A Spanish Summer
The air was full of promises and sun and the smell of lavender was sticking to your skin and hair like an expensive perfume.
The road to the middle of nowhere in Brihuega had been crowded; it seemed that all city folks had found out about the secret at the same time, and they were greedily crowding to get a taste of the fragrant countryside air.
Our taxi driver was sustaining pleasant small talk – despite my shaky Spanish – telling me how the same road would be leading the torros through the city, come August.
Thousands of people gather in August, he said; the bull run is possibly the most popular event in Brihuega. Looking at the long line of cars in front of us, I quietly disagreed.
He pointed to the road uphill, continuing to drone on with his rustic, Castillian accent – ‘Mira, that’s where they will come running down from’
Chatting with Locals
We also found out that, years ago, there was an immensely popular Hari Krishna movement in this small forgotten village, and people were drawn to the new “religion” like moths to a lantern.
I couldn’t help but smile, looking at the crowds gathered in the lavender fields, all dressed in white: we too looked like some sort of sect – the urbanists rediscovering dirt, and flowers, and sunsets.
Only the urbanists couldn’t completely detach themselves from their digital personas.. everyone seemed to be happier snapping selfies, Kodak moments in pretty dresses, and frantically feeding their Instagram, instead of.. well, living the moment.
It took a full hour until people finally ditched their phones and actually sat and enjoyed the bolero love songs.
A Lavender Concert to Remember
Cafe Quijano was singing that evening. The lead singer absolutely loved to chitchat with the public between songs, making the experience all the more intimate and typical Spanish.
He told stories of the past, stories of love lasting a lifetime, and sad stories, all too relatable to the crowds who sang along smilingly and wistfully.
As the sun set, the bees in the lavender field gave way to the stars on the summer sky.
I thought: This would be a perfect spot for some nighttime photography.
And so I will come back next year, I decided, patting my imaginary shoulder and happy I’ll be starting my driving lessons this year.
Brihuega, middle of nowhere, see you soon!