Thursday, January 15, 2015

One Month on the Road

Thursday, 15 January, 2015:

I left California one month ago today on 15 December, 2014.

It seems like I've been away a lot longer than that, I guess it is because of missing my family and friends.

During this month I have heard my new friends on many occasions complain how cold it is here this Winter. I have to smile because I have yet to see a drop of rain much less snow and the temperatures have been no where near freezing. The Sun is out every day and the temperatures are usually in the mid-60s or higher during the day.

I've coached in much more severe weather conditions in EuroBall over the years.

Still, Murcia is a wondrous place to live! Thrown all of España for that matter, what a country!

A rare me sighting

This photo was taken by Catalina Gracia Saavedra at last Sunday's Tenth Annual Juan José Barceló Memorial Flag Football Tournament.

Catalina did excellent work taking pictures at the tournament!

With a highly anticipated meeting to discuss our playbook for the season, I opted to hit the streets of Murcia to do a little sight-seeing, people watching, shopping and, of course, dining.

Even Murcia's main round-about
street sign is romantic

Psst, hey buddy,
want to see my menu?

Street Musicians are always fun

Especially in wide open, acoustically perfect settings . . .

. . . don't you agree?

Murcia's Rio Segura

The river is low. As I said, we have not had a drop of rain since I arrived a month ago.

My intention was to walk from La Hacienda to the Barrio del Carmen's Sangre Museum that houses processional Holy Week sculptures that go back to the 17th century. It is called Sangre, i.e., Blood, because this museum is owned by the Brotherhood of Presciosísima Sangre. This group is popularly known as "Los Coloraos" (The Reds) due to the color of the tunics they wear on their Holy Wednesday parade.

I arrived there at 2:20 and found them closed from 2:00 to 4:00 as I feared.

After a small lunch, I opted to do a little reading and people watching across the street from the museum in the Jardin Floridablanca which was Spain's first public garden opening in 1786.

These Banyon trees may have been
in the Jardin before that opening

The Louds?

There is a small segment of Spain's female population that can only speak at one level of volume . . . LOUD!!!

Two of the Louds live are my next door neighbors and yell at each other at all hours of the day and night.

In the picture above, another member of the Louds is seen holding a Loud discussion with two other people. I was seated about 50 meters away and could clearly hear every word she yelled in this otherwise civil exchange.

Unfortunately, the other two ladies were in Spain's vast majority so I had no clue what they were saying.

At the end of the
Puente de los Peligros

Fortunately the bridge itself is not particularly dangerous as its name suggests. It got this name because this shrine to the Virgin of Los Peligros is at its southern end.

When 4:00 came, I found that the museum was still not open. A further search found a small sign saying that museum would not be opening until January 25th.

Oh, well . . .

I kept strolling and found some small things of interest like these two sets of tiles at the Palacio Vinader which since the end of the 19th century was owned by the García Perea family.



Nice Parrot

A cool dragon I think,
maybe a seas serpent

One of the things that I was reading while waiting in the Jardin Floridablanca was my Lonely Planet Spain Travel Guide on my iPhone.

I was reviewing their list of the best places to eat in Murcia and was pleased that I had already eaten at two of the seven that were listed, Los Zagales and La Tienda de Susano. They were both great spots to be sure.

 Here was #3, it was also highly
recommended by Roberto Dúran

This establishment specializes in cheeses but, once again, my timing was off by just a bit.

They close from 4:30 to 5:00 daily.

It was 4:45.

No problem, the nearby Museo Salzillo would offer a good escape for about an hour and I could return to La Lechera de Burdeos afterwards.

The Museo Salzillo does not take an afternoon break like everybody else. They are open from 10:00 to 5:00 daily.

It was 5:01.

Back to La Lechera de Burdeos.

Rich, Opulent Cheese

Oh, the incredible aromas that greet you when you open their door!

After tasting several of their offerings I opted to buy three good ones that suited my discerning cheese tastes.

The first was a Peña Blanca from Castellon near Valencia. The second was a strong Picón Bejes-Treviso from Cantabria.

The third was a Rufino
from Extremadura

It did not last long I am sorry to report.

So, that means that I still have to visit the other four restaurants that Lonely Planet touts. They are Alborada, El Jardin de Oli, Salmentum and Salzillo.

The sacrifices that one has to make when living abroad.

How could La Parilla not be on that list?

On the way home I bought a used DVD player for 9.50 Euros, my Spanish Man Cave is almost complete!


The 2015 Spanish Serie B American Football League season begins this weekend.

To review, Serie B is made up of ten teams that are divided into two five team Conferences which we shall call Eastern and Western because it sounds better than the LNFA's designations of Par and Impar.

In your Murcia Cobras' Eastern Conference, the schedule for Saturday looks like this:
Santurtzi Coyotes at Imperials de Reus
Zaragoza Hornets at Barcelona Búfals
BYE: Murcia Cobras

The Western Conference slate for the weekend is:
Barberà Rookies at Las Rozas Black Demons
Zaragoza Hurricanes at Coslada Camioneros
BYE: Granada Lions

After our first week BYE, the Cobras first game will be near Bilbao in the North of Spain on Sunday, January 25th at 11:00 a.m. vs. the Santurtzi Coyotes.

Four more practices before game week, lots to do.

The Louds just got home.

1 comment:

Martina Nicholson said...

wow George, it was just like being there! I loved your day, love the description of the Louds, and want to eat the cheese with you! Loved the proud heraldic icons, and the park, and the inconvenient "closed" signs! Thanks for the day!