Cordoba. Spain. 1972. Donna and I had been married a few months and we took a belated honeymoon trip – 3 weeks – to Spain and Portugal. Two 25 year olds driving around with no reservations. No plans. No itinerary. Getting up each morning and going “what shall we do today?” Fortunately we were in sync on pretty much everything so the trip went swimmingly. We stayed in the state-run “Paradors” for about ten bucks a night. And we dined on the “big four” — calamari, coffee, churros and chocolate. And informally followed the famed matador Diego Puerta as he wound his way through Spain – featured in various corridas. The bullfighting was special having just read Hemingway’s 1932 classic Death in the Afternoon. And Michener’s Iberia.
Then – we got to Cordoba. It’s late. And the Parador was booked. And other hotels had no room. Finally – tired and hungry – we found a room. In the basement of the Hotel Selu. Cue the theme from “Dragnet” . . . .
Now today – the Hotel Selu may be a four star offering. But in 1972 it was . . . . Anyway, we checked in. There were chickens cackling outside our window. And some guy was yelling at his wife in the next room (I think the walls were made of cardboard). Donna sat down on the bed and began to cry. . . . And that was before the rooster woke us up at 4:30 a.m. . . . .
I felt like an idiot. But mind you – I am not as dumb as I look. So I resolved then and there that there would be no more Hotel Selus in Donna’s future. Over the years, we’ve come close a few times but so far I’ve stayed out of that kind of trouble. . . . .