Monday, 22 January 2018

Sights and sounds of the market

The wind over night rattled the shutters and although we woke to 17 degree weather the wind made it feel very chilly. We debated on our trip to the market but in the end decided to go. By the time we got there the wind had dropped and as the morning wore on it get hotter and hotter reaching 23/24 degrees.
Open air markets are a way of life here in Spain, and the Sunday market is one of the largest we like to visit. There are lots of places to eat, everything from ‘a full English’ to German and Scandinavian food. We started our visit with the Full English and then wandered the stalls where Chris wanted to buy a jacket. It is normal to haggle a price and the jacket was €40 so he offered  €35 but this particular stall would not accept less so he paid the asking price only to be given the jacket and four euros change to buy himself a coffee!
Buy the length of carpet you need and this guy will sew the edges while you wait

Meat and cheese of every description 

Lots of dried fruits and vegetables 
A basket maker sits in the shade making and selling his wares

Spanish dresses in every size
Wine by the barrel  load! Bring your own container.

Leather handbags, mostly sold by Moroccans.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Lazy Saturday

Today we decided to have a lazy day, the sun was really hot and Chris made the most of it lying on a sun bed in the garden most of the day. I made a quick trip in San Javier to see my friend Pat while she was volunteering at the Charity shop. It was so nice seeing her again.
I also called at Overseas Iceland to pick up essential supplies, actually I’m not sure Greggs sausage rolls are essential, but they sure are nice.

I managed to stuff four knitted Easter eggs made since we arrived. They are in need of steaming but that will have to wait until we get home.
I also started a small X stitch kit given to me by a friend at Christmas, something I haven’t done in a long time.

Easter bunny now has some eggs.

The evening sun set was really pretty, so I took this photo from the balcony upstairs.
View from the balcony across to the golf course

This has been the first week here and I have been keeping a FitBit record of the steps taken.
6196, 3928, 2308, 2557, 2607, 9016, 2339. Total 28951 which is about double my normal weekly stats.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

El Prato, San Miguel

Our friends Pauline and Brian are staying at their sons house a few miles from us. We decided yesterday to visit and go for a meal at one of our favourite places, El Prado in San Miguel. Luckily Pauline had booked a table as the place was packed to bursting. The restaurant has a conservatory attached and we were seated in there. The service was extremely good and a plate of salad was on the table to share as soon as we sat down.
The set menu has a choice of starters, three mains and a whole list of desserts plus a drink (1/2 a bottle of wine or a soft drink) all for €9.5, about £9 each.
Tucked away in a side street in this small town

I choose melon and ham starter, followed by sole, both were delicious 

Pauline and Brian and us enjoying a great meal.
My dessert, yummy

Friday, 19 January 2018

Captain Jack Sparrow?

Please excuse the spelling on the last blog post, I am using an app on my iPad to be able to send pictures but it is not easy to edit and in fact thought I had lost the whole of the previous blog post!
One picture I forgot to include was taken with my cheap little camera on zoom from the top of the glass lift ride.
The ship looks like something out of The movie The Lost Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean but I could not see Jack Sparrow on board.
Where is Johnnie Depp ?

(Backup) The Adventure

I thought it would be nice to go on a train ride, having never been on a Spanish train. 
Chris went along with the idea so we checked out the small train station earlier in the week only to find no one spoke or even wanted to try communicating in English. My Spanish is limited to hello and thank you. In fact the ticket guy seemed quite rude. Determined not to be put off I checked the train times on the internet and wrote them down, then practiced asking for “two senior tickets to Cartagena please” in Spanish. This worked a treat and guy was really helpful. Having obtained our tickets for the costly sun of €9, about £8.50 for two return tickets we boarded the train, which was rather run down looking but had nice comfy seats, and set off for the twenty minty ride to Cartagena.

