A Travellerspoint blog

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

Adios Spain!

Every beginning has an end, and our end has come.

Vacation started a short two weeks ago and ends tomorrow. I am sad to leave Spain and want to continue traveling, but I'm also excited to sleep in my bed and eat my morning oats cooked in almond milk. The comforts of home are greatly missed, even with such short absence.

Today we woke up late, but not late enough for a full recovery. I don't think that's possible when you go to bed at 5 a.m. We had a 2 p.m. train to catch from Puerto back to Madrid. It was a four hour train ride, and we knew we should give ourselves time to pack, shower, and eat before embarking on our return trip.

We all moved slowly.

Sabine somehow had the ability to make us huevos rancheros for brunch, though I don't know how. Regardless, I was thankful. I needed a filling meal to help me get going, and nothing hits the spot like something topped with guacamole.

I can't state enough how generous and wonderful of a host Sabine has been to us. She let us into her home, put us up, put up with us...no easy feat. We're indebtedly grateful--she made the end of our trip a great time. Zac and I have really enjoyed our time in Puerto, even with uncooperative weather.

I wish we had more time to spend in Madrid before leaving. I was excited to return, and we chose a hotel in the center of the city again. I'd love to wander around the park or eat tapas in the Mercado San Miguel. There is a falafel stand that has been recommended, and we still haven't eaten at restaurants that were passed on our first trip through Madrid that are lingering in the back of our minds. I want to wake up tomorrow morning and get coffee and churros and walk through one of the beautiful plazas and people watch.

IMG_8068.jpg

Instead our arrival in Madrid didn't come until 6 p.m., leaving us less time than we wanted to explore the city. Our hostel is disgusting, but unfortunately was one of the only available in the city center on such short notice that wasn't outrageously expensive. That's what we get for waiting to book a hotel on the weekend. In retrospect we've both agreed that it would have been worth it to pay three times as much to sleep beneath sheets without fear of bed bugs, take a hot shower, and sleep in a room that doesn't smell like smoke. We do get free porn, though. Really gross porn, but it's free.

IMG_8073.jpg

We've definitely stayed in worse places--several hostels in Nicaragua come to mind, but I didn't expect something this bad in this price range in Madrid. Fortunately we're only here for one night, and fortunately we're spending about eight hours in the room total. We tossed our stuff down after checking in and then immediately left the place. Our goal was to spend as little time in the room as possible, though this felt to be a struggle since we'd slept so little the night before.

Our low energy was disappointing, but we were super duper excited to return to Madrid because our friend Marni just moved to Madrid and we are lucky enough to overlap for a night! She kindly came to meet us at our dank hostel and we went and had dinner and drinks and she filled us in on the joys of moving to another country, particularly a country as "laid back" as Spain.

Her soon-to-be apartment is right by the hotel we stayed at on our first trip to Madrid, and we decided to hang out in her new 'hood to check out her digs. She will be living in a beautiful part of the city center. Her apartment is on a quiet street tucked away from the noisiness of the centro, but all she has to do is walk fifty feet to join in the chaos should she choose. I love Madrid's tucked away quiet streets, neatly sandwiched between major junctions and plazas. It's amazing how sleepy they can be when just a block over discotecas and restaurants swell with people.

90_IMG_8070.jpg
Marni in front of her new apartment!

It was so nice to see Marni, though I felt near brain dead and borderline retarded from exhaustion and the residual effects of alcohol still lingering. I felt to be an uninteresting bore, but Zac was able to keep up a conversation. And of course Marni is witty and entertaining all on her own.

I wish I could have made it past twelve, but as the clock tower literally struck midnight we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Marni had to take the metro back to her temporary residence and we were just so dang tired that we had to give in and grudgingly go back to the hostel. There have been riots here in Madrid this past week and police, news caravans, and surveying helicopters kept the busy plaza under watchful eye. We thought we might see some action as we walked back to the hostel this evening, but we did not. Protests in the crowded streets tonight are peaceful (though not earlier in the week), and near impossible to differentiate from the busy crowd of a Saturday evening.

