Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Feliz año nuevo

It was a very quiet Christmas in the Port but with blue skies and warmish weather people started to arrive on Boxing Day. By checking license plates we see that people are here from the usual spots, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Someone was actually paddling in the water today. I'm sure that he wasn't a local.

The restaurants in Figueres were busy, and the tourists buy at the shops but still the economy is such that you don't see locals with lots of packages. It could be that the gift exchanges don't really take place until January 6, Three Kings Day, and the sales don't start until two days after that.

When we went to buy some cyclamen, the lady took us into the huge greenhouses behind the plant store. She pointed out a vast area at least one football field in size. Last year it had been totally full of red poinsettias but this year not even a quarter of it was devoted to the plants. The "crisis" in Spain is far from being over.

Last night we went to a big party at the Nautica with so much food that it was very hard to do it all justice. Just before midnight we were given a package with our party hats, hooters, streamers and balloons and most importantly our twelve grapes. It is tradition that you eat your grapes as the church bells chime the hour. The trick to doing this successfully is to peel and deseed your grapes beforehand, which we did. Once your grapes are prepared you are ready for the bells and I was ready. I am very happy to report that I ate all my grapes right on cue. This is the first time.

Then the servers and cooks from the restaurant came out in YMCA garb and did their well choreographed dance number amid much laughter from everyone. They changed, came back and kept on dancing with the audience joining in. For me it was interesting to see how many of the dances to Spanish pop music had very specific moves but that didn't matter as long as you joined in and were having a good time.

Happy New Year!

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