Friday, June 26, 2009

English Lessons

We also day tripped to Gibraltar this week. Gibraltar is a self-governing British territory at the southern end of Spain and at the entrance to the Mediterranean. It's 2.4 square miles. England and Spain have battled over the land too many times for me to recount here for you.

It's a funny place to get to. We drove 90 minutes south then parked in Spain and walked across the border. We could have driven but the line was very long. There were buses on the English side so we hopped one into town. The strangest part of the ride was crossing the airport runway. Gibraltar is a small place and they had to work an airport in there somewhere.

We walked through the small town, which had four synagogues, most surprisingly, and ate greasy fish and chips. Then we went to see The Rock of Gibraltar up close. There's a short tram ride to the top and there we had the most amazing view of the sea, Spain and Gibraltar itself. The rock is limestone and has many tunnels in it, which are controlled by the military. It's also home to a nature reserve and 200+ apes that adore potato chips. There are signs galore requesting that you not feed the friendly apes and reminding you of the 500 pound penalty for doing so. But those apes are smart little beasts and manage to nab any people food that remains briefly unattended. The Pinks had fun watching the apes. We all did, actually.

My mother-in-law arrived last night (after a 12-hour delay in Madrid and lost luggage, ugh) and will come with us to Barcelona tomorrow. Although we've covered so much ground during our stay, the time has evaporated. I looked into our refrigerator a few days ago and saw that one whole shelf was taken up by beer and an entire freezer drawer was filled with ice cream. I will offer it and much more to the housekeeper.

Today we went back into the city of Malaga and had the best meal of the trip thus far. The food at Gorki was modern Spanish. I had a spinach salad with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes and bacon, and mushrooms with garlic and bacon so divine that I wish I'd eaten less of the salad and left more room for the mushrooms. Our friends were equally happy with their choices of kabobs and ham and cheese sandwiches. Neeracha -- you would have loved this meal. We followed lunch with helados (ice cream) from Casa Mira, where the cones are as good as the ice cream.

Tonight Belgian expat Chef Ric came in to prepare us dinner. He made two kinds of salad, chicken for the kids, a baked fruit dessert and paella. I'm glad we did this on our last night because it gave us something big to look forward to. Here he is with his wife Cristie, who is also the ranch's housekeeper. Lesson learned: do this earlier in the trip so we don't have to throw out the leftovers.

While I don't want our trip to end, The Pinks have developed an infatuation with Pringles potato chips, which borders on obsession. I look forward to returning them to a calcium- and vegetable-filled diet when we get home!


Neeracha T. said...

hey - I'm just thrilled you had a good meal! Hope you get a few more in Barcelona!

Polka Dot Moon said...

I can really see how much Victoria looks like you and Liberty looks like Dave in this picture!

They are adorable!

Love reading about your adventures :)