Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Heel and toe

Maggie had an appointment in Elda today and naturally enough I got to drive. Elda and Petrer are our local  big town.

Some towns are easy to navigate. Somehow you instantly grasp the basic arrangement of the town or city and getting from one place to another is easy. Petrer and Elda are not like that. They are supposed to be two towns with different town halls and each one has street maps that don't show the other so, at times, it's not easy to say whether you are in Elda or Petrer. Elda is where the dole and tax office is whilst Petrer has the long distance bus station and the shopping centres. The hospital is called Elda Hospital but I would have thought it was actually in Petrer. Who knows? Petrer is also called Petrel at times, or it could be the other way around. One of them is predominantly Castilian speaking whilst the other speaks Valencià. Despite visiting them regularly over the past nine or ten years navigation is still a bit less certain than Rosetta putting down Philae on the surface of the singing 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet

I suggested that instead of just going to the appointment we added in a tiny adventure. Tinier than tiny. Elda has a history of shoe making and so it has a shoe museum. I went there years ago when we were still house hunting. I was amused and rattled in equal measure that time when I had to ring a bell and respond to a reasonably detailed interview to gain admittance. My Spanish was even worse then and I was appalled that I couldn't just walk into a museum. The museum visit would be our midweek adventure.

The museum door was open today and we just walked in though old ghosts came back to haunt me when the chap on the desk asked if he could ask us some questions. We said yes. He asked us where we were from. We answered. We passed. I'm sure the entrance exam has got easier over the years. Maybe though other people were asked harder questions because in all the time that we were in the museum we were alone.

On the first floor there were a lot of wooden lasts and a lot of sewing machines. Despite trying to sort it out I still have no idea about the basics of making a shoe. Not the most informative museum I've ever been to.

On the second floor there were loads and loads of glass cases full of shoes, boots, sandals and anything else people put onto their feet. There were some mad designs, some interesting designs, some surprising designs (Venetians in the Middle Ages liked high high platforms) and lots and lots of them. It was pretty interesting in a dull sort of way. It was the same with the rows of portraits of important people from the shoe industry in Elda or old shoes from semi famous people signed over to the museum with love. You'd know you were famous wouldn't you when the shoe museum in Elda asked you for some of your old footwear?

Anyway its over now and I'm in the waiting room with Maggie and we've had enough of a wait for me to write the whole post.

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