One part travel blog. One part nerdy history lesson.

Month: June 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Days 9 and 10- Belmonte Castle, Sierra Nevadas, Almagruz Cuevas and Alicante

Before we left the hotel (which had memory foam beds! hallelujah! haha) we let Norah go for a quick swim. Swimming has been-by far- the highlight of her trip.

Kegan tried to get rid of his Irish farmer’s tan.

You can see the Belmonte castle from the hotel pool

This castle is in such good shape because it was never finished and therefore never attacked or used as a stronghold. Construction began in the late 1400s. That’s the exterior walls and the enhanced curtain wall you can see on the exterior.

The interior, however, wasn’t finished until the 1800’s, by Napoleon’s nephew-Napoleon III and his wife. Hence the brick and arches on the interior.

While we were there, a knight was showing a group of kids how to fight with swords like a knight. Can you imagine giving a kid on a US field trip a real sword and letting him swing it at somebody? People would lose their minds. haha

The ceilings of the rooms and hallways were so intricate… they were amazing.

  

Norah learned about medieval toilets. haha

As we headed out of town, I saw these guys riding out on their conquest.  If you aren’t familiar with Don Quixote, or you’ve forgotten the excerpts we were forced to read in school, a perfectly normal Spanish gentleman, in a fit of madness decides he is a knight and names himself Don Quixote and decides to ride off to right various wrongs in the world. Sancho Panza, his squire, accompanies Don Quixote and spends most of the book saving the crazy knight, taking punishment and beatings for Don Quixote’s antics or playing the straight character to Don Quixote’s funny man. They fight windmills he thinks are giants, gets himself in heaps of trouble and eventually dies but not before recovering his sanity and denouncing all of his former acts of chivalry.   Honestly, I have NO IDEA why this is considered a great book… haha but some of the themes are amusing.

We saw someone who was having a much worse day than we were. lol

We climbed another mountain near a giant river canyon to get to El Santuario Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza, a church carved in the rock face of a mountain, built where a natural cave had formed. The story is that there was a picture in the rock of the Virgin… but when they tried to cut it out and move it into town, it became super heavy for its size, telling the people that it wanted to stay here in it’s grotto to be worshipped. So, they built her a church.  It was such a beautiful area, but HOT…I think it was 100 degrees and sunny. No complaints. haha I haven’t seen REAL sun in over a year until this week- so I’m soaking it up.

Norah has this new thing for posing with statues, mimicking them. This is “sad face donation box boy”. lol

Hey look, I went on vacation, too! 🙂

We ate at the restaurant on the property and it was soooo surprisingly good.

Andalusian Gazpacho has been something we’ve ordered everywhere we can. SO AMAZING. who knew cold tomato soup could be so addicting. I can’t wait for all of my tomatoes to be going nuts so we can start making this daily at home.

Kegan ordered the grilled rabbit… because… well, he could. It literally came out as a whole rabbit. Liver, kidneys, legs, tenderloin… it was crazy. But it was fantastic. Needless to say, after all of this food, we didn’t eat dinner tonight.

We headed southwest again, reaching the middle of nowhere, where we were scheduled for a night of “rustic tourism”. haha We booked a cave for the evening.

 

These caves have been around over 1000 years… Caves dug by hand in the rocks for homes. Around 400 years ago, people started making multi-room homes, some of which go 6 or 7 stories up into the mountain side…. and in the last 100 years, people have started building common amenities into the homes such as electricity, plumbing and big windowed fronts. This is the type we rented, a full house set in the base of the hillside.

All 6 or 7 of the cave houses are set around a common pool and patio area. Such a beautiful and peaceful view. It would be the best family or friends retreat to rent them all and hang out in the common areas. So… if anyone’s up for that, just let me know. 🙂

  

Day 10

Started the morning out with a swim before heading out.

The guy who runs the cave houses also has a museum and other more primitive cave houses you can visit. He’s got a great thing going there and you can tell he has invested a lot into the property. I asked him how long he had owned it and if I understood him correctly, his wife’s aunt won the lottery years ago and bought thousands of acres in the area. She gave the land with the caves there to her niece (his wife) 20 years or so ago and he has paid for and done all of the restoration works on the houses and added the museum components. Very neat place.

Norah got to use a pick axe on the cave wall to carve some more. She thought that was super impressive.

We didn’t have breakfast and it was 1pm…so we were hungry. I started using google maps to try and locate a decent restaurant along the way for a decent sit-down lunch. We hit the jackpot.

