First impression: The word "civilized" pops immediately into my head and I am not sure that I know what I mean by that. Is it the the wrought iron lamps, the people at outdoor cafes enjoying life or is it the space itself wide and open punctuated with stately palms, benches and sculpture.
Lunch: An accordionist plays Edith Piaf. Tiny, scruffy birds dart in and out of citrus trees, leaving a trail of chirps behind. Children squeal and shout as they return home from school. My scrambled eggs are bright yellow and thus not terribly appetizing to me. I eat them anyway and they are surprisingly good. The chorizo is smokey and full flavored and I am pleased that the potatoes are both fully cooked and slightly greasy. R's macaroni with Bolagnese sauce is really penne with meat sauce. The sauce is watery and one-note not at all like the rich, velvety and unctuous sauce of its namesake.
We dodge the smoke from our neighbor's cigarettes and try to flag down the harried and aloof waiter. I want another tiny Diet Coke (actually I would very much prefer a "normal" sized Diet Coke but as it appears that tiny bottles are all they have, another tiny bottle for me it will have to be!). I am glad that I ordered what I wanted to eat rather than allowing my superego to bully me into seafood -- "You are on the Atlantic! You should eat seafood. You saw how fresh the seafood was at the market. Probably just off the boat. Only an idiot wouldn't order seafood here."
"By G-- it's a bloody peninsula! You are literally surrounded by water!"
"But I don't like seafood."
"What are you thinking? Scrambled eggs? Blimey what kind of a fool are you?" (Apparently my superego speaks with a decidedly English accent).
"But I don't like seafood." Scrambled eggs it is.
An overweight, ten year old (?) boy kicks a soccer ball against a centuries old (?!) church. Fellow cafe goers -- a mix of tourists and locals some of whom are eating while others only drink -- speak in a low but continuous chatter. I am cool now, in the shade of a patio umbrella which I realize (too late ) is not clean. There is a gentle breeze. The waiter slams down my drink ("wham") on the plastic coated table cloth brought out especially for us (are they trying to tell us something?).
Later we visit a garden. There is the ever present sound of water. Cool green contrasts with bright light and green blue sea. An enormous ficus or rubber tree sinks it's fingers into the bear earth with smooth limbs that beg for climbing. Giant topiaries flank a wide, soft, ochre pathway. Citrus trees show themselves dark green and bright orange. The scent of sweet blooms comes and goes. Moorish motifs decorate the iron work and exuberant tiles add color to shady spots. We are in Spain. We are in Spain. We are in Spain.