I LOVE the Spanish mentality when it comes to the life/work balance. It seems like “work hard, then take a siesta” is the name of the game. When in Andalucía, your focus naturally channels towards the enjoyments life, not the rat race of working.

Of course there are pros and cons to both lifestyles. Let’s talk about pros of Spanish living. Allow me to introduce you to “el puente vacacional.”

And so here we are, basking in the glory of the weekend. As luck would have it, Tuesday is a bank holiday so businesses are closed. What a delight! It’s a shame Monday exists otherwise everyone could have a four day weekend. “Four day weekend…that has a nice ring to it,” says the Spanish government, and they hereby declare that the stubborn day that stands in the way of a four-day weekend shall now evaporate in the name of – el puente.

The puente (English translation: puente = bridge) simply does the obvious and links, as bridges often do, the days free from work so everyone can get a little R&R. Sometimes it’s necessary to relish today and ketchup tomorrow. 

Desperately wanting to be submerged in the culture, my friends and I vow to participate in this puente, in the name of immersion! What better way to celebrate than to uncork a bottle of Puente Viejo wine? I’m not sure who does their marketing, but it seems like they should capitalize on their name and really push the product during these holidays.

Playing cards and sipping wine, we are dappled and drowsy with contentment. What could make this evening better than a bit of chocolate to tickle our taste buds. The guy in our group, clearly an amateur when it comes to the art of appreciating chocolate, has never had the pleasure of combining said sweets with its counterpart – red wine.

Skeptical at first, his reaction to the coco-vino marriage is reflected in an array of facial expressions; revolting glare, uncertainty, acceptance, and then… a smile finally settles smugly on another successfully converted contestant.

Now the only obstacle is obtaining government funded rations of red wine and chocolate to enhance the next puente experience, but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.


  1. Tis indeed an awesomely good Spanish custom. One I wish clients I work for in other nations could understand and adopt, as the only downside is when the kids are off school for 3 days in a row, as in December, and I have work to get done!

    I am sure there will be a Spanish town somewhere that supplies the wine and chocolate by mayoral decree… just have to find the place and move there I guess…

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