Olives to start, gazpacho we ordered, because we have decided gazpacho is life this week. haha

But the star of the hour… the T-bone. This wasn’t just dumb luck. I had seen Google images of this T-bone before we got here, so I asked the waiter to be sure that the “T-bone” was what I was seeing online. He confirmed, so we ordered. He says “that is for two people..” so we said OK… but highly doubted him and figured he was thinking a light lunch…. but no, he was definitely right.

As soon as we ordered, we heard the bandsaw fire up in the back… which is ALWAYS a good sign in a restaurant. Out came this 2.5 inch t-bone cut of meat, lightly seared on the outside, totally rare all the way through, coated in a coarse pyramid salt and sliced into thin strips still attached to the bone.

Then they brought out a second sizzling hot cast iron plate that they rubbed a hunk of beef fat on to grease it. You take your strips of rare amazing beef and fry them yourself to your liking. AMAZING!

We found out the reason the beef was so good is because Spain has different laws about their beef. In the UK, US and most other EU countries- the steer are killed and butchered at no more than 4 years old. In Spain, they can butcher beef as old as 17 years old… in fact, Spain buys 3-4 year old milk cows from other EU countries and then lets them retire to pasture for 5-6 more years before butchering.  Turns out cows get old and fat just like we get old and fat… and the aged beef has much better marbling and a beefier flavor.

As one website we looked at put it “We’ve been eating Channing Tatum but we need to start appreciating GĂ©rard DePardieu.” haha   I now appreciate it. If Kegan ever gets his restaurant, this will be a specialty item available to order in advance.

We then headed towards Alicante since our flight out in the morning is from this airport. We wanted to hit a few local wineries today…but everything we passed was closed! So the wine tour was a bust.

We then decided it was time to head to our hotel… only to discover I never booked one! haha We promised Norah some pool time so I was in a frantic search to find one with a pool. Which you would think wouldn’t be hard, but being 10 minutes from the beach, finding a hotel with parking AND a pool was almost impossible. Finally located one and arrived. Turns out they had a “spa pool”…which turns out is a hot tub. that already had 4 other people in it when we arrived. So that was a bust. Overall, the hotel is terrible. haha we got Norah a hamburger tonight that was literally raw inside. Not a great way to end the Spain trip, but just trying to keep all of the other fantastic parts of the trip fresh in my mind to ignore how bad this evening has been 🙂  We head out in the morning so I’ll post one more time as a wrap-up/hindsight post for my thoughts so far on Spain.

 

 

Day 8-Prades Mountains and Belmonte

We left Barcelona area after stopping at a bakery for breakfast, headed out to the mountains for a lengthy drive.  I wanted to get a good snapshot of Spain this trip, just getting the major highlights of all the various areas. We originally planned for 3 weeks, but that was before I started a remote support position full time and before I had tons of summer gardening/work to do in Ireland…so we decided to shorten it to 11 days. That meant cutting out a lot of lazy beach days and seeing the very south of Spain. But, I wanted to at least see it a little bit… so we bypassed some city days to drive down the coast to the Grenada area.

Next trip to the area will be Portugal and the the Southwestern corner of Spain.

Our drive took us near the town of Siurana, so we drove the winding mountain road to go to the very top of a mountain to see what we could see.

We continued on down south through the Prades Mountains, winding along and climbing more mountain roads.

We hit the area of Valencia along the interstate and it was a way bigger metro area than I thought it was… tons of coastal towns that have grown together.. sorta like Tijuana, San Diego, LA and on up… just cityscape for a hundred miles.

We ended in the La Mancha area in a tiny town called Belmonte. I literally found this hotel last night before going to sleep. We had originally planned to go all the way to Grenada and see the Alhambra Palace… but I underestimated the distances between towns in Spain…and apparently tickets to the Alhambra Palace sell out weeks in advance. So… we changed our plans. Since our hotel in Barcelona didn’t have good wifi, didn’t have parking, didn’t have air conditioning and had PLENTY of honking horns and scooters outside our open windows all night…not to mention terrible mattresses… I was kinda sick of “slummin’ it” and wanted a nice hotel for the night. We DEFINITELY got our money’s worth in Belmonte.

Don Quixote could of had a heck of a time fighting today’s windmills.

The famous historic windmills of La Mancha

La Collegiata church in the town.

The hotel was an very old monastery that was in ruins when they completed this full renovation project on it.

My only complaint was that we had to have 3 twin beds. ha Norah thought it was hilarious and wanted to have the middle bed between us both.

