Today we woke to a beautiful Sunny day. I first woke up around 5:30 am. It was still dark outside, but all the lights around the bay were still glowing into our bay window….that over looks the bay, how fitting. Joey was still snoozing so I tried to catch some more sleep but it wasn’t happening, the restless body was back and I lay there and tossed and turned. We both finally got up around 7:30am and Joey took a quick shower so he could head out to find some coffee for us. I stayed back at the hotel to get showered myself but Joey returned empty handed. What? No coffee in the lobby? He even ventured out to the nearby streets but apparently it’s much like elsewhere in Europe where you pretty much have to find a little street side café and sit down and have cappuccino from little white porcelain cups. Oh well, we finally left our hotel around 9am and set out for some much needed coffee. It clear and sunny as I said, but it was still quite cool and brisque out….well, it was actually very cool in the shade. I was freezing for a while! We finally start smelling the coffee at every turn and it turns out most of the bars sell coffee where they have “breakfast pinxtos” as well. A pinxtos is what the people in the Basque region call what we know as “tapas”…little appetizer sized foods set out on the bar that you just help yourself to..and then pay for. They hand you a plate, you eat what you want and they ring it up at the end. Pinxtos is pronounced “pinchos” so Joey spent most of the day referring to them as “pinche pinchos”. We ordered a couple of pinxtos and some coffee and sat down to eat our breakfast. Joey had a croissant with ham and cheese; I had a roll with an egg and potato mixture inside. I ditched the roll and ate the eggs. They were both tasty but not exactly what I needed so we plotted our mission to find a market where we could buy some snacks for the day….some protein and maybe some fruit hopefully. We walked around for quite a while, just checking out the small city area, also walking along the boardwalk that leads over to the marina and fish market. Joey was in heaven, determined to come back and buy some fresh fish. Really? Like where are we gonna cook it? It’s not like our hotel had a little hibachi on the balcony! We also happened upon this beautiful old Catholic church that they allowed us to walk around in, and even found a playground with a working carousel. Eventually we head back to our hotel for a potty break, but we soon were out again and stumbled upon a great little local farmer’s market…only it was in a big warehouse. This was the perfect store! They had raw meat vendors, cured meats (a Spanish delicacy), lots of fresh fruits and produce, great cheeses, fresh baked breads, and even some pastries. We bought some home made olives, apricots, apples and nectarines, some bread and Spanish ham. They have a bunch of different kinds of these hams (hanging all around everywhere), and they sell them all prepared and seasoned differently. We really had no clue what kind to buy. We finally just picked one and hoped for the best. It was loin something or other. We also found a little market to buy some beer, sodas, wine and chocolate. We also stopped at a bakery that sold lots of fancy little desserts. Joey got some flan looking thing and I got some chocolate truffles. It was really warming up, and everyone was out and about for their daily stroll (with their doggies…..most not even on leashes!), when we decided to head back to our room and get changed for a day at the beach. Of course when we got back we had to tear into our little snackies and I can tell you, this Spanish ham is the bomb-diggity! It’s kinda like eating dry salami, only it looks like thicker prosciutto…and tastes more like dry thick prosciutto…only better. Seriously, Johnny….you would love it! Only thing is, we can’t bring it back through customs 😦
So we finally get down to the beach, which is really filling up now. Joey picked out his perfect spot on the sand when he eyed all the topless beauties from our balcony. Seriously, it’s the strangest contradiction here. The women dress pretty conservative around town, in fact its customary to do so, but they will take a little break from their work day by walking down to the beach in their work clothes and undress right on the beach. And this is women both young and old….from 17 to 70 years old. Joey wasn’t so interested in the 70 year olds ;). IDK, he must have eventually grown bored of it all because pretty soon he was snoring….softly. But I have to tell you, Spain has some of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen! Everywhere I look, there’s some hottie who looks very much like Joey. Seriously, there are a bunch of Joey’s walking around here….only taller ;). But I can certainly see where his genes came from, ha.
We eventually came back in from the beach, opened a bottle of wine and snacked some more on our goodies while watching the sun set from our balcony. I was shocked to find that it was 9pm and the sun was just setting! No wonder they don’t go to dinner until after 9pm! After quickly getting freshened up, we head out for our first night of tapas…or rather “pinxto” hopping. We had already staked out the area that has the most bars and we could see that even for a Monday night, many of them were filling up. There is this whole area just a short walk from our hotel where you walk up and down alley like streets that are filled with little shops and bars and some other unknown businesses. It is customary here in Spain to go to one place for a drink, have a couple pinxtos, then move on to another place. Some places have seating, some just some stand around tables, and some you just belly up to the bar and graze. We peered into a few as we walked around, checking out their array of pinxtos offerings, and finally settled on one particular place that looked intriguing. Plus, they had seating inside and it was again getting quite chilly. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just can’t get warm! I’m sure on warmer nights, and probably the weekends, the crowds would spill out into the alley areas. I sit down at a table and send Joey off to the bar to surprise me with some goodies. He’s scared…or as we like to say “scuurrred”, that he will pick the wrong things. But really, there is such a variety of odd looking goodies that it’s just a crap shoot anyway…so off he goes. He comes back with a glass of Sangria for me…my first here, and it was actually quite pleasant….light an fruity. As you will see from the pictures (food pics, yeah!!), we had some kind of ham salad mixture on bread, a couple of artichoke heart diddies (one wrapped in bacon), some anchovy with an olive (very pungent!), and the best octopus I have ever had! Seriously, it was like eating chicken, not rubbery at all! The family next to us ordered a whole plate of it. It had some mildly spicy seasoning on it, yum. We ended up paying $15 euros for 1 drink each and our food…not bad. We soon left and moved on to another place. This next place had some tasty looking stuff! We tried some sort of meat thing that had some soft batter on it. It kinda reminded me of pancake on the outside, but well seasoned ground meat of some sort inside. It was greasy, but tasty. Joey loved it! We also got a mushroom torte of sorts (a crust shell, with savory cooked mushrooms inside), some bacon wrapped mushrooms…or were they those big fatty white asparagus?, only these mushrooms were huge chunks. Almost like if you were to cut up portabellas, but they didn’t taste like portabellas. We ended with a slice of soft cheese that was placed on crisp bread, topped with an apricot jam. Loved it! Again, $15 euros, interesting. Since we had done some earlier snacking in our room, we were content with out two stops so we called it quits on the food. After all, we still have 14 more days of this!
We finally walked back to our hotel where we stopped in the bar to have a night cap. It was a very cold walk back to our hotel so I was eager for something to warm me up. Having spotted the big bottle of Frangelico on their wall earlier in the day, I decided that would be perfect to top off my night with. If only they poured big glasses like that back at home! Oh my, so tasty. And better yet, it was only a few bucks!