Friday, 9 August 2013

Hola again!

Spanish holiday snaps, Part II.  

Behind the villa there were some rather nice hills and a few fields.  I was hoping to be able to walk up into the hills because I suspect they were covered in wild rosemary and maybe some thyme too.  I had already seen a lot of wild fennel and rosemary bushes growing along the roadsides. However it was so hot I didn't really venture too far from the villa and only managed a fairly short wander up a small lane until I was barred from going any further by a chain across the road and a 'No Entry' sign.  However, there were some interesting flowers I had not seen before and some strange furry fruits on a small tree, also a rather nice old building which may once have been someone's home or maybe used for animals in days gone by.  It was sitting on the edge of an old olive grove.
I have no idea what these curious wild flowers are.  They bear no resemblance to anything I have seen before so I can't even hazard a guess!  Interesting formation though.
This very unripe wooly fruit was growing wild near our villa.  I have tried to identify it in my Oxford Book of Food Plants and the closest I can get is quince.  The shape isn't quite right since the quince bulges at its top rather than base but this is still immature so there is time for it to grow into a lovely golden yellow fragrant fruit which could end up as membrillo.  As an aside, in the Argentine membrillo and a softish cheese are eaten together and known as postre del pore - poor man's pudding.  In Spain the quince is known as marmelo, which is the origin of the term 'marmalade'. 
We saw lots of olive groves.  The trees are a lovely gentle grey green often sitting in soft salmon pink soil which is the most beautiful colour combination.
 The end result, glorious olive oil.
Here are a few very Spanish images.
Every home seems to have a balcony - some in better repair than others.
Nearby Benicarlo had a little bit of graffiti but it didn't really hold a candle to the streets of Melbourne.  We've been thoroughly spoilt by those!
 Finally the start of the long way home
leading to three golden hours in Barcelona!  

Drinking water tap in the Barri Gotic
 golden wall decorations
and golden entertainers on La Rambla
This character had the last laugh on our hols in Spain.  We then headed for the airport and a very tiresome, delayed flight home to Edinburgh.  
Boy we were glad to get home.  Of course it was dark at 02.15 when we finally reached the haven of the cool and peaceful house in the wood so we couldn't see the mayhem which had taken place in the garden.  We managed to get to the front door without the use of a machete, so that was fine!  It was home sweet home and that was all that mattered!

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