They even have open areas where you can view the ruins under the hotel.

We had fantastic dinner in the hotel restaurant including pâté, shrimp and mango salad, tuna tataki, and sow cheeks.

Tomorrow is more driving and nature, ending with sleeping in a CAVE!

Days 6 and 7- Figueres, Montserrat and Barcelona

Today we headed towards the town of Figueres, the hometown of artist Salvador DalĂ­. In town is the home he built and where he died and is buried underneath the stage area of the old theatre that was converted into the museum house.

I was pretty excited about this. This is the largest collection of DalĂ­ works anywhere in the world, the second largest being in St. Petersburg, Florida and I’ve been 3 different times- twice in the old museum and once in the new massive museum there. This was a pilgrimage of sorts for me. ha

I love DalĂ­’s art. I get it. I don’t really “get” a lot of modern art. I can’t really tell you much about Picasso’s Blue period…or why Jackson Pollack paintings are worth millions when I can do the same thing. (I know, art people will always say “but you didn’t. that’s the key”… but I don’t get it. ha)

I love the Renaissance art. The oils, the human form, the details and the textures…. I love seeing the evolution of Christian themed paintings as painters evolved throughout the 1200s to the 1600s. But DalĂ­, as weird and as sexually perverse as he was….I can put my mind in a state to appreciate his craziness. His entire persona was created and curated to perplex and get a rise out of people. He’s probably my favorite artist,  definitely my favorite modern artist.

The whole town is like a dedication to it’s golden child and all of the modern artists who followed him.

In the courtyard is a Cadillac once owned by Al Capone. Supposedly if you insert a coin into a slot, it rains inside of the car.

Just inside the main atrium are my two favorite DalĂ­ paintings:

The first, Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln. I love the “dual image” theme of a lot of DalĂ­ works.

Second is The Hallucinogenic Toreador.

The Phantom Cart. Another favorite. This entire painting is under 12 inches or so wide, which makes it even better.

An alligator lamp… because he’s DalĂ­. haha

The quirkiest exhibit in the place: The Mae West Room

It’s based off of DalĂ­’s original painting from 30 years earlier:

When viewed from one vantage point, the room becomes the face of Mae West

The famous melting clocks from The Persistence of Memory.

After leaving Figueres, we tried to find an “Enchanted Forest” in a small village but just ended up on some dirt goat path and ending at a no trespassing sign, so we gave up and continued toward Barcelona. We did manage to find some good views around the town though.

Around this time we stopped for gas and drinks and we found some chocolate milk to try! We have a thing where we try all of the different chocolate milks available everywhere we travel. So far, Norway is head and shoulders above the competition. haha But Spain now is a close second for their chocolate milk.

Another thing I love here, they put the characters on the water bottles! So instead of Norah wanting juice because it has Elsa on it, she asks for the water because she wants to drink princess water. Thank you Spain for getting it! The US has the characters on all the sugary crap with corn syrup, Ireland has all the characters on products full of Splenda and artificial sweeteners (but less sugar! *eye roll*) but Spain finally got it right!.

We tried to find a giant church in Barcelona first to no avail… Google Maps was not our friend today and Barcelona traffic was bumper to bumper, so we headed outside of the city to the top of Montserrat.

After that, we went to our hotel and found a little cafe serving tapas and drinks. Norah had Burger King because we passed one where we had to leave our car.

We had some grilled octopus and potatoes, some pork ribs and crispy pig’s ears. And I drank an entire bottle of Tempranillo wine. So needless to say, I came back to the room and crashed. ha

Day 7

We slept in for the first day of the trip… and I think we all needed it. We are not early morning risers and we had been up, packed, breakfast and on the road by 9 am every day since we arrived… so today was nice. Would have been nicer if we had air conditioning in our room. I think it’s broken, but the not so helpful staff said that the room must just be too big. ha whatever. When in Spain, sweat your tail off I guess.

We stopped by a little local bakery and grabbed some pastries and coffees, walked back to our car and attempted to drive it into the city and find parking to see some Barcelona sights. Taxis were very high and apparently you can’t Uber in Barcelona… and public transport was going to take us almost 2 hours and 3 transfers. We decided to take our chances and if we couldn’t find parking, we would find something else to do. Turns out it wasn’t a huge issue.

Our first stop was Park GĂĽell, a modern park designed by Antoni GaudĂ­ back in the 1910s…

I always complain about the stairs- Barcelona knew I was coming haha they installed escalators outdoors!

