September 6, 2019

Spain - My bits and bobs about a holiday in Spain

Spain was not on our radar for this year. I wanted to rent a caravan and tour U.K. before they leave the E.U., but as faith would have it we ended up "touring" Spain on our way by car from Luxembourg to Almuñécar.

As it was on short notice we decided to save the 49 euros per day we would have used for Luna's holiday hotel and bring her with us. Was it challenging? Sometimes yes, but most of the times was a real pleasure as I feel better knowing where she is at all time and how she is treated. I might be one of those possessive dog persons, but a holiday is not a holiday without her.
Holidaying with a dog in south of Spain

It is not impossible, but it has its moments. We researched the area and the only beach allowing dogs was one in a nearby village (Motril) where we went at first until our friends told us that on all the beaches dogs are not allowed, but are tolerated. So, we ended up on a more private (smaller) beach in Almuñécar, where Luna wasn't just tolerated, she was the main attraction.

We discovered that she is most of the times a well behaved dog, who loves to bits to be near us, so if we went in the water she would want to be in the water, if we were on the beach she would crawl under our lounges, she had clean water to drink at all times and I rubbed her nose with sunscreen, so for most of the days she was more than fine.

She did not like the pebbled beaches and frankly I wouldn't either, but it reminded us of beaches in Ireland especially Bray.

She was allowed on all the terraces we checked out, we mostly travelled by car so I don't know about public transport, but she was not allowed inside monuments and museums. There we had a bit of a problem, as it was very hot to leave her in the car and we wouldn't normally do that anyways. So we took turns in visiting monuments and museums.

The taste of fruits and vegetables

Let's say it was different, but different in a bad way. We are truly blessed to live very close to a Grand Frais and if you are familiar with the concept, you know that there you can find seasonal local fruits and vegetables, which taste as it should with the occasional imported produce. And most of the imported stuff comes from Spain.

So when we went to the supermarket and picked the most appealing tomatoes, the best watermelon and the juiciest peaches, only to arrive home and discover that the tomatoes were yellow inside, the watermelon was unripe and the peaches were good enough to put a nail in a wall, we were confused.

I don't know what had happened, but their fruits and vegetables do not taste like the ones in here. I will not go into the long discussion of them being picked unripe only to mature on the trucks or ships, but for real here they taste different.
Those Spanish people do like to talk, loud talk

I come from a Latin country, so I'm not inexperienced when it comes to loud talking, but they are from a different league. A walk down the promenade was torture, enjoying a meal at a restaurant was an impossible task, relaxing on a beach was nonexistent and all because they all like to talk at the same time, talk all the time and scream at each other and their kids.

I also now live in a semi Latin country, in the Walloon region of Belgium, but for real the Belgians are more quieter, not to mention that I don't know even, 6 years in, if the Luxembourgish people do exist or are just part of myth and legend.

I happen to speak some Spanish, so I did understand they were not arguing with each other nor with us all the time, but man they do like to talk!

They live on a different schedule

The locals would wake up around 10 a.m., go to the beach around 12 p.m. by the time they had breakfast, I was having lunch, they do the siesta in the afternoon, they eat dinner after 10 p.m. and probably go to bed at 12 a.m. as at 11 p.m. they are still on the beach, on a terrace or at a restaurant.

So it took us a while before we adapted to their schedule, but for most of the time we did adapt. I don't know if the same goes if you are on holiday in a more touristic area, such as Marbella or even Malaga, but that was the case in the area we've been to.
They still have some Moorish gems

I was told that all the towns called Al-something were Moorish at some point and I got that feeling. The almost riad style houses with that specific architecture would have me stare at them for hours. The narrow streets and oasis like private gardens, I liked so much. The small towns with a fortress on top, such as Almuñécar or Salobreña and even the Alhambra were places I'm glad I've visited.

The pebbled beaches

I did not get it, but I was told that in the more touristic areas the beaches had sand. It took a short second to get accustomed with those sea shoes, it made sitting on a blanked impossible to bear, but at the end we were fine.

As I've said it reminded me of the Bray beach in Ireland or of the beach on Brac Island in Croatia.

The inexpensiveness of it all

Coming from Luxembourg where in the centre a burger in Oscars is 25 euros and a good beer is 6 to 10 euros, to eat a paella and drink a sangria for 40 euros for two people is very cheap. Also different from Luxembourg you would have free tap water in the restaurant. Here in Luxembourg I think even tap water comes with a price.

I was told that it was not the same everywhere in the south of Spain and that in the touristic areas the prices were comparable, but I was still left with the feeling that everything was cheaper than here.
The joy of life one would get after a holiday there

I am a complainer. I always complain and make comparisons and debate more than it needs to, every situation, every conversation, everything. But Spanish people are more laid back. So what if the beach has pebbles, you go to the Chinese store and buy a beach chair and that's it. So what if it is hot, you stay inside or under an umbrella and that's that. So what if you are hungry, you have a fruit and you wait for the dinner time and that's that.

I think life is much more simpler that way and I don't think it depends on the region, maybe the Belgians are laid-back as well, I was just too fierce to notice.

I couldn't wait to get home to my things and my rituals and my familiar places, but I did manage to enjoy being with friends, being with my family in a nice place. So if you like me join the rat race every day, do allow yourself a holiday in Spain from time to time!

Those are my two cents about a holiday in Spain. As usual you can find me on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu

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