The rules for the routes – getting to know Spain


I have so often counseled the new arrivals here that I have worn myself out. “There are rules for understanding the magic of Spain”. I was becoming exasperated.

So, spotting a friendly face at a near by table gave me just the right chance to converse with an old and familiar friend. During a light tapas break I moaned that new arrivals were not getting out, not discovering Spain. “There are simple rules for learning about this place” she pronounced. Within moments she had explained to me my very same rules. In fact, I was happy to learn she had followed those rules better than anyone else I have met, including myself!

She came here back in 1971, bought a house from us, and immediately began to let Spain surprise her.


Marilynn Taylor is married to that handle bar wearing, pistol packing preacher that son Joby introduced me to from the gun club. Jerry has been on hundreds of the adventures too with Marilyn criss crossing the country.

Ironically, Marilyn’s background is much more related to music. Her father was none other than the famed Sammy Gallop who penned many of the lyrics and musical arrangements for Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee back in their day.

All personages that would come to her house when she was a little girl. She heard the lyrics and gravitated towards “words”. She studied French and Spanish in high school and college. But it was a semester in Madrid that brought her home to Spain. Once here, she didn’t want to leave. Within a couple of years she met the eccentric Franny Barber in New York who was selling property in Mojacar for us, came here and bought.

During a lunch the other day she astounded and schooled me on the importance of getting to know Spain. First she learned Mojacar and every corner of it. Then drifted out to the near by small villages and learned all about them. Then started taking trips to important historical sites in Spain, studying the history before she visited them so to know exactly where to go and what to see. And, being a good school teacher she kept notes and with them Bags of blessed stories. What a pleasure to sit back and let the two of them talk and enchant me.

If you sit back and wait for the “Spanish show” to arrive to you, you will miss so much, too much. There seems to be 20 times more excitement when you discover Spain. Start here or the village where you live and know it well. Then slip out further to the surrounding pueblos, best bars and worst.

This said, it is imperative you stroll into places you just wouldn’t go normally. Yes, it will force you to learn your Spanish while having fun. Then, the concentrated trip toward a historical place or event. Marilyn has kept lots of trip reports if you need some suggestions:  [email protected]    .


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