  

There were numerous street vendors selling small items along the path, and Norah wanted a bird whistle. The whistles were made from clay, and when you fill them with water and blow into them, they make a chirping bird whistle sound. We may regret that purchase…

Our next stop was La Sagrada Familia, the most famous GaudĂ­ work in Barcelona… trouble is, I didn’t know you had to buy advance tickets… so we didn’t get to go inside. I’ve gotten burned so many times on advanced tickets- there has never been something I couldn’t buy tickets for when we arrived…except now- this church.

  

Norah didn’t mind. She went and found a friend at the playground across the street and we sat and talked to the little girl’s parents for quite a while.

After that we got some ice cream to help cool off from the over 100 heat and sun… and headed back toward the hotel.

I had been wanted to check out a garden center if we passed one, hoping to find some citrus fruit seeds from Spain to try and grow them in Ireland in our polytunnel, so we stopped at a big center that had landscaping trees, live animals and other garden and home goods, but their seed selection was very minimal. Nothing I couldn’t get in Ireland.

We got back to the hotel, Norah had a quick nap after conking her forehead on a countertop. I answered some emails and we went swimming in the hotel pool. We had a boring evening here at the hotel restaurant, the highlight being that we all got strawberry ice cream for dessert for finishing our food. 🙂

 

Days 4 and 5-Burgos, La Picas de Europa, Pamplona and Borja

We headed out towards the town of Burgos early in the morning since it was almost 3 hours away. We decided to head out to the furthest place away and backtrack through what we could get through by the end of the day.

Burgos has a huge cathedral that I wanted to see. You can’t throw a rock in Spain without hitting a church but some of these city cathedrals are just amazing feats of engineering and so pretty. We arrived to the cathedral during mass so there was a full choir filling the entire place with a somewhat haunting Latin chant.

Burgos has an amazing green space with a pedestrian street running along the river.

The first thing we passed through was the Arco de Santa Maria, an original city gate from the 1500s.

The cathedral held the coffer of El Cid, a military leader and national hero responsible for many battle wins in his time around 1100AD, but mostly just a local legend these days. He’s also a key figure featured in the arch we walked through into town. The coffer supposedly held all the gold of El Cid, which he used to back money transactions, but according to legend, it was really just full of sand.

I know I type this every post….but there are so many stairs in Europe. Haha

At least the stairs usually lead to amazing vantage points.

We left city center and headed to the outskirts of Burgos where were made it to the Miraflores Charterhouse 10 minutes before closing- just enough time to run in and see the inside. I was really interested in this cathedral because the altarpiece was made with the first shipment of gold that came back to Spain from the Americans. I’m not sure why I really wanted to see it, but something about it seemed so tangible that this gold gilded onto this altar was brought back from the Americas as proof of the riches awaiting men in this New World.

 

After leaving  Burgos, we took the scenic route back to our apartment though about 3-4 hours of national parks and small towns. We camera lens is super wide angle… so I can fit all of the mountains and cliffs into the frame, which gives the illusion that these aren’t really that big… but these are massive!

At one point, near Los Picos de Europa, We literally drove through a crack in the rock. It was crazy.

At one point, we came into a small village where some people were herding some cows (terribly) across the road into another field. Long story short: we got hit by a cow. haha

The idiots couldn’t get it together, they didn’t have the gates open…no one knew where they were sending the cows…. I was videotaping the cows coming at us and we were laughing when one brushed by the car… but then we got all backed up against the rear end and BOOM, the herd just kinda started got spooked and one cow gave us a pretty big hit from the back resulting in a broken taillight cover. Ooops. lol I hope that doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg when we turn it back in.

Very near our apartment were the Huellas de Dinosaurios or Dinosaur Footprints. Just like when we were on the isle of Skye in Scotland, a bedding plane on the beach had been eroded enough to show the remnants of dinosaur footprints. Except these were Brontosaurus prints! REAL dinosaur stuff 🙂

Norah laid down in the print for scale. haha

We went back to the town of Tazones for dinner again, but we knew that the restaurant from last night would be closed for the day, so we tried another. It was a cider bar… a drink very popular in this area. Up here along the coast, it’s overcast and rainy enough that grapevines don’t do so well, so they’ve always grown apples. They’ve been making this cider since 100 BC. What makes it so cool is that they only use the natural yeasts in the apples. They always pour the first drink from above the head to allow it to aerate and mix in the glass. You are supposed to drink it before the cloudiness resolves.  It was like a mix of a sour beer and a weak apple juice. Very sour, not too sweet…. very drinkable. But one of us had to drive, so I have a small amount and Kegan had two bottles. haha

 

We had calamari and paella and we weren’t totally impressed…. It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t seek it out again. I’m still thinking about the seafood from La Playa the day before and scheming on how I can have that again.

