Thursday, August 23, 2007

Viva Espagna!

I probably spelled that wrong, lol.
Anyhow, I'm back!
The weather in Spain was lovely - hot and dry. Well, it always is in the south of Spain. From where we were, we could see Gibralter rising up in a sharp angle and just beyond it was the Africa with the Atlas mountains blue in the haze.

Here is a view coming down the hill toward the polo fields, with Gibralter in the background, and further on, the mountains of Africa.

To get to the polo fields, we had to cross a river, and the bridge was an interesting three-arched bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel - the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower in France.

And here is the Port of Duquesa, where we stayed. You can see the marina on the left and on the right, the beach. We had a good time not doing very much. I read a lot of books, I took a lot of walks on the beach, and we went to visit a friend in the mountains and went to see a very interesting zoo. I'll do a post about both those!

Spain is a wonderful country. Where we were on the coast it's very touristy, as you can imagine. There are lots of huge construction projects going on, and the coast, which used to be mostly fishing villages and farms, is being transformed into a paradise for golfers, retired folk, and English people. There were more English people in the village of Duquesa than Spanish. Almost all the shops were run by English ex-pats, who had moved from their country in search of sun and reasonable property prices. I was amazed by the change. I've been coming to the south of Spain for 26 years now, and it's day and night. Before, you had to look hard to find a restaurant - now they are all over, and there are Chinese, Indian, and Argentine restaurants as well as traditional Catalonian restaurants. (I do NOT recommend eating at a Chinese restaurant in Spain...) And there are souvenir shops everywhere, most souvenirs being made in China, alas. We went to the mountains to find a pottery shop, and we bought some fans. They are now in fashion - everywhere we went, pretty ladies had their fans!

Here is a pretty girl with a fan. We were at the Gaucin train station, getting ready to take a train to the mountains. It was a hot day, and women had their fans out. Most match their fans to their outfits. I saw many at the polo games with ropas (dresses) and abanitas (fans) that matched. It was quite chic. A nice fan made of light balsa wood and cotton, and hand painted, costs about 5 dollars. The more fancy ones were more expensive!
Another typical Spanish item is olive oil, but I didn't get any this trip -it's expensive when it's good quality. And there is also the Iberian smoked ham, which we eat with sliced melon.
Well, more about my Spanish trip tomorrow, with the story about Queen Victoria's train, and the trip to Gaucin and the mountains.


December/Stacia said...

So glad you're back!

Yes, there are property programs on TV here constantly about buying in Spain, moving to Spain, living in Spain...and emigration is way up too.

I'd love to go...the hubs went as a teen and loved it.

Bernita said...

I love fans - I must have half a dozen - unfortunately, over here they are seen as an affectation.

Gabriele C. said...

Welcome back.

I'd like to see Spain as tourist, but I don't think I would like living there. I'm a northern gal, lol.

Bernita, I have a collection of fans, too, and I don't care what people say. :)

Sam said...

Hi December! Yes, it's nice to be home. But I have the heat on. I'm freezing here.

Bernita - but if you can't be affected, what good is it to be a gal?? LOL. I have fun with scarves and hats, I must admit. And my daughter has a quirky sense of style - she swiped my opera length fake pearls and wore them in Spain to the polo games!

Gabriele - Don't you love fans? I have two! And what is with this weather????

Rosie said...

Hi Sam! I'm glad you're back. I missed you. Spain sounds divine. I just showed GG a brochure we got from our AAA travel club today about a Mediterranean cruise. I was already calculating cost, time off and how we could swing it in the next year. We'll see... Everything's a we'll see with kids in college. *sigh*

Wynn Bexton said...

Hi Sam, welcome back. I've missed reading your blogs. Thanks for sharing the photos too.

John Nez said...

What a vacation! I guess it's true then about the french taking those 5 week vacations!

I'd be happy with just 5 days... oh well, someday maybe. Glad you're back...

I'm sure I'd be starving for some rain, fog and chilly weather if I were on a beach in Spain for more than 3 days.


Bonita said...

Welcome home. Fans are wonderful -- I wish they would "catch on" here in Louisiana, with this heat they would be a lovely accessory with a dual purpose.