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Showing posts with label Santa Pola. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Santa Pola. Show all posts

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Later today we are going to the seaside town of Santa Pola, to have dinner with Danish friends in an Argentine restaurant run by an Argentine of Danish parentage. It is our friends' 45th wedding anniversary, something that we find hard to believe because they don't seem old enough to have been married for 45 years, but since this year we will also celebrate our own 45th wedding anniversary, if all goes well, I suppose it is possible.

Thursday of this week, which was also Valentine's Day, dawned as a perfect day: sunny, the warmest we have had, and none of the strong winds that have blown through lately. I did a little work and then needed a break from the computer. So did Johannes, so we set out for a drive, and since we knew we would be going to this restaurant later this week but were not sure exactly where it was, we headed the car north to scout out the area.

It's a good thing we did, because Gloria Pérez Sanchez, our GPS lady, seems to have lost her good will and doesn't want to work for us any more. After a couple starts and stops, we found ourselves in the town of Santa Pola, but without any idea of how to find the restaurant. We stopped a couple times to ask directions, and since we were hungry but were nowhere near any restaurant except McDonald's, we ended up having chicken sandwiches at McDonald's for Valentine's lunch. Ironic, since I had not made it to a McDonald's during the three weeks I was in the U.S., and had even held myself back from the one in the Madrid airport, where I am often tempted to have breakfast when I come in from an overnight transatlantic flight and have to wait hours for my flight to Alicante. Here in the Santa Pola McDonald's, we were not alone, and a young couple who knew something of the area directed us to Calle de Mar, taking into account the one-way streets that had always forced us into detours from which we could never escape. We eventually found the restaurant and also the way out of town again, and look forward to meeting our friends there this evening.

It did not occur to me then, but it has since, that this blog, Sundays in Spain, was born in Santa Pola several years ago. I've done some homework during the week and re-discovered my first post, "Al mal tiempo buena cara." That was on October 12, 2008 and spoke of our experience in a small Santa Pola restaurant watching the other diners, one group of whom turned out to be a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, their boda de oro. Fifty years is just five years beyond 45, of course, and I realize now that I have been writing this blog for nearly five years--225 posts--and it doesn't seem all that long. We just might make it to 50.

In the meantime, happy anniversary to all who have any number of years and any occasion to celebrate.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Roman Villa in Santa Pola

Aside from our experience in the cafetería/cervecería Azahar (Orange Blossoms), the highlight of our short trip to Santa Pola was seeing the ruins of a Roman house right next to a lovely park lined with palm trees, "El Palmeral."

The historic marker was in at least four languages and told us that the villa was owned by wealthy people in the 4th century AD. It was quite large--you see only a couple of its seven or so rooms in this picture. There were beautiful ceramic tile floors. Both the tile work and stone walls were in good condition--well preserved or restored? I don't know, and though I thought I could go home and look this site up on the Internet to find a reproduction of the historic plaque or more detail, I haven't been able to find out much more about the villa.

There is more to investigate on another day.

Al mal tiempo buena cara

"Al mal tiempo buena cara" was the hand-printed sign on the blackboard in the small cervecería just off the town square in Santa Pola this afternoon, where we enjoyed 6 assorted montaditos (small sandwiches of chicken, sausages, and cheese mounted on pieces of delicious baguette).

"You have to look on the bright side of things," my Cambridge Klett dictionary says in translation. But I like my own better. In bad times, (put on) a good face. Or stronger: Face up to the bad times.

Not bad advice as we ended the worst week in Wall Street history, a week in which all world banks were straining and people everywhere are nervous. Where the parting wish Friday afternoon from a business colleague was, "Have a nice weekend and don't think about your retirement investments."

Not a bad thought either given the weather we have endured for the last six days in not-so-sunny Spain. I had delayed laundry all week because it was overcast and it's no fun to hang clothes out to dry if you can't do it in the sun. When I finally washed and put them on the line yesterday, I had to run out for rescue after a half hour--the strong wind had whipped the tendedero over on its side and rain drops were threatening.

But Sunday morning dawned and the sun was occasionally successful in peeking through the clouds, or was it fog? We drove north from Torrevieja for 40 kilometers, up the coast road through Santa Pola and some very isolated coastline area to Gran Alacant, and then back again to stop in Santa Pola. That's where we found the small Azahar cafe and had our snack. It was noisy and cheerful, with several men at the bar, five or six other small tables of Spanish couples devouring their substantial midday dinner, two waiters bustling around, and the usual two television sets dueling for attention.

But the unexpected pleasure was the larger table of a dozen or so people of all ages over on the far side of the restaurant. It was obviously a multigenerational family celebration of some sort. Must be a wedding, I thought at first, as I saw one of the waiters place a large flower arrangement next to a cake with what looked like figures of a bride and groom on top. But no, that young teenage girl at the far end of the table--a little too young to be getting married, and she had on a pink dress. Maybe a confirmation or first communion? No, too late in the year, and she was too old for those occasions. We finally gave up and asked the waiter when he brought our check.

It was a wedding celebration, he assured us. A golden wedding anniversary. Bodas de oro. Ah yes, that would be the handsome older man who I had seen (but couldn't hear) making a toast a few minutes earlier. And his bride of 50 years, she was right beside him, but hidden from my view behind a post. But her eyes shone as I smiled and caught her eye in congratulations as we rose to depart.

They both had probably lived through some mal tiempo in the past 50 years, I thought, but they both showed buena cara today.