March 31, 2015: Lanjarón

We had meant to spend yesterday in Lanjarón but we all slept in far too late.  So we tried again today.

Dominica got very little sleep last night, she had insomnia again.  I got more sleep but not great sleep.  I tried sleeping upstairs in the guest bedroom after the girls had begged me to sleep up there with them but between it being way too hot, the bed being full of bread crumbs and Luciana pushing me out of bed I did not sleep very well either.  But far better than Dominica.

But we were all up at a reasonable time this morning, got the girls ready and headed right out for a day in Lanjarón after I worked for a little while.  The drive there is not as bad as to most other places in the region except for Órgiva which we drive through, basically, on the way to Lanjarón.  If we were walking it would be far better.

Lanjarón is a village of nearly four thousand people and it is the gateway to the Alpujarras region.  Nearly everyone passes through it when entering the region if they are coming from Granada, as most do.  We missed it because we took the backroads from Malaga which was not the right way to do it anyway, we have discovered.

Even with getting up early and getting moving we were not into Lanjarón until after noon.  We had no real plans other than hoping to find the water museum but we failed to find that so it really did not matter much anyway.  We got into town and parked down on the main driving street that runs along the valley’s edge.  Then we unloaded from the car and the four of us walked up into the city.

It was a warm day, about eighty degrees, and we did a lot of walking.  About five miles or more (my pedometer for me personally had me at nearly six and a half miles for the day in total.)  I cannot believe how well the little girls handled all of the walked.  They were exhausted by the end of it all but they were troopers and just kept on walking.  I am so proud of how well they did today.

We walked up the hill to the main street which has very little traffic, it is mostly wide sidewalks.  We were still on the eastern side of town.  We walked most of the length of that main street right through the village which was a very nice walk.  The town is loaded with fuente (fountains of drinking water) every two blocks or so which is awesome as a visitor.  You can get a drink and cool off nearly anywhere and tons of people use them.  The girls thought that this was great fun and stopped at every fuente that they came across.

The main street in Lanjarón is extremely lively with all kinds of shops (sadly many are for the tourists), restaurants, ice cream parlours, hotels, apartments, cafés, bars and more.  There were people everywhere walking up and down and sitting out on the street with coffee or whatever.  Lots of activity.

This is a town much more focused on the tourist trade than our village or Órgiva but it felt like a town where a lot of people really live and work as well.  There were lots and lots of traditional houses and semi-modern apartment buildings that seemed really interesting.  We immediately decided that this might be a perfect kind of place for us to have a home in Spain because of the location and the number of services available in the village.  In Cáñar you have to leave the village just to buy cereal or most staples.  That’s rough.  Here you would practically never need to leave town.  You can walk to anything that you would want and there isn’t just two bars but a plethora of eating, drinking and activity options.

We walked for a ways and the girls were a bit tired and hungry.  We had been looking at a lot of restaurants as we went and found a stretch on the western side of town that looked really promising and decided to stop at one called La Palmera which turned out to be an absolutely perfect choice.  It was a crepe and sandwich shop, we all chose crepes.

Dominica got a vegetable crepe that was very good.  The girls split a honey banana crepe that was also quite good.  I got the Bretón which is hard to describe but was basically a mushroom-stuffed crepe in a rich red sauce almost like a marinara with cheese.  It was absolutely amazing, the best crepe I have ever tasted.  It was heaven in a pancake.

After lunch we all got ice cream from the same place.  The girls both got vanilla.  I go nugget.  Dominica got half strawberry and half lemon.  I think Dominica won on the ice cream selection.

From lunch we walked on through town all of the way to the west end where there is a large municipal park running alongside the road that ends in a playground that we had promised the girls.  They played there for at least half an hour, maybe more.

While they were at the playground I investigated the area there and found that the municipality has been working on a major park expansion at the west end of town that is really quite impressive.  It is large, has an artificial stream running through it that is really cool, has amazing views and really expands the village’s walking area and makes for an amazing entrance into the village on the road.  It is the kind of thing that you expect to see a real city do, not something that a village would do.  I can’t believe the amount of amazingly nice and appropriate projects like this that I see going on in small towns around this region.  It is amazing.  You would never, ever see anything on this scale in the States.

The walk back to the car was hot and long.  We did manage to stop at a small market and pick up cereal which we ran out of this morning so that saved us a trip which was a major score.  Everyone was pretty tired.  Both girls fell asleep instantly in the car even with the crazy driving that has to be done to get back to our village.

We got back home and Dominica and the girls were done for the day.  Dominica immediately retired to the living room and read for a while and was in bed by ten it having been roughly six when we got home.  The girls just went into the guest bedroom and watched “The Engineering Family” on YouTube until they went to bed.

I set up on the terraza and worked from there all evening until after one in the morning.  Lots of work and lots of uploads to be done.  Plus posting.

It really was a great day.  Saw an amazing village.  Got a lot of exercise.  Ate amazing food.  Took a lot of pictures and videos.  Got some fresh air.  Had fun with the kids.