, which has free Internet for an hour. Two
friendly ladies greeted me, but I was told the Internet computers were
closed until 5 pm, when a third lady would return and help me. Those
computers?-I pointed to ten vacant computers with very nice air
conditioning (a lot of Internet cafes lack A/C). Yes, closed until 5
So I decided to see the cathedral. After walking around it twice in
the sun looking for the entrance, I heard someone comment to a friend,
"Yeah. It closes at 4." I thought of retiring to the car, where it
should be cool at two floors below ground. But some sort of strange
temperature inversion kept it hot and muggy there. On the way back,
we hit a lot of stop and go traffic and high temps, so we had to shut
off the A/C to avoid transmission problems .
I think we just hit the city on the wrong day, so I 'll reserve judgement .
It was very nice to eat dinner on the cool veranda back at the apartment.