Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday shopping at Roses market

Today was totally unplanned. We decided to visit the Roses market, a spot we had walked through on the way to Carnivale months ago and then forgotten about. When we arrived, we stopped at the coffee caravan and with no expectations had a delicious cortado, espresso with a little milk. Then we decided to stroll around to see what was on offer. It was very pleasant, the aisles were roomy and no one hassled you to buy things. There were some lovely linens, some pretty nice clothes and lots of leather. I stopped at a stall selling bathing suits and, rummaging through the piles of swimsuits as if I was in the old Filene's basement in Boston, I found for €2 some genuine Speedo, Arena and Tyr suits. You might be doubting me but I did work for Arena and I know my lycra suits. There were some knock-offs but I left with one hot pink suit, another black and blue striped suit and a black lycra Tyr.....all for €6. I go through a lot of swim suits so I will be going back. Even better, when I got home, they all fit. Bonus. Seamus bought a beautiful, stylish charcoal t- shirt.

We decided to go for a drive to find El Bulli, which is now closed. It was originally founded by a German couple in the 1950s but was eventually acquired by chef Ferran Adria who made it the number one rated restaurant in the world. The sign  to El Bulli on the main road in Roses has been removed but we knew where to turn. We drove through a valley with a big slate gorge on either side of us. Then the countryside changed to sandstone with bright yellow broom and the orange flowers of the prickly pear cactus brightening the hillsides. This changed to vineyards with views  of the turquoise Mediterranean in the background. After a long trek we passed El Bulli and drove down to the nearby shingly beach of Montjoi. This beautiful little inlet is dominated by the Cala Montjoi holiday village. We wandered into the resort restaurant looking for lunch but decided that the buffet on offer was not for us.

After backtracking and deciding to come for a hike in these mountains in cooler weather, we started heading home. We knew we would pass some likely eating spots along the way and sure enough soon spotted La Villa LLedoner. When we thought Roses was our local town, before we knew about Figueres, we always meant to stop here. It was lovely. We sat outside by huge pots of vivid pink hydrangeas. In the covered part outside, there was a huge Spanish family having lunch. We have found it is hard to go wrong eating where the locals eat. Seamus had a whole orado or sea bream and I had sea bass. This came with a small green salad and delicious roasted potatoes, pepper and onion. A huge meal. We washed this down with a bottle of local rose and finished with espresso. Or we thought we were finished - by way of apology for a slightly long wait for our fish (we weren't bothered) the server brought us some complimentary peach schnapps as a digestivo.

What a lovely unplanned day. We are now home in time to watch Spain vs Italy in Euro 2012. Ir Espana.

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