Sunday, December 25, 2016

A pretty laid back Christmas

Feliz Navidad!  Christmas Day is coming to an end here in Spain.  It's been a pretty laid back time. Just the way I like it.

Yesterday (Christmas Eve) I intended to visit the castle as well as the local market....well! There have been issues with the key for the door of the apartment building.  Well apparently it's the door, not the keys and the caretaker has oiled the lock but it is still difficult to get in.  Pilar gave me a new key which I tried using (just testing...) when I exited the building yesterday morning.  It wouldn't budge!

So I got the bus into central Malaga with trepidation about any issues getting back in.  My first port of call was the Atarazanas Mercado (market).  I didn't take too many pictures as it was busy and I seemed to be the only tourist.  This was definitely a market for the locals to do their food shopping - no fancy breads or handicrafts here.  (boo)

At this point I hadn't had any breakfast so I headed to Cafe Julia - don't think I can go back there!  I ordered a cafe con leche (coffee with milk) and a decadent pastry filled with nutella.  And very good it was.  I made sure they had wifi before I sat down and then was able to message Pilar about the key issue who assured me she would be home to let me in when I got back.  I was pretty spaced out with my cold and when I went to pay I decided I would get a sandwich to go as I didn't know if any restaurants would be open over the holidays. (they were)  I pointed to the one I wanted and paid for it and headed to the bathroom.  While in the bathroom I realized she had not given me the sandwich and thought "okay maybe she will have it ready for me".  Nope.  And then I realized due to the language barrier she thought I was indicating that I had had a sandwich and had pointed to what I was paying for.  No clue even how much I paid - that was how much I was out of it. So I have a feeling I got a deal - then again maybe they did.  Who knows!  My head was totally stuffed up and I thought "screw it Laurie, just go home".  So I did.  As I was approaching the building Nacho, Pilar's boyfriend was exiting so showed me how the key worked...well even he was having issues but I was able to get it working...for now....

I headed out to do a bit of grocery shopping - got a couple of rolls and ham and cheese as well as some treats for us.  I also visited the pharmacy where I mimed needing Vicks vapo rub and cough syrup. And that was pretty much my day...back here to rest and do some reading.

Last night my Xmas Eve supper was ham and cheese on a roll.  I had purchased some wine but it still sits unopened as I just haven't felt like having any - yes it has to be bad when Laurie doesn't want to drink wine....

Another guest arrived yesterday - a young girl from Morocco.  She is a sweetheart and speaks such good English.  She offered to go to the pharmacy for me today but I assured her I had what I needed.

My cousin Joanne mailed me a small parcel before I left home so I would have something to open Xmas morning.  She did this for me two years ago when I headed off on my six month adventure.  So sweet of her and it was fun this morning to open the gift to find two pairs of socks and a doggie brooch. It was funny as I was thinking I should probably buy more socks in London.  My suitcase seemed so heavy when I tried lifting it the night before the trip (though both my airbnb hosts assure me it is lighter than normal travelers) so a couple of pairs of socks along with capris, a t-shirt or two were thrown out the night before I left. So now I have two pairs and bonus: one has mice on them.  I do love my mice!

I relaxed this morning before heading out for a walk in the opposite direction to what I normally go. There is a Christmas tree I wanted to get some photos of that I see when I go by on the bus but had never been close to.  

I then walked over to the restaurant where I visited my first day (across the road from the apartment) for a cafe con leche.  It is Spain's version of a flat white. (espresso with whipped milk).

After about 40 minutes of relaxing with my coffee and chatting to a couple from Newcastle I headed over to Pedralejo again.  It is just a ten minute walk from here so very convenient.

I want to live here!  Okay maybe not...but stay here a while then!

Can you tell I like blue?

Houses and (mostly) restaurants line this walk way that goes on for kilometers.

This is where fish is cooked for the restaurants - each one has their own little hut.

The water was a bit more "active" today.  As you can see it is a pretty area. I walked for about 5 kilometers sitting down when I got tired.  My knee gave me the best Christmas present ever of not being a "pain". While Christmas Eve is the time that the locals get together with their families for a meal in a home, on Christmas Day it is common for families to go to restaurants together.  There were a lot of people out yet it didn't seem crowded.  There were lots of places to sit and rest along the path and plenty of room in the many restaurants.  Speaking of which I had been craving something simple like pasta as I wasn't sure my tummy would like fish.  But what can I say I got hooked into stopping at one of the sidewalk restaurants by a persuasive waiter.  I ordered sardines which Pilar told me are a local specialty and they are cooked in the huts.  I just wanted a simple salad to go with the fish but the simplest came with tuna.  Ah well!  And a huge bottle of water...yes I know boring....I'll be back to the wine and sangria soon I am sure.  The sardines were okay - I've never had them before and probably won't again because of a) bones - hate fish with bones in them.  yes I am a spoiled brat who 1) likes her fish filleted (and preferably battered while you're at it) and 2) doesn't like eating fish when the heads are still on.  Okay I just might have squealed and dropped a sardine (you eat them with your fingers) when my hand accidentally touched the head.  No, I've never been fishing in my life and never intend to thank you very much.

When I came back my key simply would not budge in the lock - I tried for at least five minutes.  Luckily Pilar was home and she let me in and swapped her key which turns easily in the lock.

And that was my Christmas!!!

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