No se? Quoi? Huh? Daily life with 4 languages.

Trip Start Jun 14, 2011
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Trip End Jul 23, 2011


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Flag of Spain  , Catalonia,
Sunday, June 26, 2011

When we decided to spend a chunk of time in Europe, we debated on whether or not to cover a larger area with a night here, two nights there etc. Taking into consideration the age of the kids, and what we really wanted out of the trip, we decided that we wanted a home base. We're so glad we did. We’re experiencing a way of life by shopping where the locals shop, we met and are spending time with some awesome neighbours (and yes, I’m aware I’ve reverted back to the Canadian and European way of spelling this ;) with whom we will stay in touch and hopefully be able to show the same generosity and hospitality sometime in the (near) future. Jimmy and Dawn own the apartment over ours. They’re from the USA but are now retired and living here permanently. Christian is up above on the hill. He’s half French and half Italian, from southern France but also living here now. We had them over for dinner and Francis cooked a fabulous meal of fish, lentils, vegetables and then they yummiest dessert I’ve had in a long time (Pot de crème au chocolat et rum au coconut.) Everyone was impressed at his culinary talents. Jimmy and Dawn took us to the town of Empuria Brava. The place was packed since it was market day. Cute town but the best part is the beach. The widest beach I’ve ever seen. Makes Clearwater Beach look small. Last night, Christian had us over for drinks and Tapas. He’s such a  great host.  It was a fun evening where the communication was in three languages and any given time. Actually, daily life here is composed of Catalan first, then Spanish, then French and English is fourth. Often when dealing with locals, it's common to use all four. Everyone is super helpful and happy to help out. 

 What can I say about the  Costa Brava region? It’s simply gorgeous! Every morning when I get up, I’m still awed by the view we have from this apartment. It’s been warm, sunny, and breezy every day so far. We went hiking in the national park of Cap de Creus. Great hikes, again, breath taking views, we also explored the town of Cadaques. Very charming and  beautiful. It’s quite a bit smaller than the town of Rosas where we are. In all the towns the flowers are stunning and often, the kids, Francis or I will mention how much my mom would love it here. Mom- I’m taking a lot of pictures of flowers. More than I on this blog, I’ll show you when we get back.  We like to just drive around and pull over when an area seems interesting and we have not been disappointed so far. Speaking of driving…the roads are soooooo narrow, often with no guardrails. The lines in the middle of the roads seem to be painted for decoration since cars go over it into the oncoming traffic at any given moment. I normally love to drive but happily gave it up to Dave for now.

So far, our day normally starts off by going to the market to get the fruit, veggies and meat for the day. The Iberico ham is to die for (Annie, what you referred to as Spanish prosciutto.) Learned that the best is from the legs with the black feet, not the white ones. Our favourite butcher, Marcello, is teaching me about the different meats and cheeses from Spain. Yesterday, he surprised us with a gift of delicious dried figs!  What a treat that was!   It’s surprising at first to see that they use every part of the animal and it’s yours to purchase for consumption. Pigs ears, faces, chicken heads etc. All displayed for viewing.  I like to cook and experiment but  can’t say I’m quite ready to figure out what to do with those parts.  No gracias, think I’ll pass for now.

At least once a day we’ll go down to the beach or the main drag where the restaurants and shops line the beach to hang out or walk around.  The side streets are quaint and good deals in a lot of shops. After a week, I’m finally remembering that most stores are closed from 13:30-16:00. (1:30 PM to 4:00) for la siesta.  At night, those same streets are lined with tables from restaurants for Tapas and Sangria time. I’m still searching for the best Sangria and the best gelato in town. It’s a challenging quest but someone has to do it! :) 

Our first week is already done in Spain. One more week to go. Now we’re looking at everything we’re wanting to see and do and prioritizing. We won’t be able to cover it all but I guess it’ll give us a reason to come back to Spain in the future.
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Comments

Kathy on

It all looks wonderful! We are really enjoying your blog. Now we have to start planning for next summer. Lucie, I haven't seen a repeat outfit yet, I wish I could cram more stuff in my small carry-on. Leaving tomorrow, so excited!!! High five to Francis on the cooking, too. Miss you guys, let's catch up when everyone is back in the USA.

luciehunter
luciehunter on

make sure you ad me to your travel blog!

Colleen Gray on

Luc, sounds like the perfect adventure. Looking forward to hearing more about it when you get back.

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