Saturday, 24 September 2016

Last Saturday in Spain

Where has the past week gone? Obviously having too much fun to write blog posts!
There is also the problem that I have not found a way to write posts on my iPad and have to set up my slow laptop, which drives me nuts. Why or why did Blogsy stop working other than in the USA?

Here's a little catch up...
First the most important thing, Chris celebrated his birthday on Tuesday with the most enormous steak at Asador Sierra Nevada, a restaurant that I found doing a google search for Steak Restaurant near where we are staying. The reviews were good so we booked a table. Pauline and Brian joined us and the reviews were right, it was  wonderful. A very intimate Spanish restaurant in an out of the way back street. All the inside tables were reserved so we were glad we didn't leave it to chance.
Brian and Pauline had sirloin and I had bbq chicken, Chris had half a cow!

The plate was almost too small for the steak

My chicken was really nice

Leaving the restaurant, which is on the left of the picture
Wednesday we had a trip to Murcia to look for two wool shops. Boy was it busy and parking a horror story, but we managed to find a space in an underground parking lot. We visited both wool shops, expecting them to be really good in the city, wrong, they hardly had anything not even one circular knitting needle between them. The walking in the city really played havoc with my knee and eventually Chris had to leave me on a bench and fetch the car. Thank goodness he found me again.

The approach to the city of Murcia

Date palms lined the streets.

After the great steak night last night we "slummed it" and ate at Ikea.
I must say the meatballs were very nice,
and its always fun to look around a well known store in a different country.

Thursday 22nd  was the actual date of Chris's birthday, and he seemed to like the fun T shirt I had bought him.
WARNING may spontaneously start talking about LAND ROVERS.

Worked hard mastering turning a heel and managed to get this far with my first sock.

Monday, 19 September 2016

When you get the urge!

For a week now I have had the urge to knit socks, yes I know I am in Spain on holiday and it is really hot. Researching we found a wool shop, like hens teeth very rare, but they did not have the right needles or wool, anyone would think no here knits socks!
Mr Fixit then found another wool shop in a near by town and these were the instructions for finding it according to Google...
Pilar roundabout turn left
1st roundabout turn right
At next right turn left
Then its the 16th or 17th road on the right
A treasure trove in such a small space
Such a nice little shop

Amazingly we found the little shop  called Lola Botona, what a treasure chest of things, plus just what I wanted and cheaper than I could get on line in England.

My sock making hoard
Having now joined a sock group on facebook, Winwick Mum Sockalong, and acquired the wool and needles etc. I need the pattern so set up my old laptop and little printer and they both behaved well printing off the pattern for me. Had to use my iPad at the same time.

Watch this space socks a go go.

Lemon Tree Market and a paddle

Sunday morning joined our friends Pauline and Brian for breakfast at the Lemon Tree Market, also known as the English Market because its full of, yes you guessed, English.
The market is one of our favourite places to visit and for the first time we saw a basket maker busy weaving very pretty baskets. Does not seem to matter how many times we visit there is always something new to see.
Full English, yummy

Love to see an artist at work.
Just noticed the car in the background has Chris's initials CJG !

Looking for fish?

On the way home we stopped at the Mar Menor for a quick impromptu paddle. Wish I was better dressed to enjoy the warm sea more.
It's lovely and warm

Saturday, 17 September 2016

I need a pair of shorts

Why is it so difficult to buy a pair of shorts at this time of year in a baking hot country? having trid most of the shopping centres we have visited I have not found a single pair. In desperation I tired one of my favorite Charity shops, still no shorts but a nice pair of cut-offs, so I bought those for three euros. Next a trip to buy the double sided iron on hemming tape. With very limited resources I used the kitchen scissors to cut off the bottom of the legs [ no rules or tape measures!] and set too with the iron to make turn up cuffs. BINGO a new pair of shorts even if they only last the rest of this holiday.
Kitchen scissors to the rescue

Have you any idea how difficult it is to take a selfie of shorts when your wearing them?
I'm pretty pleased with my new shorts, wonder if they will stand up to washing?
Maybe when I get home I'll use the sewing machine to sew up the turn ups.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Aguilas cont...