90_IMG_8069.jpg

The room felt even more disgusting upon closer inspection, and I swear it felt like something was crawling on me. Sleeping on top of the sheets seems to be the only option in such situations, and hopefully with some more strength we'll be able to fully close the bathroom door. So far we've been unsuccessful with that.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Spain and embark on a full day of traveling back home. I'm not looking forward to the long day to come, or the return to reality. I am glad we came, and I've enjoyed my trip very much (and I think Zac has as well). I'd return to Spain, though admittedly there are a few other places we've been that I'd rather return to first. Spain has had some beautiful moments and beautiful places, but it's also had some uncomfortable situations and some annoying experiences. Spanish time is admirable in spirit, but often frustrating in practice. We've made many-a-jokes about Spanish time and failing economy. The jokes feel too easy, but we can't help it.

Still, walking the beautiful and charming streets of a small Spanish city, eating tapas late into the evening, cracking a bottle of wine and sitting on a terrace on a warm summer night--it's hard to beat that.

So onward we go, heading home and dreaming about where we'll go next.

Posted by JorieW 03.10.2012 18:02 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

GLUTTONY

Happy International Day of Gluttony!

This is the first year we'll actually be spending it internationally. Zac turns 30 today, and as is tradition for every birthday we must be gluttons. It's the rule, nothing I can do about it!

We had several options for what to do on Zac's birthday, but none of them began with getting up early. We slept in and tried to get as well rested as we could to prepare for the full day ahead of us. Yes, I used the word "full" purposefully. That also had "full" in it. See where I'm going with this?

First thing is first--coffee. I think we've invested enough time and money into drinking coffee here that we could have just opened our own coffee shop in Spain.

After coffee came showers. The water had been turned off for some strange reason, and when we left the house the only promise of a cleanse was from the clouds above Sabine's house.

90_IMG_8000.jpg

Showers of the non-rain kind felt really good, especially after all the wine we'd had the night before. I drank too much and had woken up with a slight red wine hangover that left me feeling really gritty and grimey. Savor that image.

Zac ultimately decided he wanted to spend the day in Puerto de Santa Maria looking around and seeing the city. We talked about going elsewhere, but realized we'd seen little of this adorable town itself. We'd also thrown out the idea of a day trip to Morocco, but were told Tangiers is a bit of a shit hole and tourist trap. When given the options Puerto seemed like the much better decision.

Puerto de Santa Maria is such a cute little town. Walking around was fun, and we had a yummy lunch along the waterfront.

IMG_8004.jpg

Tapas after tapas came out as we began the day of gluttony off with a good start. Our waiter was impressed with the amount of food ordered, and eventually he said we couldn't have any more. The food was pretty good too, despite some apprehension upon delivery. One of my favorite tapas was also one that I almost refused to try (insert life lesson here). Smoked salmon wrapped around some sort of soft cheese and pineapple, topped with chocolate sauce. I know, it sounds gross, but it was great.

IMG_8001.jpg

Puerto is a small and very walkable city. Here is some of how we spent our day:

90_IMG_8006.jpgIMG_8007.jpg90_IMG_8012.jpg

After walking around with full bellies we stopped for pastries. It was only appropriate. Then Sabine and Zac each took a siesta. I decided I wanted to see more of Puerto and went back to the beachfront path that I'd jogged along the day before. The clouds had begun to part and the sun was slowly creeping out. The weather had warmed and the breeze was warm enough to feel comfortable without a long sleeved shirt, but cool enough to feel refreshing. It really was a beautiful walk.

90_IMG_8014.jpg
Workout gear along the boardwalk--Spanish parks have outdoor workout equipment all over the place

IMG_8016.jpg90_IMG_8017.jpgIMG_8019.jpg90_IMG_8020.jpg

Along the way I spotted a hoard of cats that live on the rock wall. I met a man who was fishing down by the water when he embarrassingly caught me taking his picture.

