Saturday, December 18, 2010

Days 4 and 5

Our first stop after leaving Barcelona was Sitges, a really charming spot on the Mediterranean with lots of different architecture and a wonderful long promenade by the sea. Since it was about 3 o’clock lunch was our first priority. We ate at a restaurant called Picnic, which was full of locals. After sharing a salad we had risotto nero with calamari and very sweet prawns only they were a bit larger than prawns. The meal was excellent and so was the wine, a local Spanish Barbera from the area with same name. After a walk it was into the car and off to Tarragona.

We finally settled on a hotel and headed downstairs for dinner. This hotel has a really interesting concept. They have a high end deli called Provisions, where you could select your food from quite a variety of things and it was heated up and delivered to your table. People were coming in for take away. Seamus had a Spanish frittata and I had a small plate of pasta Bolognese. Being satiated once again it was off to bed. Seamus is really in to Keith Richard’s autobiography and for the second night read until 3.

In the morning we visited El Corte Ingles, which is the big Spanish department store. We’ve had some issues with internet connection so bought a stick so we can get wifi anywhere. It’s a huge store and has everything you can imagine and is beautifully laid out. Then it was into the car and heading south.

Our destination was the Ebro Delta, which is a river delta leading to the sea. The area has actually shrunk in size since the 1930’s. We passed through huge areas of rice fields some flooded and some not. No wonder risotto is on all the menus. We stopped for lunch at a place in the middle of nowhere. The lady recited the menu, which is one way to learn Spanish quickly. We settled on a salad followed by small fish about 2 inches long called raf or plages with boiled potatoes with olive oil. Those small fish had an amazing taste. We ordered the wine de casa, which Seamus liked but I didn’t. It was sweet and left a sherry after taste. Dessert was gelato that tasted like rice pudding. It sounds weird but tasted great. A coffee and calvados and we continued on our way.

We reached the end of the road and went for a bit of a walk. There were a few fishermen after bass, dorado, or possibly eel. The area has high grasses and marshy areas where we saw lots of cormorants, egrets and blue heron but alas no flamingoes. We drove for miles around the area and over a new bridge. Half of the bridge was for cars and the other half for pedestrians with benches everywhere. Very civilized!

We stopped for the night in a town called Carles. Dinner was calamari and patates bravas for Seamus and I had sole. It was just a little sole. The food is amazing as is the scenery along the coast. It is a special treat because there aren’t a lot of tourists around. So far it’s sunny with beautiful blue sky everywhere and really vibrant sunsets. Tomorrow more food, more scenery. Bueno.

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