We have been struck with how the Spanish culture is so strong in protecting of the family meal time. It has taken us a bit to get used to the fact that none of the shops in the villages and towns are open from 2pm till 5pm. So what is going on during this time? What we learned is this is the Spanish time for having the family meal together. It is their “Sabbath time”. They gather each day to share the main meal of the day. What a wonderful thing this is! It is their protected time. They don't have the pressure to work. It is their time to rest as a family. What a wonderful tradition this is!
I know there is a lot of evidence out there about the importance of a family meal together. It has a lot of benefits to the health of our families. What a gift it is to have this time carved out by the culture they live in so they are not having to fight to find this time like we must do in the United States.
One of the reasons we wanted to do the Camino was to get a closer understanding of the culture of other countries. Both Terri and I love experiencing the new ways that others live. We really think the Spanish have got it right regarding the “family meal” time.
John and Terri