Day 5

I’m tacking Day 5 onto this post because there really isn’t enough to justify a whole new posting. Today was just a day to get from the north coast of Spain over to the Costa Brava on the east coast. We got caught in construction and city traffic outside of Bilboa for a couple of hours in the morning, so our first stop was Pamplona in the afternoon. Pamplona is known for the “running of the bulls”, a traditional part of the festival of St. Gemin every July (just missed it by a couple weeks!) for over 250 years, 6 bulls and 6 oxen are chased and lead through the streets of Pamplona, chasing people who have decided to run with the bulls in front of them all the way to the arena where the bulls will be killed by bullfighters that day.

Bullfighting is such a barbaric blood sport… I really have no interest in it…it is even illegal in parts of Spain now, so I think it is definitely a dying tradition. There are variations that are more humane… some areas have a variation where a flare is attached to each horn and the bullfighter tries to grab it. Another is where the matador just uses acrobatics to evade the bull, but doesn’t actually stab it with spears enough for it to sever the tendons in its neck and bleed out.

We just made a quick stop to see the town square and the statue for the running of the bulls.

We drove on through the “Arizona” of Spain… passing little villages and scenery.

 

We arrived at the village of Borja…a tiny village no one would pay much attention to if it wasn’t for a little old lady and the power of social media. Cecelia Jimenez was an 83 year old widow and amatuer painter who did some work around the church in the village. She had asked permission from the priest to do some restoration of the painting Ecce Homo from Spanish artist, Elias Garcia Martinez. She has been touching up some edges for a few years, but the time had come for the picture to get some major touch up work done… and well… lets just say things got out of hand. What resulted is what would be forever known to the world…as “Beast Jesus”.

The “restoration” was so terrible that it immediately went viral. haha  People all over the world were looking at this “priceless” painting that had been completely ruined. The poor lady said she couldn’t even eat for days after she found out people were so upset and that so many people knew about her attempt.

But… all’s well that ends well. Beast Jesus put Borja on the map… they now get over 150,000 visitors a year coming to look at Beast Jesus and they charge 2 euro a head… that cash income has resulted in restaurants, an arts center and other local programs and Cecilia is now a local hero of sorts. The painting that saved a town. Because of that, I just had to see this thing for myself and add our 6 euro to the Borja coffers.  The church is actually REALLY pretty! and the town was adorable with a scenic vista, a cute little cafe and everyone was very nice. It really should have been on the tourist track before Beast Jesus…but I’m glad it is now.

After that I had a conference call for work I couldn’t miss (even on vacation.) So Kegan and Norah walked around and played on the play equipment for a while.

We ended in a little town along the interstate (a tolled interstate by the way that cost us almost $60 to drive on!! Highway robbery… literally!) that was just a roadside hotel/spa and we had McDonalds for dinner because Norah sometimes has to get what she wants, too 🙂

Day 3-Las Medulas and Asturias 

Today, we woke up so hungry we could eat a horse! (No, literally… we ate horse.) ha
Turns out they sell horse meat in Spain… and when we stopped to get gas and food, of course we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it. I was really not sure about it…but was actually really good…. but super greasy. I probably won’t miss ever having it again…

I always love trying all the new snacks.. these chocolate balls tasted like a fluffy version of a cheap ice cream cone, dipped it a very weak chocolate, then rolled in corn nuts. haha but they worked! I would eat these again.

We started out today headed towards the northwest coast for the cities of A Coruña and Ferrol, but our AirBnb host called me and said that the father of the person who was supposed to pass us the keys died this morning. She assured us we could still pick up the keys, that she just wouldn’t be able to come and show us the place… but she wasn’t very clear about how or where to get the keys… or exactly where her place was…so we just decided we’d find another place for the night. I called the place we were scheduled to stay the following night to see if we could book an extra earlier night and we could- so we had to adapt the day to fit in the double driving we now had.