After leaving the CIMAR experience [ see previous blog] we travelled [ a couple of minutes walk]  along the coast to Rincon del Hornillo.
Hidden in a small corner behind the beach at El Hornillo at the foot of a residential area is a wonderful example of the work of Juan Martinez Casuco. He spent 12 years developing the site using broken tiles found in rubbish dumps. Even the wrought iron work was made by him.
The work is very reminiscent of Antonio Gaudi and the ultimate recycling project.

The first sight of the stairs is breath taking

Every stair front is slightly different

Date completed or started?

Comfy seats and interesting shapes

The Eagle represents the area

A little kiosk, sadly not open

Mosaics seem to flow around the trees

Even the Street is named after the artist

Shapes of every kind

Steps through the residential houses

This lamp standard has the signs of the zodiac worked in mosaic

Road roundabout at the top of the steps

Lush vegetation, and views of the sea

I guess this is a self portrait weather vane

Lamp standard

View from the beach, The garage seems to be out of reach !

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Spain 8

A day for exploring, so we set off for Aguilas and CIMAR [The Centro de Interpretacion del Mar]

This tunnel is all down hill, a strange feeling, like there will be no end!
This museum is "one of a kind" with a full size 19 metre trawler on its roof!

Opened in 2014 it shows the historical and local links to the area including the marine life found in this area of the Mediterranean, plus its all free of charge.
There are three areas to investigate, starting with the sea life aquariums, even Nemo was there with all his mates. I just love fish tanks, my father was a very keen aquarist.

Can you spot Nemo with is friends
Following the arrows we wandered up to the trawler that was donated to the town specifically to form part of the centre. It looks as if it has been washed ashore by a giant tidal wave. The town of Aguilas grew in the late 19c as a trading port exporting minerals mined in the local mountains. 2000 years previous it had been an important Roman town exporting fish and garum sauce all over the empire.
A section has been cut away and you actually walk right through the middle of the boat past a live ships cat. Chris had to do his Titanic thing up on deck.
It's a big boat when you stand under it.

A hole has been cut in the side to make a walk way
As near as he could get to the brow!
The trawler even has a ships cat and kitten
The third part of the exhibition is a newly constructed museum showing how life was lived by the trawler men plus an amazing display of sea shells collected by a local dentist and given to the museum.

A photo of the trawler before it landed up on the roof of the museum.

I wonder what size the pearl was in this enormous shell

Shells of every colour, size and shape

A must have in the trawler mans house

Not much living space as this is the kitchen, dining room and lounge!
A fascinating place to visit and well worth the trip...  part two of our day in Aguilas on my next blog.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Cartagena Punic Wall

I love anything to do with our past, so planed a trip to Cartagena, about 30 miles south of us, to visit the museum of the Punic Wall and St Joseph's crypt.

The visit started with us being shown into a large room seating 50+ people, we were the only ones in there and enjoyed watching a video in English about the wall and crypt we were about to see.

The Punic Wall was built about 200+ years BC and stood 10 metres high. It was a double wall occupying three floors. The area between the walls was used to house horses on the ground floor, armoury and provisions on the first floor and the top of the floors was used by the men on watch. An amazing fortification around what is now Cartagena. Very little survives but excavations recently uncovered what is now housed in a museum for all to see.

Large sandstone blocks were used to make the double wall
Excavations in 1987 and 2003 uncovered St Joseph's crypt. 
110 wooden coffins were placed in the niches of the crypt. 
It was then decorated with paintings whose theme is Dance of Death.

paintings of skeletons decorate the walls.

Outside the museum, can you see us in the reflection?

At the base of the museum these three people plus Chris seem to be going for a lesson.
I recommend a visit to this museum but it is not for the faint hearted as the floor above the wall is glass, Chris said just close your eyes and walk! Also one of the staircases and platforms is a metal mesh grid, I hate walking on these so another close your eyes moment!!