Tag Archives: Driving a Stick

Learning to Drive in the White Hill Towns of Andalusia, Spain

The White City of Arcos de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

The White City of Arcos de la Frontera.

“Is there a problem with your car?” the increasingly annoyed hotel owner said to me in English. He and I both knew that the problem had nothing to do with my automobile.

To be fair, it wasn’t my fault that he had to wait so long for me to park. I’m not the one who decided to prohibit guests from operating the garage door. I don’t know who came up with the brilliant idea to require a front desk person to walk outside and physically open the gate every time you wanted to enter or exit the car park, but it wasn’t me.

Nor was it my fault that parking spaces were so tight that, once in a spot, we couldn’t open the passenger side door at all and, even then, there was so little room on the other side that I only managed to squeeze out of the car after emptying my pockets. Seriously, I nearly destroyed my phone trying to force my way out the driver’s side door.  

I’m completely blameless in all of that. But deciding to drive a manual transmission car for the first time through the ancient hill-top towns that dot Andalusia, Spain? Yup, that one is on me.

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