Friday, 11 March 2016

Spain 2016 - sunny, warm, no wind, a day to be enjoyed.

We had very little on our agenda for today, just some cleaning and tidying to prepare for our guest, "Auntie" Joan, from England, and shopping to get us set up for a week of feeding 4.
On my walk up to the post office I noticed that it was a very low tide, not leaving much water for the ferry to Villa Real to navigate. A ferry ride over to Portugal is still on my list of things to do.
When I walked into the post office there were about 7 people already in there. Not in a nice orderly line; 3 sitting in chairs, 3 to the left of the door and 1 on the other side of the room. I took note of who had come in ahead of me and went and sat down. After a while a conversation, in Spanish, started up between the others waiting and then they turned to me. I had no clue and just shrugged. More Spanish. Then one of them walked over to me and said "English?" and I said "Si, No habla Espanol" (at least not enough to figure out what they were talking about). He sighed and then started out in halting English "In Spain..... we..... take.....turn......" Now I knew what the problem was. "Oh yes, I am after that lady" and pointed at her. He said something in Spanish, they all nodded and I could feel the relief. I knew the rules and I was going to follow them.
Mum and Dad had been getting produce and tuna at the market and I met them for coffee. There was a notice on the door of the cafe (I have been calling them a cafe, but actually places where we get a coffee, are bars that serve coffee and often they are restaurants too). The notice appeared to give them permission to be open limited hours during Easter week.
I was used to seeing these notices at cafes in France but this one was the first I had seen in Spain. It indicates the different prices for the same thing dependent on where you are sitting (outside at a table, inside at a table and, the cheapest, inside at the bar). Needless to say when George and I were in Paris we frequently had our coffee at the bar.
This showed where they were licensed to put their outdoor seating, leaving just enough room for people to get by in the pedestrian street.
Next stop, Mercaddona, for the rest of our shopping.
There are times, when driving, that it is orange trees as far as they eye can see. Not surprising that they are sold in huge quantities. We buy 3 kilo at a time but they are sold in 6 and 8 kilo bags too. We have fresh squeezed orange juice every day for breakfast.
These must have just come into season. They are being displayed in abundance both here and at the market.
Strawberries are another huge crop here though the amount of water they take is now effecting the water table. These were 2.75 Euro for the kilo. Mum got a kilo for 2.50 (about $4.25) at the market. They are not as succulent as a fresh picked, Ontario strawberry in season but they are better than a California winter one. We go through a kilo in about 3 days, sometimes eating them for both breakfast and dinner.
We have been buying these Piel de Sapo melons to eat with ham as an appetizer. The flesh is a creamy colour, sweet and waterier than cantaloupe. According to the internet they are also known ass a Santa Claus melon.
Speaking of ham, the woman at the meat counter waved me away when I tried to take a picture of the ham. Top Secret I guess. We buy it in plastic containers like at home but it is also sold by the leg. Legs hanging or lying down and priced up to a couple of hundred Euro each. You can also have some carved off by the butcher. Some of the most highly priced ham is produced in Andalusia, from small black pigs who eat acorns, North of here.
After lunch we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day. Hung out the washing and then I took a chair down to the pool area and read in the sun. Mum and Dad sat in chairs belonging to the bar on the marina side and read. The bar owner didn't seem to mind but they felt obliged to buy a glass of wine.
Mum came around to the pool and invited me to join them. If we have more non windy days this could become a habit.

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