Friday, 4 November 2011

If we took a holiday...

Not sure this really counts as a holiday but for the purposes of thirtyturningthirty this is as close to holiday as I'm going to get so here's a few days worth of Item 26 - Holiday.

I'm visiting Jonathon and Brother Joe in Roquetas de Mar (Little Rocks of the Sea), which is where J's teaching job is. Roquetas de Mar is quite a smallish town on the south coast of Spain with a bit of an industrial feel, mainly due to the large plasticos (green houses) which surround the area. 

The nearest city to Roquetas is Almeria (The Mirror of the Sea) which is a beautiful place, full of Moorish history, winding streets and a working port, sort of like a mini Valencia or Malaga. We've taken two trips to Almeria over the past few days. On the first visit we took a stroll around the main streets, visited a gallery (owned by a bank - novel?) and a hike up into the hills where there's an old fort, The Alcazaba. The Alcazaba is a mighty impressive structure, it tells of centuries of feuds between Muslims and Christians, the castle has Islamic architecture with geometric patterns and structured gardens, similar to the Alhambra, with lots of ancient christian graffiti and crucifixes carved in to the walls. The second trip was to visit the Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía, which is a bit of a hidden gem, where we saw a retrospective of Édouard Boubat's work and Tim Parchikov's Suspense.

Almeria also has a a Zara, Pull and Bear, Bima y Lola :)

Yep, when Santa's not filling sacks and hopping down chimneys he's having a few jars at Malaga's Beer Fest.

Jonathon had a long weekend at the beginning of the week (the Spanish like their public holidays, which by me, is no bad thing) so the three of us decided to take a road trip to Malaga (pics above and below), stopping overnight at my nan's flat in Arroyo de da Miel (near Benalmadena). The trip started out brilliantly (note the can of Alhambra and some lovely potato crisps for the drive), we ate too much lovely food and drank too many mojitos, and got louder and louder with each establishment we drank at having a really lovely time until the night was dampened slightly by the theft  loss of Jonathon's phone and wallet. (If anyone reading this knows Jonathon, you will also know this is not the first time he has lost his phone/wallet. It's certainly not the third or fourth time. It's probably not even the ninth. And let's not kid ourselves, it won't be the last. But of course, it wasn't lost this time, it was stolen, right Brother Joe?). On the plus side of things, it did lead to a ride in the back of a Spanish police car and an hour wait in Malaga police station (at 3am) while J filled out forms and explained that a a poor beggar woman had taken his belongings. (To be fair to J, she did try and put her hands down his jeans.)

Back to Roquetas and whilst J's at work me and Brother Joe have rest of the working day to ourselves to wander the town. The best thing about Roquetas de Mar has to be the Chinese shops. They are amazing, imagine Poundland, Wilkos and the corner shop having a one monster, giant baby . Full of, well, just stuff really, aisles and aisles of stuff. Stuff that's probably killing the world in its production but is fun and colourful and is absolutely vital to own when you're in the store. We didn't buy any of the novelty bells (below) but we did buy a hole punch (needed), a pencil case (always needed), toothpaste (yep, definitely needed), plastic make up bags (necessary for flight home), novelty tweezers (probably necessary) and tomorrow we're going back to buy an orange tortilla frying pan* for Helga (vital). 

Last night was salsa night and I'm pretty much up to speed now with the blogging. We ate until we hurt but it tasted soooo good, even if we say so ourselves. 

*Not just any old frying pan, no. These babies are two frying pans together, allowing an easy flip for even cooking on both sides. Genius.

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