Sundays drag in Spain. Everything is closed. The streets are quiet. The lively vibe that exists during the week diminishes overnight.
One might say that this is peaceful. It’s a chance to recuperate and to relax. It’s a chance to explore without being distracted, and to take things at a slower pace. However, when you’re sightseeing, the fact that Sundays are so underwhelming makes it difficult to truly appreciate a place.
As it was a Sunday, the cathedral was closed. We didn’t know this at the time because the door was open and we just assumed tourist attractions were open all year round. Then again, a cathedral is always a religious sanctuary first and a historical building for visitors second. We walked in and it was gloomy and dark, with the little bit of light illuminating a lone gentleman playing a Christmas carol softly on the organ.
We spent 24 hours in Valladolid. We saw many Christmas lights, and they were some of many we saw that put the trippy Gran Via of Bilbao to shame. When we were there, there was some sort of fair taking place amongst the Christmas Markets, and the lines for the children’s rides were insane. It was breath-taking in a way, and it was at that stage in December when everyone has boarded the Christmas hype train but they’re not at the stage where some people are sick of it already and want to get off at the next metaphorical stop.
Even though it appears to be quiet, the bars and cafes are always packed with people. It seems ironic that a country that’s so peaceful on Sunday can also be so busy. Sunday is very much a day of rest for the Spanish, but that doesn’t mean they will take a day off from going outside and socialising, if anything they are more inclined to do so since they will have no other commitments.
All these things considered, peace is not always best for the tourist, but sometimes it is just what is needed for the visitor.