We had not planned to stay long, as we would need to walk everywhere and my knees start to complain after 2000 to 3000 steps. The day was slightly cooler than yesterday so we set off to walk to the Tourist Information for a map and then the dock area. This turned out to be further than we  thought but it was an interesting walk along side the town walls. Cartagena is full of interesting old buildings, castles, history. We sat watching the boats while I rested my poor old knees.

Consulting the map we decided to head into town and find a place for a snack and drink, we passed an extremely tall glass lift that Chris said he wanted to try, but it would have to wait for another visit. Fortified with a hot chocolate and pastry in a moment of madness I said, it’s not far back we could do the ‘lift thing’. €1 each and we were in the lift going higher and higher, Chris told me the view was wonderful by the time we reached the top I had my eyes closed! We then had to walk across the overhanging passage to the fortified castle hill top, I have never been so pleased to reach solid land!

Having recovered my ‘tall glass lift’ legs it was so interesting, the views were unbelievable in every direction. Churches, Naval boat yard, Submarine caves in the hillside, the ancient bull ring, amphitheatre etc etc... there was also a wonderful water cascade into a pool where three ducks had taken up residence. Mosaics lined one of the paths and peacocks prowled the grounds.

Waiting for the train at Baliscas Station

Our first train ride in Spain
Cartagena ornate Railway Station

Outside the Tourist Information
Fascinating tree roots along side the old town wall.       The dock area
THE glass lift

The view of the bullring  once you arrive at the end of the lift tunnel
A water cascade into the duck pool

I love these tree roots, no idea what the tree is.
The mosaic passageway complete with peacock
One of the many mosaics

The amphitheater and Naval boat yard

Eventually the lift had to be taken again back to earth, it didn’t seem so bad going back down. I have now walked further than I can really cope with so it was a very slow walk back to catch the train and the car ride home. A wonderful adventure and my fit bit says I have walked just over 9000 steps!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

20 degrees

This years holiday game.
Chris is a reluctant game player, I on the other hand would play games all day! 
With a limit of three games per day we are enjoying an after dinner game that I sneaked into the suitcase.

The weather forecast was spot on and reached 20 degrees after lunch.
Chris was happy sun bathing so I took off in the hire car to get used to left hand drive, driving on the right and a gear lever!
Other than missing a turning and landing up on the Autoroute I soon got used to the change from 
my automatic and driving on the left (correct) side of the road.

I visited a couple of large warehouse shops, we call China shops, because they are owned and run by the Chinese.
 These warehouses sell everything except food. 

My purchases, four mini Christmas note pads which together with the Easter bunny have the seasons all sorted.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sun bathing

What a gorgeous morning, we woke to sunshine and the day only got warmer. Took advantage of the sun to do a load of washing, which dried outside during the day. A quick top up on the food shopping and then the rest of the day was spent sitting out and relaxing.

Easter bunny catching some rays!

Time to turn over 

The gardener arrived to pick up the dropped leaves, while Chris makes the most of the sun.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Charity Shop

Overnight shower of rain and a wet day forecast so we need some entertainment. A visit to a couple of local Charity shops and bingo for €8 about £7.50 we have ten DVDs and a brand new set of NYPD DVDs. They should keep us busy for a while.  At one Charity shop Chris buys a raffle ticket, what on earth we will do with the prize if he wins I do not know! Amongst the prizes there is a Calor gas fire, electric guitar, large picnic hamper etc etc... all impossible to take on a flight home! The Charity is for dog rescue so all going to a good cause.
Chris’s choice of movies to watch. NYPD being an old favourite 

The Charity shop where we hope we do not win a gas fire!
Lazy time in the lounge, notice Easter bunny is growing 

I love a jigsaw and bought this for €3 at the Sunday market
Mid afternoon the sun comes out, so we went for a short walk around the neighbourhood
Our holiday home is on the right with the white car.

Sights and sounds of the market

The wind over night rattled the shutters and although we woke to 17 degree weather the wind made it feel very chilly. We debated on our trip...