Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallows Eve in Spain

Halloween all over the world and in Spain a very special festival, The children come around playing tricks and getting treats, but then the seriousness starts. Families go to the graves and cemetries of their past family and pass an all night vigil, and on the following day all saints day they spend the day cleaning and tidying the graves and cemetries, - it is a national holiday. Around forty years ago, people would often put cakes and nuts on graves during Halloween, thinking to bribe the evil spirits. A special pastry known as Bones of the Holy is eaten during Halloween in Spain, and this food is actually an anise seed bread with an orange glaze. The bread is also known as "Pan de Muerto" Bread of the dead, and is shaped into skulls or round loaves, with strips of dough rolled out and attached to resemble bones.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

La Marina Beach

The weather is cooling down a bit, so we have to get in some swimming while we can, the sea is still reasonably warm so we had a trip down to La Marina, we got there to find with a stiff breeze the rollers were coming in like it was the Atlantic, we still went in for a dip but it was quite hairy at times swimming in white water and diving through the waves as they were breaking. The depths are very variable so not to be recommended unless you are a strong swimmer. At one time we saw a large shoal of sandeel type fish in an oncoming wave, seconds later a very big fish, possibly a shark, surfed through the wave after the small fish and was gone in a flash. The beach runs from Guardamar harbour northwards and has sand dunes as a backdrop, it is a long section of beach where there is a beach bar, part of it is a recognised nudists beach.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Da Vettriano

When listening to our favourite local radio station, Sunshine FM, there is normally a couple of competitions to send answers on the phone or by email, we normally have a go at the answers and much to our surprise we had a phone call the other day to say we had won a prize of a meal for 2 at Da Vettriano, an Italian Restaurant at Torre de la Horadada, last night we went for the meal which was absolutely excellent, with great hospitality, so we had a superb evening. They have good variety on the menu with fish, meat, chicken, pasta and pizza dishes all prepared to order, a great wine list, and home made deserts including Taramisu. I would recommend the Da Vettriano Restaurant to anybody.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Medieval Craft fair at Rojales

All this weekend, there has been a Medieval craft fair at the Caves of El Rodeo in Rojales. The stallholders dressed in Medieval costume were selling a vast variety of craftwork, and demonstrating their skills. There was copper plate printing, pottery making and brass-etching among other things . One stall was selling large loafs of bread of unusual varieties, another a large variety of dried plant leaves to make infusions to treat every ailment you could think of. A lot of the caves are inhabitated and the owners were selling there crafts from within them as well as serving tea coffee, cakes and paella. The Cave bar was also doing a brisk trade and is open throughout the year, winter opening is at weekends and it normally some musical entertainment. There is a great view over Rojales and Formentera from the bar terrace, perfect for sitting and relaxing with a Cerveza.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Free phone calls

I´ve just found a website to make totally free phone calls,--- http://www.jajah.com.--- You register your email address and you can then phone from a landline to a landline that is also registered. You can phone between different countries for example - Spain and Australia, the site also provides cheap calls between mobiles and landlines and visa versa and for countries not covered. you are expected to "play fair" and use around an hour a week at the most. Connection is made from your computer by entering your number and the number you are calling, your phone rings and recipients phone rings, you pick up, and the progress of the call is seen on your P.C. screen. This of course means that it is only possible to use this service if you have a broadband connection. Jajah will be expecting to make revenue from members paying for the non free services and advertising. I would imagine that in the future other providers will start similar schemes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Anchovy disaster

Millions of Anchovies weighing more than 3 tons have been found dead on a northern Spanish beach, it is thought that they were trying to escape predators - Tuna or Dolphins, another reason for the beaching could be the unusually high water temperatures for this time of the year, which may have disorientated the fish. No chemical toxins have been found, so the disaster has not been the effect of pollution, Anchovies in the french and Spanish coasts are the most expensive and valued in the world, with the best flavour. Anchovies are considered a rare species, They are a protected species and there are European Union restrictions on fishing for them.