90_IMG_8030.jpg

He told me that the cats are wild, but he feeds them and they really have taken a liking to him. He fishes in the waterway, but doesn't keep the fish because the water is dirty. Instead he feeds whatever he catches to the cats and has thus earned their trust. The cats seemed pretty sweet to me and they didn't seem to mind when I stood nearby, but I refrained from petting them nonetheless.

90_IMG_8026.jpgIMG_8028.jpg

My walk was really nice. It was slow and leisurely, with an undecided end point. I just walked and watched. Watched the sunshine reflect off the water as waves rolled into shore. Watched as boats cruised through the port, shuttling fisherman to and fro. Watched as children played on the gym equipment strewn about the boardwalk. Watched as old couples strolled arm and arm, enjoying the afternoon. That was my favorite part.

IMG_8037.jpg

After my walk I returned back to Sabine's just in time to eat cake. She was really thoughtful and bought Zac a delicious chocolate cheesecake and some birthday presents to celebrate. We ate most of the cake and watched as Zac got himself a fantastic new Spanish cookbook and a few other goodies. What a great birthday!

IMG_8045.jpgIMG_8047.jpg90_IMG_8059.jpg

90_IMG_8049.jpg
Not so excited about turning 30

90_IMG_8058.jpg
Very excited about cake

Having cake before dinner is the way to go, at least on International Gluttony Day, and definitely after a big lunch followed by pastries.
Soon it was dinner time, and we got all snazzy and sassy for a night on the town. Sabine made a reservation at a lovely Italian restaurant where we all shared wine and inappropriate dinner conversation that was embarrassingly overheard by the table next to us (and the couple stared gaped mouthed at us the entire time). It was wonderful.

A bottle of wine and a belly full of pasta wasn't going to be good enough for International Gluttony Day. We needed more. Bar hopping was next on our list, but not before a stop for gelato. Yes, I got Bueno gelato again. I don't know what I'll do without it back home :(

We went to a few bars, I think. I can't remember. Here's what I do recall: one bar played a lot of older American music that the Spanish went crazy for. To watch a room full of Spaniards singing along to the Rolling Stones and then Nirvana was great, particularly since there was a DJ spinning the songs. If I were a DJ I can't say that Nirvana would be on my dance playlist, but what do I know? Some people might find the tune to "Rape Me" kind of catchy (and yes, that was the song they played). Still, it was really wonderful to see that Livin' On A Prayer is an international and timeless sensation for all. Who would have thought that Bon Jovi would be the thread that connects the world?

One of the amusing anecdotes of the evening was an old man that essentially grabbed Sabine's beer straight from her hands and drank it himself, holding out his arms afterward as a point of pride that his lips did not touch the bottle. This made it okay, he said. We then watched as he walked from table to table, picking up unattended beer bottles and glasses and drinking whatever was left in them. If that's not a reason to keep an eye on your beverage at a bar, I don't know what is.

Eventually we moved on to another bar, the life of the party bar, if you know what I mean. You don't, that's okay. It was a coke bar. We didn't know it until we were waiting in line for the bathroom and a man who looked like Doc from Back to the Future rushed into a single stall toilet with a couple of other people. A kindly young man waiting in line behind us informed us of what was going on. We couldn't stop laughing. Or I couldn't. Of all the bars we picked!

We mingled for a while, talking to locals and transplants before deciding to leave. It began to pour again and we were shuffled back inside the bar from the terrace outside. Huddled in a doorway with everyone we stood and watched as Doc and his friends openly snorted coke. It was time to go, we confirmed.

Go figure we ended up at this shady bar. Still, we had a fun time out in Puerto. If anything it made me feel really old. I clearly am not a young party animal. I'm an old married stuffy woman who likes to drink wine and scoffs at people using club drugs.

I still laugh a lot though, and I laughed a lot on International Gluttony Day. I even danced a little.

The night ended at 4:30 a.m. in Sabine's kitchen, soaking wet from walking home in the rain, huddled around her kitchen table eating the last of the cheesecake and a pack of crackers that we'd taken from the restaurant earlier in the day.

I'd say that was a success.

