Odds & Ends….and More!

Back in Madrid for 2 nights and there are a few more things to share…..First, the cave houses, not the one we stayed in, but a small town where there are many. One can see the chimneys sticking up from the hills and know that there is a home with a stucco front under it. Here is the town of Fonelas.

20140525-181247-65567916.jpgWhile in our cave house, the owner stopped by with a basket of broad beans…..we had to shell them….see the little guys? Lots of work, but they were excellent with only butter and salt.

20140525-181520-65720545.jpgAnd some more good food.

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20140525-181649-65809808.jpgWhy can’t we buy goat cheese like this in the US?

We have mentioned “Menú of the Day” often. Here is an example with 5 choices per course…..often there is only a choice of 2 or 3.

20140525-181849-65929961.jpgHere is one of our most favorite photos.

20140525-181953-65993940.jpgIt has been a fantastic trip, wonderful people, places and foods. Spain is an easy country to visit; roads are good and well marked, accommodations are excellent and a real bargain….at least during the months of May and October (our last 2 trips here). We only spent 4 nights out of 30 in hotels; the rest were in beautiful apartments for less than the Holiday Inn Express in San Antonio. For example:

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20140525-201205-72725358.jpgWhat more can we say except, Try To Get Here! It is wonderful!!

Riópar Viejo

This is Riópar Viejo….remains of an old Moorish Fortress, a Christian Church, and apartments and 1 small restaurant. All this sits atop a rock; unfortunately it clouded up this afternoon and we could not get a good photo of how the rock sits above the highway.

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20140524-170158-61318729.jpgAnd from the top of the fortress.

20140524-170251-61371660.jpgThe food in the “big” town of Riôpar has been quite good. Not a fancy place, but our favorite type of place…..full of locals.

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20140524-170449-61489214.jpgThis dish is fantastic….first course, a stew type of thing with chicken and a “noodle” that I would swear is a flour tortilla! Nothing like traditional Gazpacho, which here is called Gazpacho Andaluz (from Andalucía.) This morning we went to a park to hike to the source of the Rio Mundo….everyone was there! it is an impressive falls; this is our favorite photo from many .

20140524-171036-61836543.jpgThis morning after having huge croissants here in our apartment, we went to the small cafe here for our cortados (espresso with a little milk). The fireplace felt very good since it was in the 40’s.

20140524-171320-62000806.jpgTomorrow we return the car to Madrid airport and will spend 2 nights there. Monday we will take the Metro into the city to a small neighborhood recommended by an artist from Madrid. We have seen all the “must sees” in Madrid and were looking for something a little different. Hope it is interesting.

Sierra de Segura Mountains

Today is our last day in Andalucía, 26 days here and they have been a real treat. Wednesday was the first day of clouds since we arrived in Spain April 25 but by late morning it was partly cloudy but cool….63 for a high. Lows have been 43 degrees. Here are a few photos of the 2 places we visited in these beautiful mountains.

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20140522-193022-70222674.jpgThis is what we refer to as “drinking time” right before lunch. The bars are packed with men (we counted 15 in this small bar). We were having our “mid morning” cafés.

20140522-193217-70337852.jpgToday we spent the day in Hornos, 12 miles/30 min drive away from Segura de la Sierra.

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20140522-193421-70461552.jpgHere are our lunches today, we started with Russian salad (potato salad) and finished with a melon that is similar to honeydew, but not as sweet.

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20140522-193829-70709623.jpgSee any olive oil????? I think it comes from some of the zillion trees in this region. :- ) Tomorrow we return to La Mancha for 2 nights before returning to Madrid for our last 2 nights.

As Promised

Wow! lightning fast internet here in Segura de la Sierra. So, as promised the different food we had in Sabiote. We did not have the menu of the day, but ordered sandwiches (we needed to eat lighter for a few days!)…..like a 14 inch baguette with fried calamari….or this, both shared.

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20140520-193339-70419159.jpgThis was a free Tapa before the big sandwiches arrived.

20140520-193545-70545779.jpgAND this was the big surprise the second time we ate at Picasso…..a Tapa, free, before what we ordered came!

20140520-193737-70657486.jpgThis is just a small part of the view from Sabiote, but which ever way one looks, this is what is seen.

20140520-193849-70729654.jpgWe stopped in La Iruela today to see this. Impressive, right?

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20140520-194017-70817251.jpgWe stopped here for lunch and will be spending a day there sketching…Thursday as we drove so much today….87 miles and it took 3 1/2 hours of driving time at 25 mph….narrow, winding, up and down…..the scenic route.

20140520-194307-70987030.jpgAND….arrived here in Segura for 3 nights. (Top photo of the blog; we were here in October….great place!)

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Catching up!

Found wee-fee here in Sabiote…..in the old convent….who would guess that???? So a few photos with captions….

20140519-104654.jpgWe took this photo as we left the red rock, cave house area.

20140519-104807.jpgWe made a short stop in La Guardia to see their castle and to kill a little time before our check in time in Sabiote.

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Next time very different food here…..and one HUGE surprise tapa!

Cave House

OK…..I know you wonder what the inside of a cave house looks like…..here you go…..Kitchen/Dining….

20140516-203744.jpgLiving room

20140516-204842.jpgBig bedroom and the niche.

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20140516-205010.jpgSee? Very nice….but only 2 windows….one by dining area and one in the bathroom. The owner said a study by the University in Granada showed that people living in these live longer and rest better than people in regular homes…..constant temperatures, less radiation and they rest better…..probably because it is DARK at night! ;- )