I have been trying to think of what it is that attracts us to Spain and it always comes back to the rather casual way of life here and of course the good food.
Things really operate at their own rhythm….and it takes a while to get used to. We have somehow adjusted ourselves that things in Morocco open late, close mid-day and then open later, but you can generally still get things if you know where to go. Spain on the other hand, takes these matters to a whole different level. In the rural areas nothing opens until about 9 or 10am, at least and that’s not a dead cert either. Business then goes on as usual for a few brief hours until lunchtime, which is followed by a siesta and then business opens for a few more hours. Saturdays are half days and only the bigger centres may have a few stores open on Sundays. Restaurant opening times continue to be a mystery to me and as in Morocco, family and meals seem to take precedence over the more mundane tasks in daily life! A concept that is easy to warm to!!
So we have settled into a routine of having a simple lunch out if we are not home and then having a light meal in the evenings. This is really easy as the local towns have a dozen bakeries, butcheries and supermarkets that sell an array of cold meats, cheeses, pickles and fresh fruit and veg that are quite wonderful! Each town also has a market once a week.
So today we set off to the local market in Alozaine to see what was for sale. The town is very small and the market was small but the fresh fruit and veg stands looked wonderful. I spotted some small wild pears which looked amazing but that will have to wait for next week as my Euro’s were instead handed reluctantly over to the man with the Disney beach towels!!!!
Next stop the little town of Tolox. We had a wander up and down the streets and stopped at a restaurant called Restaurante La Alberca with its plastic chairs and paper table cloths. As I have explained before my foreign language skills are rather inadequate but I managed the water and soft drinks and then stumbled to a complete halt when we established there was no menu…but never fear, the waiter assured us he would bring us enough to fill us. We ended up with some wonderfully tender calamari and simple fried fish in a light batter that were delicious. All of course accompanied by fresh hot bread.
So after a rather hot day I am very pleased my kids have happily latched on to the concept of tapas, and are more than happy to have a simple platter of all their favourite things!