March 27, 2015: Spring is in the Air

I had problems getting to sleep last night and was not able to fall asleep until nearly five in the morning and not until after I had decided at four thirty that I would take a hot bath to see if that would make it easier to fall asleep, which it did.  So I did not get up until eleven this morning, although this was fine as Dominica was only just getting up then as well.

The weather has changed today and it is gorgeous.  Spring has finally arrived here in the Alpujarras region.  We were so excited, we opened up the entire house and spent the entire day outside on the terrace.  It was awesome.  This is what we have been looking forward to, more of what Americans think of as a Spanish experience.  Warm, sunny and spending all of your time outside.

I ended up having a busier than normal day at work today.  There was a bit to be done.  But I got to do all of my work while sitting out on the terrace.  Dominica even set up the big table up there and we put up a nice, big umbrella.  The girls came outside too and spent a lot of time out there with us.  It was so nice.  I am really loving this.

For lunch we mostly did fresh bread and cheese (pan y queso) up on the terrace.  We are loving getting fresh ingredients every day.

At seven we went for a short hike up to the top of town.  Liesl had made me promise yesterday that today we would go up to the irrigation system above town where we had been to a few days ago and watch the sun set from there.  For some reason she really, really wanted to watch the sun set from there.  So we all went up there.  It was very pretty and a nice bit of exercise.  The view from up there is out over the reservoir to the west which we drove along during the night on Monday to get out here to Cáñar.  So we have been there but have not really seen it.

I worked until dinner time, then around nine thirty we went out and walked to the “other” bar in town that we had not yet tried.  There are really only two bars in town that are normally open.  One is “always” open, one is “normally” open and one is only open on special occasions and we have never seen it open.

The bar was pretty busy tonight, maybe more than a dozen people there, in fact.  The Spain – Ukraine Football match was on and a lot of people were watching or half watching that.  Luciana liked that the game was on but just called them the red team (Spain) and the yellow team (Ukraine) and kept wanting to root for the Ukrainian team simply because they had the good sense to wear Luciana’s favourite colour.

We got a fried fish in tomato sauce and French fries ración for dinner.  It was a very large plate when it arrived.  Dominica and I also managed to order wine, but just one glass each rather than a bottle, which was better.  And cheaper.  We’ve now learned to say “copa del vino” which, because we are in Granada province (also true in Almeria province) it comes automatically with a tapa per glass.  Sadly, they did not know that we are vegetarian and the tapa tonight was something similar to chili on bread and some potato chips.  The girls ate the potato chips but we had to skip the tapas.  The server figured out that we were vegetarian, but it was too late 🙁  We are unsure how to convey that in the situation where tapas are included.

The food was very good, as was the wine, and we had a nice time at dinner.  We were really impressed when we got the bill and two glasses of good wine, two tapas and a full serving (a ración) of friend fish and French fries, enough to have fed all four of us, came out to be roughly fifteen dollars!

After dinner Dominica made pancakes for the girls. Luciana has been begging for them for days.  Dominica had found what she needed to be able to make them at the grocery store, Dia, in Órgiva yesterday although there is nothing like maple syrup available here in Spain.  But in a cupboard Dominica had discovered traditional British golden syrup, also known as light treacle, which she figured that she would try and it turned out that Luciana loved pancakes that way.

After the pancakes, we went up to the terrace for a bit, Dominica and I.  It was dark now, being around ten or eleven at night, but the twinkling lights from the other towns proved to be really magical.  Ógiva down in the valley and Los Tablones to the east of it are really lit up and we can really see Bayacas and Carataunas to the east of us up on the mountain too.

While we were out on the terrace, Liesl came up just to hang out with us in the dark.  We heard some loud booms and managed to locate fireworks being shot off on the south side of Órgiva which was pretty interesting to see as we were far, far above the fireworks and looking down on them.  We could see the flashes and count six seconds before the sound would reach us.  The display did not last for very long but it was rather interesting, at least.

We are all very excited that the weather has changed and we are prepared to really experience being outside in Spain enjoying it as it is meant to be enjoyed.  While we were at dinner tonight Dominica noticed that my face was red and Luciana felt me and said that I was pretty warm.  Apparently, even though it is only the first nice day of spring and even though Spain is much more north than Texas is, the sun got to me and I have a slight sun burn.  Nothing that hurts, but I had no idea that I was getting that much sun today.

Tomorrow we plan to do some exploring of the region.  It is our first weekend day since arriving in Spain so we will take the Opal out and do some driving.