I thought I was going to get the weekend off, but, of course, work came in, mostly because I’m the only person who usually works on weekends for that client and the client assumes I’m available! Because it is a holiday weekend in the U.S., I was told I had till Monday morning their time (evening my time) rather than their Sunday morning. They just about never have anything for me on my Monday because it’s still their Sunday and so I had thought to take Monday off. But since I got the extension and really needed a full day off I chose not to work today, Saturday, and then do the work on Sunday and Monday.
It was the first really cold night here. I went to bed in my thermals and added a second duvet to the bed. I was so comfortable I pretty much passed out at 11:30 and woke up at 8:00 this morning. I was in no rush to go anywhere. So I let the cat into the room and snuggled with her for almost a full hour while I checked my emails and Facebook on my iPad. She started to get fussy so I asked her if she was ready for breakfast. She promptly jumped off the bed and headed to the kitchen. But I was in no rush and was still lying there when she came back ten minutes later, jumped on me, got in my face, and yelled, “MEOW!!!”, which I’m pretty sure means, “I WANT BREAKFAST,” in cat.
I eventually got her sorted and made myself a nice breakfast of whole grain toast with hummus, sliced cherry tomatoes, and black olives, plus, of course, coffee. It was grey and drizzly, but I really wanted to go to town as this would be my first day since I got here that I’d have time to just amble aimlessly with no need to go back to work after. I did scratch my plans to get to about 3KM from downtown and walk along the malecón as the wind coming off the water was unpleasant, but figured I’d be okay a bit more inland.
It was almost 10:30 when I finally headed out. The buses run at the half hour on the weekends and the last Saturday bus had come around the hour and 45 minutes. Today, it came at just shy of 10:40.
With a sky this colour, a clearing was not likely!
I got off at my usual stop and didn’t get very far before ducking into a café for a second breakfast. I wanted a pastry since I’d had a healthy first breakfast. 🙂 This pastry with dried apples wasn’t huge and was very tasty!
The wind and rain let up by the time I got through the newspaper (not the one in the picture, as that just has sports coverage), so I headed towards the water.
I’m still trying to figure out what this sign is trying to say…
This pedestrian street was commissioned and built in 1894 under the reign of Alfonso XIII. They had to reroute traffic to accommodate it.
This is the “cable inglés” (English cable), which was used to load ships with iron transported on trains. It is considered a work of art in steel construction and was built in Gustav Eiffel’s style.
These ferries go to the African continent. Melilla is a Spanish community on the African continent. I am investigating whether a visit to the environs of Nador might be a compromise to going to Marrakech as it’s only about 50 euros to get to Nador from Almería.
Shame these fountains aren’t working. I like the one with the sun.
Ambling westward towards the old city.
I loved how the flower boxes are themselves a work of art.
I ended up going through that arch to find myself in the heart of the old city.
Orange trees still awe me.
I love the tile work I see all over Almería.
Looking north to the fortress.
“We want free women.”
There are tons of play areas like these all over Almería.
They have age limits. The ones I’ve seen in my neighbourhood are for ages 11 and under. The one above is for ages 7 and younger.
A few play structures later, I found one for kids aged 9 and younger.
I love these big trees.
Coming back to Paseo de Almería, I found the Doña Pakyta art museum. It was free, but there was a 3 euro special exhibit. It was almost closing time, so I will come back to the special exhibit, but I had time to go upstairs check out the artwork.
There were were a bunch of paintings belonging to the “Indalo” movement, based on a local cave painting. This group of artists was the first of the avant-garde movement after the Spanish Civil War.
I really liked the rich texture of the oil paintings. I want to take up this pastime again when I get settled in Mexico. I think the colours there would really be inspiring!
“Terraces of Almería.”
I loved this floor that reminded me of a cross-stitch pattern.
This painting was really interesting. Look at the contrast of the super realistic grapes with the crude nature of the rest of the painting.
This is Place de la Concorde in Paris. So I’m guessing this, and not the Washington Monument, is what Almería is emulating.
Cramped buildings, old men on a bench (literally the title of this piece!), and laundry: this is “my” Europe.
“Almería, Joy of the Sea”
I wandered around some more and found this church, where there was a wedding.
I went around the back and found this graffiti-strewn alley.
Just as I came out of the alley, an older couple ran to me and asked me a question, sounding very panicky. I had a moment of Sherlock Holmesian brilliance and made a deduction based on their attire. “Are you looking for the wedding?” I asked. “YES!” the lady replied. I told them the church was on the other side of the building where we were standing and if they went to “that” street and turned right, they’d see the fancy black car parked in front of the church. I got about a thousand thank yous before they rushed off. Amazing timing, no?!
It was almost one by this point and I was famished, so I figured it was time to go home and have lunch. I passed this amusingly named store on the way to the bus stop, a play on the Spanish word for “home” and the word “emporium.”
And then I found… lunch. An American diner/UK café style restaurant with the kitchen open all day! I could not believe it!
The translation effort on the menu was worth a laugh. I mean, “Ask for our English (carta?)”?! LOL
I went for a burger and beer and… learned that burgers in Spain come with a fried egg! Good thing I’m not allergic and only have an intolerance to eggs! Thankfully, the egg came off easily and the flavour did not contaminate the meat, which was a real beef patty. There was also bacon and cheese. I haven’t had a real burger since Belgrade and dang did this one hit the spot! The fries were much better than they look.
There was no sauce on the burger, though, so I asked for mustard and was brought this:
I was nursing my beer and watching on TV the reports of Fidel Castro’s death when I was brought a piece of flan, that, of course, I had to politely decline. I requested a coffee instead (a “solo,” which is a single shot of espresso, no milk). The burger, beer, and dessert were a set price (8.50 euros) and coffee is extra, but the server told me that since I didn’t have dessert, they were not charging me for the coffee. I think this is a fairly standard decision since I often see menú del días that say, “and dessert OR coffee.”
As I was heading out, I heard the server speak English to some other customers! I have not heard English while out and about since I got here! It was really strange!
It was raining quite hard when I got out of the restaurant, so I just hurried to the bus stop. The electronic sign there told me my bus would be coming in 26 minutes, but one pulled up after 4 minutes after I arrived! I had to stand most of the way home.
Here’s a map showing some of my stops today:
It was such a lovely day despite the weather. Finding lunch was such a bonus!