Monday 9 March 2015

The day opens slightly overcast – have we made a mistake?  Down to level four (this hotel is slightly confused, reception is on level six and the pool is accessed from level five but is actually up some steps; far from ideal for the disabled, although there are ramps and lifts to get around) for breakfast.  The choice is amazing and everything I eat is good or very good.

Porridge is my staple breakfast and is readily available here.  Then a fried egg with bacon and mushrooms.  Good coffee and fruit juice and today is off to a much better start than yesterday.

We then descend to level zero again and take to sunbeds with the intention of getting brown; this is accompanied by either reading, listening (the last week of The Archers has been very wet) or snoozing, with occasional turning to prevent anything getting too burnt.

By mid afternoon that is enough for one day so the late lunch is now an ice-cream from the shop selling “sin azucar” – without sugar.  Another wander around a different bit of the town shows a variety of shops and restaurants including a Japanese tenpanyaki which I am advised by my wife who has been here before was not here last May when she visited.

My photos of the Balcony of Europe are here

This evening we are not eating in the hotel but are instead going around the corner.  We emerge from the hotel into the main square as the church is emptying.  There has been a funeral, huge flower displays  and we respectfully wait until the funeral cars depart with the entire church attendees following behind.

Our destination is MarBella which is an interesting place.  Approached from the front it looks like a nice place to sit in the shade in the main square; but as we wish to see the entertainment later (flamenco) we enter and are shown to a table; then the poor waiter moves us because he needs to build a stage for the entertainment.  Then after some discussion we move back so that we can see the new stage.  But MarBella is deceptive.  Whilst we eat (see below) people walk in and through the bar where we are sitting to look at a terrace and then come back out again!  We had not seen this and so a bit later we wander through – and there is a nice enough courtyard and then a bit further on there is a well appointed chill out bar and then beyond this there is a huge dining area with wonderful view out to sea!  It could be the Tardis as it is definitely larger on the inside than the outside.

Dining options are varied.  A Gastronomic menu is offered for €22 or there is extensive carte at a variety of prices, although generally higher than most of the neighboroughing establishments and indeed several times during the evening we heard potential and actual diners complain about the prices – but that is simply because of the low level of prices around the town.

My wife convinces the slightly reluctant staff that she should have the mushroom soup from the Menu Gastronomique even though it is not on the ordinary menu.  As usual she succeeds.  I chose to start with a delicious shellfish soup – after all by the sea one should eat fresh fish.

In my case I choose to follow this with a leg of lamb – which turns out to be much larger than I had expected.  On the other side of the table a filletted sea bass is delivered and we both enjoy our main courses.  Empty plates are a sign of the enjoyment of the eaters.

A bottle of red wine (Marques de Caceres) accompanies the meal.  Subsequently we consume a glass of the house red (not so good) and a decent cup of coffee whilst we enjoy the flamenco display.  The group consists of two male guitarists and a female dancer who dances the last number in each set.  The younger guitarist is particularly good.

We wander back to our hotel.  A good start to our holiday.