Posted by JorieW 03.10.2012 08:43 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

Cadiz

This trip has really tested my values.

Yesterday I ate shark, and today I used an umbrella. What is this Seattleite coming to?

Don't tell anyone, okay? I didn't tough it out with a hood or pretend that getting wet doesn't bother me. Instead I carried a bright green, unmistakeable umbrella.

IMG_7969.jpg

The weather has taken a turn for home here in Spain. Rain has decided to come in full force after months of very dry weather, and apparently the sky has been holding it in for far too long. The morning came with pounding, fat, heavy rain that woke us up, followed closely by thunder and lightning. It was nuts, and it didn't stop. All. Day. Long.

It rained so hard that Sabine's house suddenly found itself with a swimming pool, and her plants runnith fullith.

AD3671EA2219AC68179D4A6C1F85F6F8.jpg90_AD3F9D6E2219AC6817B70EFEADBE032E.jpg

This of course was a day that Zac and I planned to spend outdoors, hence the umbrella carrying. We took a leisurely morning, getting up late and then heading to the ferry to catch a ride to Cadiz. Cadiz is a short twenty five minute ferry ride from Puerto de Santa Maria, and we happily crossed the grey rolling sea to the Iberian Peninsula's oldest continuously-inhabited city.

We were excited to see Cadiz, as we'd been told it's a beautiful city. And it is, or so I still assume. It was hard to judge under dark skies of threatening clouds and intermittent downpours.

IMG_7958.jpgIMG_7982.jpgIMG_7983.jpg

We spent our time walking around the Old Town, admiring the antiquity of the buildings and typical European narrow streets. We walked through a few plazas, past the cathedral, and to the central mercado. I had really wanted to see the fish stalls in the market, which Sabine told me had whole sharks hanging around. Of course the reason I wanted to check this out was to see if I could identify what local sharks are ending up on Spainard's dinner plates, or more specifically what kind of shark ended up on my dinner plate in cooking class. The only shark I came across was a dog fish, so I felt okay about that. No great white shark heads resting on ice at the central mercado.

I wish I could tell you about all the cool things we did and saw in Cadiz, but the rain really limited our activities and we spent most of our time bouncing from coffee shop to restaurant just for shelter from the storming weather. I know, we're pretty lousy Seattleites, huh? Letting rain stop us--bananas! Maybe we've been in Spain too long. Truly though, the rain was a deluge of water just pounding down any time we stepped out of a restaurant. Once we stepped inside, however, the rain stopped. As soon as the words "la cuenta" came out of either my or Zac's mouth the sky opened up again and let loose.

90_IMG_7965.jpg

We discussed our options for the day, but ultimately decided that we'd prefer not spending the day soaking wet. We headed back to Puerto in the early afternoon.

Cadiz really does seem like a beautiful city, and I'm sure on a sunny day the stretch of stone wall along the ocean provides a stunning view. The houses and apartments are well kept, and the streets are clean. There are beautiful palm trees scattered about the many plazas, and small shops tucked away in quiet alleys. I'd love to go back someday.

90_IMG_7960.jpgIMG_7977.jpgAD1BBB3B2219AC6817222C9630088AFC.jpg

Once back in Puerto de Santa Maria we took things pretty easy. The weather seemed to drain our energy, and even this chocolate goody couldn't pick us up:

IMG_7963.jpg
(It looks like someone pooped in a hot dog bun, but boy was it tasty)

We lounged around for a while before deciding that some Irish coffees were needed to replenish the low levels of excitement. Sabine took us to an Irish pub that she has dubbed "Little America," and the name was absolutely appropriate. Everything in the bar was in English, American classic rock blasted throughout, and pub decor trumped any traditional Spanish architecture or tilework in the building. It served its purpose though, and Zac and Sabine enjoyed their Irish coffees. I sipped a diet coke. I was still feeling the effects of laziness from an overcast day.

