Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Trip to the Makro and a Juniors Game vs. the Mallorca Volters

Saturday, 28 February, 2015:

I awakened to a beautiful Spring Saturday in Murcia. 

The first order of business was to meet Roberto Durán for a trip to a Costco-like supermarket to buy food supplies in bulk to sell at the Cobras' Senior game Sunday against the 2-0 Barcelona Búfals.

I was a little early and while waiting near his car I could not resist taking a couple of photos of our neighborhood.

 Lots of Wires

Wires Close Up

Makro is like Costco but with
a definite Spanish twist

Mister Tortitas is a pancake maker

An omen for Sunday?

Probably not, just a beer from India.

Cuban beers

I was starting to like this place.

Laurie's map of places to visit in Spain

 BIG wine selection

Sidra is good if you don't spill it
all over yourself

I did that in Oviedo once.


Many of these were moderately priced, some were EXPENSIVE!!!

That's about $35/pound

 These are the expensive ones

Their excellent taste comes from a diet of 100% acorns. 

Croquetas . . .
rows and rows of croquetas

 Just like home


 Piel de Sapo Melon

This translates as being a Skin of a Toad Melon. The melon's skin does remind you of a toad but the sample melons at the Makro were sweetly delicious.

Roberto said that they go great with thinly cut ham.

Thus, when I later went to the local green grocers to buy oranges and saw that they had a pile de sapo melon, I bought one.

I trust Roberto's judgement!

Junior Game Day

At 5:00 p.m., our 2-0 Junior team was hosting the 2-0 Mallorca Voltors.

While our records were the same the way we got there was not.

The Cobras had beaten the Granada Lions twice back in December, that's right, it has been over two months since our last Junior game. The first game was a comfortable 37-8 win for the Cobras and the second one was a nail-biter with Murcia hanging on for dear life before winning it 19-18.

The Voltors on the other hand had beaten the Cehegin Wolves 70-0 and the Granada Lions 53-13.

The Voltors also had six of their Juniors recently named to the Spanish National Junior Team. That's a lot, especially when you recall that Spanish Junior level football is played with only nine players instead of the normal 11 used at the Senior level.

It did not look good.

 Estadio Monte Romero

Our game field's Monsanto Astro-Dirt looked amazingly good in the sunshine.

We were still lining the field
during the team warm ups

 Total Domination

The Voltors are an extremely good Junior team, probably the best I've seen in EuroBall over the years.

The final score saw the Voltors improve to 3-0 after handing our Cobras Juniors a 67-0 beating.

It could have been worse as the Voltors' coach graciously offered to end the game early in the Fourth Quarter rather than make matters worse for our outmanned team.

Estadio Monte Romero
We return here on Sunday

Sunday will be the fifth weekend of games in the Spanish League's Serie B. It is also the end of the first round of games. We will play everyone in our Conference again during Weeks 6-10 at the opposite sites of the first round games.

Barcelona Búfals 2-1


Murcia Cobras 1-2

A Cobra win would put us in the three way tie for second place in our Conference at 2-2 with the Búfals and the Santurtzi Coyotes who have the Bye this weekend.

The 3-0 Reus Imperials play the 0-3 Zaragoza Hornets on Sunday and will remain in first place regardless of the outcome of their game. Obviously, the Hornets are heavy underdogs in this one.

We've had a solid week of practice, now lets see how we play on GAME DAY!

Go Cobras GO!!!

More days . . .

Friday, February 27, 2015

What Happened to Friday?

Friday, 27 February, 2015:

Today may have been a first for me in Europe, I didn't take even one picture!

This was due to equal parts feeling a bit under the weather and continuing to prepare in La Hacienda for Sunday's home game against the 2-1 Barcelona Búfals.

At practice tonight, the Juniors were making their final adjustments before hosting the powerhouse 2-0 Mallorca Volters Saturday afternoon.

I was very pleased with tonight's Senior practice, the 23 Cobras who will suit up Sunday appear to be ready to give their all!

I promise to take some photos tomorrow.

More days . . .

VIP Visitor in Murcia

Thursday, 26 February, 2015:

This bright, sunny day started out like any other but would get interesting in the evening.

The Marina Española Tramvía Stop

I afforded myself the luxury of taking the tram to the Biblioteca Regional as I knew that I would be doing a lot of walking today in Murcia.

I just did not realize how much walking.

Returning and checking out
five videos at the library

Over the next few days, La Hacienda will be showing The 39 Steps, Istanbul, The Black Book, El Camino del Cid and Tierra de Toros El Campo Bravo Part 1.

Mix in two practices on Friday night, a Junior home game late Saturday afternoon and a Senior game Sunday morning and I have a full dance card it would appear.

