Friday, February 20, 2009

A stroll around the village

We are beginning to feel at home in our new house, so I thought it was time I got to know my way around the village. After a coupe of chilly, grey days, yesterday dawned clear and blue, and it was soon very warm. We were busy all morning and after lunch we got out the loungers and relaxed for a while. Then I went in search for my trusty camera and set off for a stroll around the village. I expected it to not be busy as it was siesta time, and everything stops for a couple of hours, even in the cooler months. And it was certainly quiet though I did come across little groups of Spanish folk, sitting together, wherever there was a suitable seat. And seating is something there is quite a lot of. Every time I turned a corner I found another little area of shade with trees, pots of flowers and seating. Life here is lived out of doors for most of the year, so for people living in tiny apartments and houses with no garden, these rest areas are very important, and they are where the social life of the village takes place. I saw groups of the elderly dozing on benches, folk on their doorsteps chatting with neighbours, and several recreational areas where young mums sat together watching their children playing on swings and slides. There are at least three 'squares' in the village including the new plazza which is the site of village fiestas. There is a small one in front of the church. The bell tolled for three o'clock as I stood there, and it made me glad that it is a distance from our house. The bell was very loud! The whole village is surrounded by open countryside. On two sides there are ramblas, or dry river beds, and many streets just come to an end at the edge of them. There is lovely rural scenery in every direction, with the main motorway just visible beyond the farmland. I saw horses and donkeys, and a man with his herd of goats. And the backdrop to it all is the Cabreras mountains which are just visible from the back of our garden. I discovered the location of the doctors clinic, always useful to know, and three small supermarkets, a bread shop reputed to be the oldest in the province of Almeria, two hairdressers, several bar/caf├ęs, the chemist, two banks and a feriterria which is what we used to call an ironmongers, and which now sells anything in the way of household needs, (a bit like Wilkinsons in Oswestry. I don't know if you have them down south). I am sure there are other shops around as well that I didn't spot. Everywhere I looked there were flowers; wild ones along the roadside and potted ones on balconies and porches. No matter how small a space is, they nearly always manage to sqeeze in a pot or two. There are lots of the original houses still in the centre of the town, and along the little narrow streets, and some new larger ones around the edge. It will be a while before we know all the backstreets but it is a charming village and I know we are going to enjoy living in it. I took a lot of photos and couldn't decide which ones to put on here, so I have made a folder of most of them on my picasa gallery. Enjoy looking, and I hope you will all come and see it for yourselves one day. It is getting late now so I am off to bed. I will upload the pictures to the gallery tomorrow.

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