After the pub we went back to Sabine's and cooked dinner while sharing a couple bottles of wine. She made us a delicious meal, and we found ourselves stuffed and happy. Sabine is an awesome, awesome, awesome host and insists on feeding us good food and taking care of our needs. Whether it's providing umbrellas for protection from the rain, driving us around to see the sights, letting us wash our clothes (and just in time since I was almost out of knickers), and even letting me borrow a pair of stylish boots to wear out into the rainy weather because my sandals were cleary a bad choice--she has provided it all. I don't know how we can possibly repay her, and every time we make even a small attempt to do so she refuses. I'm going to have to get more creative.

I'd had more wine than I probably should have and stumbled up to bed. Once again I felt a glutton, and it wasn't even International Gluttony Day yet! It's been International Gluttony two weeks for us Rumells, but tomorrow we really do it in style.

Posted by JorieW 01.10.2012 18:18 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

Did I do that?!

I'm stuffed.

With a food baby.

Seriously. And I'm terrified about what's going to happen when I give birth.

If I've moaned about over indulging before on this trip (and I have...) then I was an ignorant fool. Never did I anticipate the fullness that I feel right now, a fullness that has lasted an uncomfortable three hours and counting.

Please don't mistake my moans as complaint, or at least a negative complaint (can complaints be positive?). This is a good thing. A very bad good thing.

Today Sabine kindly drove us to Vejer de la Frontera, a small and adorable city about 45 minutes south of Puerto d SM. Appropriately it was raining. I say appropriately because Sabine mentioned something to me about being excited for a "slice of home" when Zac and I came to visit, and I can't imagine what is more homely about Washington than rain. So, you're welcome.

Still, arriving in Vejer in the rain was pleasant. I got some strange looks being in a dress and sandals in the rain, but Sabine advised me to wear fat clothes for our day of utter gluttony, and I gladly put on my fat dress that I thought would hide my anticipated food baby. I wanted to shake my fist at one man who clearly was unapproving of my garb and shout at him that I'm from Seattle, and rain is in my blood, and more importantly that umbrellas are for sissy pants. Instead I just stood quietly.

We arrived with enough time to get some coffee before meeting Annie, our host for the day. Annie is from Scotland, lived twenty years in England, ran a successful catering company, and moved to Vejer several years ago where she opened a cooking school in her beautiful home. She is friendly, kind, and the biggest fan of sherry I've ever met. She generously welcomed us and took us to a small market to buy fresh supplies for the day.

IMG_7911.jpg

It was just Zac, Sabine, and myself for the class today, and Annie respectfully planned to do a seafood day to accommodate Zac's dietary restrictions. Admittedly I was somewhat sad to miss an opportunity to better learn how to cook meat, but since I prepare food for Zac and myself at home it is certainly more useful to better learn how to cook seafood. Annie gave us a few options for meal choices and we settled on a fish stew and a black rice with cuttlefish and prawns. This last dish did not tickle my fancy, particularly since the black rice would be colored black by the cuttlefish ink, but I thought I'd be adventurous nonetheless. When in Rome, right? Or Vejer, rather.

Annie chose to buy boquerones

IMG_7907.jpg

cuttlefish

IMG_7905.jpg

and lobito.

IMG_7906.jpg

Lobito? What's that?

"It's shark," Annie said.

I studied the filet. It could certainly be shark, how do I know? It could also be tuna for all I knew. I can't tell one pink fish filet from another. I wished I hadn't asked.

Everyone knows I'm crazy about my sharks. More than crazy, actually. Bat shit insane.

I stood for a moment staring at the meat, wondering if I was okay with eating it. I've probably eaten shark without realizing it, I rationalized. That happens often in restaurants, particularly in other countries. I have no problem with eating shark, just like any other fish, so long as it is a sustainable species and caught in an environmentally sound manner. This was not shark fin soup, this was the meat of a dead shark, and I'm fine with people eating the meat of sharks. "So, eat the damn shark," I told myself.

There was still part of me that felt guilty. I made Zac hug it out.

IMG_7909.jpg

We finished shopping at the small but colorful market and then headed back to Annie's house.