Armed with my five new videos, I proceeded to walk two miles to the home of Oscar Constante, Rosa Talavera and their Cobra Junior QB/WR/FS son Alberto for another marvelous lunch. This family has been incredibly kind to me and I owe them much gratitude!

Along the way I saw . . .

I may need to shop here for
a new pair of sneakers

Matador roaming the streets

Now that's a first . . .

Homenaje a Paco Rabal

Rabal was a Spanish actor who was born in the Murcian seaport of Águilas that I visited last week.

Sam Spade?

La Verdad


I wonder how of Albert's Movie
Nights I've missed since I left Camarillo?

I've always wanted to learn
how to play an instrument . . .

. . . any instrument

Murcia likes statues

During our fine dining experience at Casa Constante-Talavera, Oscar told me that the evening would be a special one as the huge statue of the Virgen de la Fuensanta was being carried on the shoulders of devoted followers all the way from its Sanctuary high up in the hills to Murcia's Cathedral.

When I visited the Sanctuary a few weeks ago, it was at least a 20 minute bus ride to the Sanctuary's closest bus stop and another 20 minutes to walk up to the Sanctuary.

This would be a long, arduous walk that I imagine many different people would have to rotate carrying the Virgen in shifts for the four to five hour stroll to the Cathedral.

The Virgen was being lowered to the Cathedral for the duration of Lent and would be returned to the Sanctuary sometime after Easter Sunday to much fanfare I'm sure. 

I did not want to miss this and I thought that I should go back to La Hacienda to get my trusty Nikon camera to shoot the scene.

That was a three mile walk for me and I was sure that it would be easier than what the religious zealots were experiencing on their walk at the same time.

That made it five miles of walking for me on this warm day.

On the way to La Hacienda I saw . . .

An interesting building

A Colorao

This statue was across the street from both the Museo de la Archicofradía de la Sangre and the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen.

Sangre means blood, thus the members of this Confraternity will be dressed in red (colorao in the Murcian dialect) outfits like these during all upcoming Holy Week festivities.

The Virgen de la Fuensanta was due to make a stop to visit Nuestra Señora del Carmen inside the church at about 7:00 p.m.

I hope that they set her down so that the carriers could catch their collective breaths.

El Sardinero Statue

Soon after Easter Sunday, Murcia will celebrate with the Entierro de la Sardine. The people get dressed up yet again to celebrate the end of Lenten meatless Friday's.

Or to throw one huge fiesta just before the start of the even bigger, four day Murcia Fiestas de la Primavera.

I think that the word Spain comes from a Latin root meaning "having fun."

Locks . . .

Lots and lots of locks

You can just feel the love on the Puente de los Peligros that connects the Barrio del Carmen to Centro Murcia.

I arrived at La Hacienda with plenty of time to retrieve my Nikon camera and get back to the Barrio del Carmen and the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen.

Add another 2.5 miles to my day's walking exploits, that makes it 7.5 miles total so far this Thursday.

I was still seeing good things along the way.

Onion Dome

Cathedral Bells

They were pealing loudly up until the point that I got to the first spot to actually film them.

Oh, well . . .

The City Hall was decked out for the
Virgen's arrival to the nearby Cathedral

I have always liked this
Barrio del Carmen two-part fountain

Water is pumped into the top jar. The water is then slowly dropped into the bottom jar until it is so full that it tips over into the basin to start the process anew.

One of Iglesia de Nuestra Señora
del Carmen's steeples

I arrived about a half hour before the Virgen was due to arrive and got a good spot on the curb across from the church.

Dignitaries arriving

Nice Dress


Priests in their finest garb

People started to leave the sidewalks and poured into the now closed to car traffic street to get a closer look at La Virgen.

Fortunately for me, Spaniards tend to be short.

Unfortunately for me, the Sun was going down and with the rapid loss of light, shooting pictures would become tougher literally by the minute.


False Alarm

I think this means that
she is really here

There she is in all her glory!

La Virgen by the open door to the
Museo de la Archicofradía de la Sangre

La Virgen preparing to enter the
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen

She's in!
Nuestra Señors del Carmen can
be seen in the upper right corner

But, in essence, isn't the La Virgen Maria just visiting herself when it is all said and done?

La Virgen being carried
through the streets

La Virgen nearing the Museo
de la Archicofradía de la Sangre

La Virgen being showered
with rose petals

Look at me

Moving to the Iglesia de
Nuestra Señora del Carmen

Entering the Iglesia de
Nuestra Señora del Carmen

Wonderful Religious Pageantry

Next, she was due to be carried the last half mile to Murcia's Cathedral, her home for the rest of Lent.

I opted to walk back to La Hacienda as the light was getting poorer and my legs were getting tired.

Two and a half more miles of meandering put my final walking total at ten interesting miles for the day.

More Days . . .

Hey, that's only two weeks!!!