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Published: October 14th 2012
In a Department StoreSATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2012 - Leaving Barcelona was nice. I was tired. Little Caesar had marched me all over the city. I was ready for some down time, which is exactly what we found at our friends', Jane and Mike Alexander, in Mora d'Ebro, about an hour south of Tarragona. They have a lovely farm that they bought about eight years ago, and Mike completely ( as I understand it) built the house. I think there were a couple of walls, but that was about it. It is a wonderful house, though Jane would like a couple of mod cons, like a freezer, and maybe a dishwasher. They have solar panels, and a generator, and live their lives accordingly. It is very relaxing, and we had ALOT of laughs for a couple of days. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2012 - From their place, we took off to Calpe, down the coast from Valencia. It is a typical tourist area on the Mediterranean coast in Spain...lots of high-rise apartments and a huge tourist mecca. Our German hosts were quick to point out the area where the locals hang out, and the night of our arrival took us to a restaurant that
Kevin LOVES his cheese! Found this round in Tarrragona.
white asparagus and ham
White asparagus is found everywhere here, and is one of my personal favorites.
was Italian and incredibly inexpensive. Kevin and Heinz had the Menu of the Day for 11.50 euros, while Inga and I had a la carte for 8.50 euros. I had a piece of pork Schnitzel that laid over the side of the plate, along with salad and french fries, while Kevin had Bruschetta and schnitzel battered with egg. There were desserts, drinks, grappa and coffees, and the bill came to less than 40 euros ($70.00 NZ), which knocked Kevin off his chair! In New Zealand the same meal would have cost well over $120.00 NZ. Spain has great food deals, because they include beer or wine, two courses and dessert and/or coffee/tea. It didn't stop there. Kevin has discovered the great buys at bars...beer for 2 euros. We can't wait to find out what it is during happy hour. Unfortunately, Kevin is unable to find calimari salad, marinated. He can find fried calimari, or fried anything for that matter, but not what he is looking for. Guess it will be back to the super marche in France for that... FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2012 - No, I didn't miss a day. We spent the day walking around Calpe. Little Caesar
swordfish and ratatouille
Lovely swordfish, though thin, and a wonderful, flavorful ratatouille, rivalling some of those in France.
has fully recovered and we went on the great march again....We did one side of Calpe, then the other side. There is a fabulous rock, which is often compared to Gibraltar, but I think is better. There are also alot of highrises, and restaurants catering to British and other tourists. We couldn't find a Spanish restaurant, believe it or not, so we opted to buy a melon and come home for lunch. After compulsory naps, we went out again to catch the sunset on "The Rock". We missed the sunset, sort of, but found a great bar. This could become our "Local". But today, since it was a national holiday, we figured the best place to go that would be open was Benidorm, a VERY tourist town about 1/2 hour down the coast. We had been warned, but nothing prepares you for what you see. Picture Miami Beach/Blackpool England/Waikiki on steroids. THOUSANDS of Brits. Ditto Germans, Russians coming in. A BAZILLION restaurants that cater to British culinary tastes, with translations in Spanish, English, German and French. We saw a couple of Russian translations as well, so you know what that means. MANY, MANY, MANY shops having really awful things
A wonderful dessert
This was lovely, and well presented
to buy. We found a Chinese restaurant for lunch, Los Amigos, and for 4.50 euros, we could have two courses, wine or beer as a drink, and coffee or ice cream. Alot of food was served and, frankly, wasn't all that bad. After lunch, while I had nails done, Kevin got his feet chewed by little fish. Don't ask...but it supposedly makes them very soft. after another bit of a walk-around (march, march, march...) we came home. And made a beeline for the cheap bar. We had a couple of beers, ice teas and a very large pizza for 12 euros. That was our dinner. End of day... SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2012 - There was a market in the old town of Calpe today so, of course, we had to go! We found a couple of things that were just SO CHEAP that we had to get them, then off to breakfast at the New Zealand Metro Cafe. Full English breakfast including coffee for less than 6 euros each. We are still in awe of the food prices here. This afternoon, we took off for a little Moorish village in the hills above Benidorm, called Guadalest. The road
Jane and Mike's Breakfast
This was better than any other English breakfast we have had in Spain
up is not for the faint-of-heart and I was glad Kevin was driving, though i was on the outside. Its history dates back to the 8th century with the invasion of the Moors, until its recovery by Spain in the 13th century. parts of the original castle still exist, as well as a home used by the local nabob until the end of the 19th century. Guadalest is home to a number of museums, for motorcycles, miniatures, micro-miniatures (how small can you get???), torture, and (my personal favorite) salt and pepper shakers. Yep, this museum has over 20,000 (that is THOUSAND!!!) sets and they are amazing! As is posted when you walk in, you will never look at salt and pepper shakers the same ever again. I was awe-inspired, and immediately thought this could be my new hobby. They have a website: http://www.museodesalerosypimenteros.es/
so check them out! A quiet evening at home tonight...
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