Annie lives in a beautiful house in the middle of Vejer, just a short walk uphill through white washed homes with a stunning view of the valley below. Her home is wonderfully built, with a swimming pool in the open courtyard that rests in the middle of the entire house. As we entered her home we were greeted by her cat. Her dead cat. That has been stuffed. I couldn't tell if this made me like her more.

IMG_7914.jpg

We got down to cooking pretty quick, learning how to prep the meals we'd be consuming. First step? Clean everything. And I mean everything. The lady at the market had removed the cuttlefish's ink pouches (or whatever the hell they're called), but we still had to remove the beaks. Yum.

The grossest part of that process was when I cut into an ink pouch accidentally and it squirted everywhere. Really, you want me to eat this? Anyway, after that we cleaned the boquerones. These guys are like little sardines and we just ripped their heads off, sliced through their guts with our thumbs, and pulled out their spines. By the time we were done it looked like the Spanish inquisition part II.

IMG_7923.jpg90_IMG_7929.jpg

Despite that grossness we still had an appetite for some pomegranates, which we learned how to peel and seed without making a mess.

IMG_7926.jpg

IMG_7920.jpg

Normally when I eat a pomegranate it involves putting on an old stained shirt that I no longer care about, sitting down with a towel under my plate, and going at it with a spoon and hoping for the best. Now I know that all I need to do is cut the top off, make a few small slits on the edges of the top, fill a large bowl with water, crack the pomegranate open in the water, and gently pluck the seeds out. The seeds fall to the bottom while the rhine floats to the top. Then drain it slowly until the rhine is gone and place the rest in a strainer until you're ready to eat.
Our food simmered for a while, and Annie shared sherry after sherry after sherry with us. We munched on some pickled boquerones and crackers, which were delicious and easy to make. Then came the pan fried boquerones. Then the garlic aioli and bread. Then the gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic oil).

IMG_7931.jpg

Then the main courses, which involved crying while preparing.

90_IMG_7917.jpg

The shark stew was first. It was good, and I ate it down. The salty taste of my tears complimented the dish well.

IMG_7943.jpg

After the shark stew came the ink squirt paella. I enjoyed this as well, though I picked most of my cuttlefish out and gave it to Zac. I couldn't get past the mental block of the squirting ink pouch all of the counter top or the floating eyes in the discard bowl staring blankly at me. This dish was particularly fun to eat because it left teeth and lips black from the ink. We all giggled about this for sometime, though I suspect most of the giggling was the result of all the sherry and wine we'd been poured.

IMG_7942.jpg

After our huge meal we enjoyed the cookies we'd made earlier. Galletas de almendras y limon. The cookies are like macaroons, but we used ground almonds instead of coconut and added lemon zest. They were delicious, and while I told myself to try and have some self-control after such a big meal I still wolfed down 1/3 of the batch of cookies. Zac and Sabine helped me with the rest. We all groaned uncomfortably as we dipped our cookies in sherry and coffee, claiming we could eat no more and then finishing the entire plate of them. No regrets.

After we finished coffee and sobered up a bit we said goodbye to Annie and Vejer. Sabine offered to take a picture of Zac and I with a lovely view of the city before leaving, but Zac and I couldn't stop laughing as we tried to hide one another's food baby belly and this was as close as we got to a decent picture:

IMG_7952.jpg

The remainder of our early evening has been spent in a food-induced coma. I've done nothing since, and every time I try to stand my stomach reminds me that there's way too much in there to move.

I think it's a low key night for us this evening, and likely no bar hopping or tapas stops, or anything added to our tummies. There's simply no room. A cooking class was a fantastic way to spend the day, and I am looking forward to eating the left overs tomorrow. In moderation.

Posted by JorieW 27.09.2012 02:07 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

Bueno, Bueno, Bueno. Buenoooooooooooooo!

Adio Seville, hola Puerto de Santa Maria!

Yes, I'm aware I spelled adios without the s above. That's because Spaniards don't pronounce it. I'm used to Latin American accents, so this confuses me often. Fun fact of the day for you.