Since we were already at our first stop when we found out, we went ahead and hiked up to the top of an overlook point to see Las Medulas, a Roman gold mine. It was a huge operation here, in fact- the largest mine in the entire Roman empire. They fought a gruelling war for over 10 years with the Celts of the area for control over the land. The Romans mined gold here for over 250 years estimating that they mined over 5 million “roman pounds” of gold total. (about 3,750,000 US lbs- a Roman pound or “libra” – hence lb. as an abbreviation today- was only 12 oz vs our 16 oz.). Pliny the Elder documented the mining works that were taking place here in 77AD.

“What happens is far beyond the work of giants. The mountains are bored with corridors and galleries made by lamplight with a duration that is used to measure the shifts. For months, the miners cannot see the sunlight and many of them die inside the tunnels. The cracks made in the entrails of the stone are so dangerous that it would be easier to find purpurine or pearls at the bottom of the sea than make scars in the rock. How dangerous we have made the Earth!”

There were over 60,000 miners working this site at any time. They cut stone aqueducts through the rock to wash the gold, used fire to weaken the stone for breaking it apart and cut into entire hillsides/small mountains as you can still see the remnants of the mining area today- as they left it when they had exhausted the gold. Huge hill climb. All the cool stuff is always on top of the hill.

We had a lot of driving to do and it was a beautiful area. Lots of valleys and rolling green hills.

 

We did stop by and see the Praia de Catedrales, an area on the northern coast known for jagged rocks and very weathered cliffs. It has an amazing little beach that was, of course, full of people. In July and August, you actually have to buy a ticket a couple weeks in advance to go down to the beach because there are so many people that come here. Oh, and Spain beaches… topless isn’t a big deal. Unless you’re American..then it makes you a little uncomfortable! haha

I think there were probably better rock formations somewhere along the beach that we didn’t find, but we had fun getting our feet in the water and seeing the close ones. Norah was obviously in her happy place.

We arrived at our AirBnb around 6:30pm. We have a great view over  a local beach, but high enough up on a hill that it was very private.

I had planned to go to Restaurante La Playa in the little seaside town of Tazones. I asked the AirBnb host who unlocked the apartment what she recommended just to make sure and she said that was the best restaurant around…where they even go for dinner a lot. They even called ahead for us to make sure we could get a table. My Spanish is decent, but it was still nice to have a local they know call and give you the “green light” at a tiny locals joint. 🙂

The town is like a postcard. A tiny village built in the hillside. Access by foot onto a tiny rocky beach, a boat pier with fishing nets draped over the wall for tomorrow’s trip out. Crab pots stacked up along the wall waiting for the next day. We got to the restaurant too early. They don’t open until 8pm… which is mind-blowing to me…haha but as we were leaving at 11pm, locals were still coming in for dinner. Just Spanish culture to eat dinner very late.

I think this is one of those corpse flowers… but it didn’t have a smell… I really wanted to see what they smelled like!  (and it may not be a corpse flower at all)

We sat outside with 3 other tables of people we would come to know throughout dinner. A group of late 20s guys from Madrid who regularly come up to the area for the weekend. They had been there since lunch drinking so they were loads of fun. ha Most of them actually studied in the US for college, so they were whipping out their drunk English to talk to Norah and to us later. The other couple of tables were a couple of families- one with a little boy Norah’s age. He was “almost 5” he told his father with a scowl. haha

His mother and I talked a lot throughout the evening. What we could with my Spanish, anyway. We got by…and used Google translate for a couple words when we weren’t getting our point across. ha

They were sweet people. When Norah wouldn’t eat any of the shrimp or lobster we ordered, she scooped her up to sit at their table and sat and fed her monkfish and calamari they ordered for their meal. haha (We paid for their plate of calamari… I couldn’t handle just letting that happen!)

Everyone was so friendly and sharing seafood that we just HAD to try. I leaned too far off the edge of the bench at the beginning of the night trying to adjust my dress and had a very clumsy awkward fall/save haha and throughout the night, we all laughed as two other people did the same thing!It was obviously a common occurrence with how the benches were made. It was funnier every time. haha Stupid benches. lol

We left with full bellies and a great Spanish experience. Norah gave everyone a kiss on the cheek saying “adios!” …including both tables of people that we were NOT interacting with and were a little freaked out at first..but then of course, immediately thought she was the cutest thing ever.

As we walked down the stairs, the drunken group started singing “Bye bye Ms American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy….” LOUDLY! haha and kept it going for the entire way we were walking up the street. A priceless experience… but the $100 price tag for a giant platter of seafood, a crab dip, a calamari and a couple of beers and waters was incredible. Definitely already scheming on a long weekend back here again soon with RyanAir flights being so cheap… we could make a low key beach trip back here very reasonably.

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