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Cruising on Seren Mor
Murcia Riverbank
17/02/2013, Jávea

View of the cathedral from the riverbank.

Murcia Cathedral
17/02/2013, Jávea

The setting sun highlights the intricate facade of the the cathedral.

Culture Vultures
17/02/2013, Jávea


We've just returned to Jávea after spending a couple of days in Murcia. Well, we needed a break.

Murcia is a thriving university city with a lovely old town on the banks of the Segura River, noted for its cathedral and baroque buildings. We wandered around the shady narrow streets and sunlit plazas, gazed at magnificent architecture and graphic religious sculptures, gilded Madonnas and portraits of forlorn priests. But, to be perfectly honest, there's only so much of all that you can appreciate. The other attraction of Murcia is its cuisine. We did our best to appreciate as much of that as possible, too.

There are top notch restaurants (one Michelin-starred - not one we visited), pavement cafes with good value Menu Del Dias and tapas bars to die for. If there's a criticism it's that you don't automatically get a tapa with drinks - these are very much a business in their own right not a sideline for a bar. The place where the original idea of tapas survives is Granada and most definitely not Murcia. Having said that, the sheer variety, quality and choice in the bars is probably the best we've seen and at a much more reasonable price than, say, Benidorm.

Whilst there, though, we discovered that we were kidding ourselves thinking we were in the swing of Spanish life. We had expected that the restaurants would not get going for dinner until 9 or 10pm but it came as something of a surprise when our lunchtime overlapped with everybody else's breakfast and when we wanted breakfast the only people around were the numerous beggars and street cleaners. Come bedtime (ours, that is), we were heading for our rooms as others were just leaving theirs. ¡Viva la diferencia!

Valentine's Day
14/02/2013, Jávea


We don't do Valentine's Day. At least we don't bother with daft cards, half dead flowers and silly presents nobody really wants. Nor do we go to restaurants with bumped up prices. But a drop or two of cava in the sunshine.....

15/02/2013 | Liz
Life is a struggle ! Cheers
17/02/2013 | Neil
Hi Liz, it is but some one has to do it!
Best wishes Neil
Life in Spain
09/02/2013, Jávea


We've quickly settled into the Jávea lifestyle, developing our own daily routines. This usually involves a daily re-provision from Mercadona, a walk along the seafront followed by "dos Coca Cola Light" in a pavement cafe before lunch back at the apartment. Afternoons tend to be lazy and generally include a siesta while the evenings could be a meal out, a quiz night, a visit to the cinema (English language films are shown with Spanish subtitles) or often several episodes from a favourite TV series (Dexter, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones plus something with vampires and werewolves). What a hard life we lead.

Benidorm Rules OK
29/01/2013, Javea


It never fails to surprise us how much we enjoy Benidorm when we visit. It still has the capacity to offer something new and draw us into its odd mix of brash tourism and genuine Spanish culture. This is always most pronounced in the 'off' season when pensioners rule, drawn to the warm sunny days of winter and the absence of, shall we say, the less sophisticated visitors of summer.

Snowbirds of all nationalities find their way here, of course, but the vast majority of those strolling along the seafront today were Spanish. I honestly think that we were the youngest. The exercise apparatus provided in most Spanish parks was being well used and there were keep fit classes on the beach along with what appeared to be an organised singing group. In the old town the tapas bars and restaurants were still open for lunchtime business and we found ourselves unable to resist one of the excellent value, and quality, Menu Del Dias.

So don't knock Benidorm. I hope we're still coming here and can keep up for many more years to come.

31/01/2013 | Sandra
I do hope you joined in with the exercise classes Cathy, you dont want everything.....heading south. Any news on the Caravan?
31/01/2013 | Cathy
Hi Sandra. Too late - gravity has already taken its toll! Have been trying some of the exercises we did in yoga, though - in the privacy of the bedroom! Caravan hunting starts in earnest when we get back in May. Remember me to everyone in Max Fax.

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Seren Mor
Who: Cathy and Neil Lamputt
Port: Plymouth
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