hotel landa fireplace

“En cualquier momento, va a venir un tío a atizar la chimenea.”

atizar [verb]: to stoke (a fire); to rekindle (emotions, passions, etc.); to hit

December in Spain brings with it everyone’s favourite puente (bank holiday weekend): el Puente de la Constitución. Sadly, for madrileños, it was a mere three-day weekend this year, due to the unfortunate coinciding of the saint’s day of the Immaculate Conception with a Sunday. (How hard can it be to move these things to the nearest Monday?)

So with the boys safely installed at their abuelos‘ house in Palencia, my partner Alejandro and I went off for an escapadita romántica to a hotel in nearby Burgos. Since we don’t do these things very often, and because it was a belated birthday treat for Alejandro, I chose the poshest hotel I could find. (Oh and also because I’m a sucker for an outdoor heated swimming pool in winter.)

The only teeny tiny letdown of the weekend was that the “outdoor” pool was actually semi-indoors; it had a neoclassical style vaulted ceiling, glass walls and a huge stone fireplace. All very grand and lovely, but not what I’d call “outdoors”.

Anyway, there we were enjoying a semi-outdoor swim at sunset, when Alejandro turned to me with a grin and said, “En cualquier momento, va a venir un tío a atizar la chimenea.” (Any moment now, a bloke will come along and stoke the fire.) He was right. A minute later, a man came along and, with that comical seriousness typical of posh hotels, he did exactly as Alejandro had predicted: atizó la chimenea. And I, of course, clocked a new word for my blog.

Now, I could be super cheesy here and sign off with a pun on the use of the word “atizar” in the figurative sense, similar to the English and meaning “to rekindle” (as in a relationship, a passion or, for example, a love of travel) but I’m not that naff so I won’t. 😉

Oh, and to heck with the bite-sized chunks, I just have to tell you that Burgos was absolutely enchanting, all lit up and magical for the fiestas. Since we arrived a bit late for lunch and hadn’t made a restaurant reservation, we did a spontaneous tapas crawl instead, and wow, each bar seemed to be in competition with the next to see who could produce the most innovative, ecstasy-enducing gastronomic creations. Also getting a huge thumbs-up is the Museo de la Evolución Humana (amusingly acronymed MEH, but actually really, really impressive.) And boy the tapas, did I mention the tapas…? Mmmmmm! ¡Viva la Constitución!

PS – Alejandro wants me to add that another common acceptation of the word “atizar” is “to hit” or “to wallop“. Luckily there’s no way to shoehorn that one into a tale about our romantic getaway (except perhaps in reference to the bill at the end)! And he’s also offered the following two fabulous examples, because he doesn’t seem to get how much I suffer when a post goes over three paragraphs long:

El viaje a Burgos sirvió para atizar el fuego de nuestro amor.” (Ahem. His words not mine!)
La crisis ha servido de excusa a los políticos para atizar el sentimiento nacionalista en Cataluña.
Thanks, gorgeous man. Love you. xx