Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I don’t know what’s going on but I can’t get blogger or flickr to post photos. So you are going to have to go to my Spain photos on flickr here to see anything that goes with this story. I haven’t even been able to post this until today anyway, had to save it as draft as it wouldn’t publish before. Weird. Anyway…

Back from Spain which was a mixed sort of holiday. We knew going out there that we were going to stay in a holiday let owned by Mark’s dad in a place where there are lots of other holiday homes, lots of beaches and not so much culture. Not my normal idea of a good time, I would have preferred Madrid and/or Barcelona or similar, but we planned this as the first trip with the baby ages ago as we knew it’d be relatively easy to get there (2 hour flight from the local airport) and easy to handle his routine in a self-catering place.

And the Costa Blanca is a sort of nightmare of thousands upon thousands of new-build holiday homes, Chinese buffets and full English breakfasts. We did, with some effort, manage to find a bit of the ‘real’ Spain which was highly satisfying to my soul. We took a big drive out to the mountains south of Murcia, drove around and had a picnic in a national park, and found a little town out on a promontory that featured a nice old church and a ruined medieval castle. It had been pouring at the house that day, so thankfully the weather was a little better in the hills.

The day before we left, the sun came out in full splendour and we managed to find the Torrevieja (tore-a-vee-eck-a) May Fair on the city’s waterfront by following the trails of little girls dressed in gorgeous flamenca dresses! Young and old came out for the parade, including dancing horses.

The rest of the week, we visited a cave with in the hills near Alicante (though Harrison’s Cave in Barbados is better, not that I am biased), a market in San Miguel de Salinas, and saw white flamingos fishing in salt water flats.

We had some decent Italian and Mexican food (Spanish food is my idea of hell, ewww to tapas, so luckily there wasn’t much around). And one of my all time favourite things to do in foreign countries is go grocery shopping! So thankfully we spent a lot of time at the Carrefour hypermarket. I have to say that compared to other European countries I have been too, it wasn’t that exciting, but they did feature a wall of meat (cured pig legs) that you don’t see too often!

Next up is a long weekend in northern France and Paris in 2.5 weeks, and we’ve just booked a week staying in an ancestral home (converted into holiday lets) in deepest northern Scotland at the end of July/beginning of August.

In other news, we’ve just heard that I am approved as a sponsor to get Mark into Canada, and we just have to wait for the Canadian High Commission here to process his permanent resident visa, which should take 6 months or less…

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