I'm currently sitting in a spacious and tastefully decorated kitchen in a large house (so large I didn't even realize there was a bathroom in the room that Zac and I were sleeping in), sipping a cup of tea before going upstairs to take a shower in a real, full size tub. This last part is a really big treat after spending the past week and a half in hotels with standing-only showers that are so cramped that when I bend over to pick up dropped soap I either knock the shower knob to excrutiatingly hot or I turn it off altogether.

It feels really nice to be in a home.

We chose to come to Puerto de Santa Maria because our friend Sabine and her husband Rodric live here. She offered to host us (clearly she's kind of crazy), and while we hate putting other people out, we couldn't refuse. How many times have we traveled and run into friends? Once. That's how many. Five years ago we happened to be in South Africa at the same time as one of Zac's best friends and spent five days in Cape Town hanging out. Which was awesome.

With that, we said goodbye to Seville.

We arrived in Puerto d SM yesterday afternoon, just in time to have lunch with Sabine and her in-laws. Sabine's husband was called out for work and will not be here while we are, which is unfortunate because I suspect that he and Zac would get along very well based on Sabine's stories of him (all good stories, promise). We enjoyed meeting his parents and sharing lunch down by the waterfront on what proved to be a comparable windy day to Whidbey Island. I think I ate more of my hair than the salad in front of me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Puerto d SM is a lovely town on the west coast of Spain, tucked neatly inland and directly across the water from Cadiz. There is a 30 minute ferry that we can catch to go to Cadiz, which I believe is on the itinerary for the few days we're here. Puerto itself is charming. It's certainly a change of pace from the Spanish cities we've been in, and it feels like a more accurate representation of modern life in Spain. It's easy to wander the old Spanish city centers surrounded by buildings with hundreds of years worth of history and forget that suburbs exist. Not everyone can live next to (nor wants to live next to) a tourist corridor. Though it was pretty amusing to drive through the streets of Puerto d SM on the way to Sabine's house and hear the phrase: "Oh that? Yeah, that's our city castle."

After lunch we all decided to unwind. Zac and I unloaded our gear, and Sabine kindly gave us her room for the evening until we could switch to the guest room when her in-laws left the next day. As I mentioned before, I HATE putting people out, so I felt really bad for taking her room. I made Zac swear he wouldn't fart in the bed--it just felt wrong. Of course in the end we all know it wasn't Zac that we really had to worry about.

The weather had cooled down quite a bit, and I decided to go for a run along the beach front and check out the port a little more. This time Zac was able to use one of Sabine's bikes and rode along next to me as I ran. It was a great set up, and the perfect time of day for a run. The weather was ideal--slightly over cast and temperate with just enough sun to cast a lazy glow to the surrounding trees as it began to set for the night. People were out walking dogs, walking with spouses, and jogging themselves. I loved it, and the view along the way was spectacular. Unfortunately Zac only snapped one picture while out (he's not as photo crazy as me), but it's a beautiful one of painted murrals along the port.

IMG_7897.jpg

Since we'd had such a big lunch we decided to have tapas for dinner that evening, and after my run I showered and got ready to hit Puerto in style. By style I mean with wet hair and a tee shirt with stains only hidden by my scarf.

Sabine took us to a great restaurant with yummy food--and it was packed! All down the streets and walkways were restaurants with ample patio seating except the restaurant we attended. We waited for a table to open up, and the reward for our patience (other than enjoying a drink across the alley in another bar) was delicious food. We had some sort of fried fish that was really, really, really, really good. I liked it a lot. A lot.

Dinner hit the spot, but afterward we went to get some gelato where I dangerously discovered that they have Bueno gelato! Oh me, oh my! Zac pointed it out to me and suddenly I had tunnel vision. The world around me ceased to exist and everyone in the shop faded into a blur. It was me and my lover, Bueno gelato. We only had eyes for each other, and we totally made out that night.

IMG_7899.jpg

It was with full belly that I laid my head down to sleep last night, and pleasant dreams of chocolate and hazelnut stayed with me until morning when I woke up and realized I can do it all over again today.

Posted by JorieW 26.09.2012 10:00 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 46) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »