Category: Where to go (Page 1 of 6)

“Country cousins” Tortosa Free-day

Tres amics són tres cosins, tres cerveses … potser!

The term “country cousins” often pops up in English literature with no implied intention of insulting their sophistication, but rather as an affection or a tongue in cheek expression. Prior to the days of London’s Zoological gardens when friends, relatives, or strangers from the countryside were visiting the City, it was a wonder what to do or where to take them. Thus, in novels it is written to take the “country cousins” to see the Royal lions guarding at the Tower.

However, I (their birth-“Foden” Cousin from Jesús. Tortosa) was treated to the first break with my cousins( from higher up River Ebro at Benifallet) for a drink and a chat outside, since the lockdown on 14th March, 2020.

The quandary: Where do we go? We don’t have lions in Tortosa, except one statue on my gateway entrance and that doesn’t count as a place of interest. We were all in agreeance that a beer or two and some nibbles (aka tapas) to sit outside were on the cards, but preferably near greenery and not pavement side. So my cousin headed for Tortosa Parc.

We are only in Phase 1 of the opening up of Terres de l’Ebre region since the lockdown. We were all masked up and like excited kids (or thirsty camels heading towards an oasis) hurried to the freedom of the park, along with an over-excited 5 month-old Maya, the German Shepherd puppy. Oh so cute!

The tables were all well spaced out as they are to do so under the controls as stated and no inside drinking. My cousin told me not to touch the table until she’d thoughtfully brought out her mobile bleach and sponge cleaning kit. I was impressed. She also placed a sanitizer bottle on the table for us to share.

Aside: the only slightly awkward issue was the fact that we could eat and drink outside the bars, but we were not allowed to use their toilet facilities – nor any others available! So it was prudent to control your consumption. (LOL)

It was crazy busy with not enough waiters to cope. So the service was slow but the Bokatines staff were friendly, courteous, and well protected. We were all just so happy to have that time in open spaces away from our respective fincas but to people-watch instead. We have been more fortunate than most as we have not been enclosed in confined spaces of apartments – many without balconies or open roof-top places to breathe and enjoy the evening air.

However, I personally feel I have had too much of the countryside and yearn for people’s contact. My cousin asked me how I was feeling now. I replied that I keep looking at the people and feel like they are two-legged aliens that I once knew in another life. It felt so strange to be seeing so many people in, what was such a normal pre-Covid-19 area, where the bars next to each other, overflow across the main rain of Avenigua Generalitat into Tortosa Parc.

I felt exhilarated!

Sunday evening 16th May beers and tapas in Tortosa Parc




Three canyons of beer arrived with the dew running down the glass, served in gloved hands, and plates of tapas of nachos with bacon and cheese and patatas bravos with allioli. We dived on the food like hungry lion cubs and the lager beer hit the spot -every time! Well- there was one or two top-ups but no-one was really counting.


The conversation flowed to and fro between local family catch-ups about Valencianos and Brits, Californians and New Yorkers too, not to leave out our nephew and niece in Japan. Much discussion of how this pandemic has impacted everyone personally and their private lives, their businesses, and those in the tourist rental industries. Yet, everyone seems to have continued working online, new projects, existing projects, and finding activities to occupy themselves. It is encouraging to hear that Germans are still enquiring to come down to Spain, just aren’t allowed across borders if no Spanish residencies in place.

So please tell me:

~ How has your first week in Phase 1 passed in Terres de l’Ebre?

~How do you envisage improving or changing anything in the coming week while still in Phase1?

~What ideas or motivation can you share within the community?

(c) Tales from the Ebro River Valley: RosieReay

Exploring Tortosa

By guest blogger Marie Pugh

I’ve been to Spain many times before but I’d never visited Tortosa, in fact before I met Rosie Reay playing Scrabble online I’d never even heard of it! Looked in the normal tourist guides and apart from a line or two it wasn’t mentioned. I was intrigued.

As we’d arrived late to the Corona hotel we decided to stay put and then explore the next day. After a wonderful breakfast, ‘twas a revelation to see the workmen drinking beer at 8am, on went the sunglasses and sun cream. We’re not the type of people to plan our adventures so it was out the door and turn left!

Tortosa 1

We weren’t disappointed. Nestled on the banks of the Ebro it really is a city of two halves.  On the right bank where we were staying it had a much more urban feel, the place where people lived, they worked, they spent time with their families. But a gentle stroll across the bridge and you were in the ‘old town’. A vibrant, busy place, full of character, architecture, shops, places to eat and more importantly ‘be seen’. Whether drinking coffee, enjoying a beer or nibbling tapas, the locals really seemed to be enjoying the town. It had a relaxed, informal, atmosphere. Although not ‘touristy’ it felt comfortable. It didn’t matter we knew no Catalan, a friendly smile goes a long way. Everyone made us feel welcome.

The old half is just that – old! The Cathedral of Santa Maria de Tortosa is a great place to visit. We learned a lot about the history of the city, it really has been around a long time. The streets are steeped in history and it was quite exciting to think that we may have walked the same steps as the Romans!

Unless you want a big debate don’t mention the impressive monument in the middle of the river, it really is the elephant in the room.

How a chance game of scrabble brought me to the Ebro Valley

By guest blogger Marie Pugh

You know how it is, its late, you can’t sleep so you’re wasting time cruising through the social media sites. Ah Facebook! Scrabble … yep that should waste a bit more time. Anyway I got hooked. Was playing every night with different people, suddenly a little box appeared, a chat box. What the hell I thought, why not, it’s not as if they can see me sat here bleary eyed and unkempt in my not so flattering PJs.

So that’s how I met the author Rosie Reay who happened to live in the Ebro Valley. Sat in the cold in Cardiff she painted a very attractive picture of her life on the Finca, I could almost smell the almond blossom and picture the soaring of the eagles. Come to visit she said. We’ve a great fiesta coming up she said. The whole town dresses up and parties, you’d love it.

Mmmmm…. I’ll have a think about it. Next thing you know the flights to Reus were booked and before I knew it Ryanair were bouncing the plane down the runway.

River Ebro 1Now the trip by car from Reus to Tortosa was interesting to say the least but it wasn’t until we got to our destination we realised just how interesting. Those ladies by the side of the road weren’t selling oranges!! It was late when we got to Hotel Corona, but the hotel was an absolute delight, and I couldn’t wait to explore our surroundings over the next few days and even better I was going to meet Rosie Reay in person. What does one wear to meet a published author??

 

Bingo: Building That Bridge Back Home

Re-loaction

Which road will you take?

 

One of the biggest and most contentious scenarios anyone will have about living abroad, it’s the difficulty in dealing with a living situation that might not be as comfortable as what they’ve grown accustomed to. It’s not just a change of location; it’s also a change in culture, of contacts, and for all intents and purposes, of an entire way of life. No matter where people might move and no matter what the reason, finding the best way to adjust should be the first goal of anyone living abroad.

Here are some things to take into consideration for people planning, or thinking about, living abroad;

Make Use of Modern Technology
It probably goes without saying that with more and more people moving away from their country of origin in order for business reasons, it becomes even more important to keep contact with friends and family back home. Yet it’s surprising how many people still feel estranged despite how much modern technology has changed our lives. iPhone users can use Facetime to get in touch with relatives no matter where they are, while Skype is a great option for those without a smartphone.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so many other websites and apps have been bridging people effectively ever since they’ve been launched. While it might not be as good as actually interacting with friends in person, it’s all a matter of taking the initiative and making use of the tools that people have at their disposal to make expat life more comfortable.

Turn The Old Into Something New
Because people can only take so much of their old homes and lives with them abroad, it’s important to find new ways to enjoy old things. Even for something that’s rooted in so much history as community bingo, simply finding a room to go to online with old friends over the weekend can work wonders, especially with chat functionality enabled on some providers.

“I get the privilege of meeting so many different people from so many backgrounds and I see so many lives changed with huge wins!” Ellie, a Chat Moderator for Betfair Bingo, stated. A strong community, no matter where people end up, is what can make or break an experience entirely.

Move Outside the Expat Bubble
It becomes easy to gravitate towards something that’s pleasant and familiar, but when Englishmen are afraid of talking to anyone that isn’t an Englishman, or when an American expat family will only eat at McDonalds or other US-themed restaurants, it only makes it more difficult to adjust in the long run.

The modern day nomad will always have the problem of being neither here nor there, but the solution isn’t to create an insular life. Celebrate what makes the new location unique and special, get to know the people, and build a home wherever life might take you.

 

December 1st, Jesús-Tortosa please help Cáritas in the true spirit of Christmas

Today we have woken up to snow on the mountains of Mont Caro with a prevailing artic wind chill. We are warm in our homes. We have food on the table and food in the cupboards. We shivver as the temperatures drop and grumble a little bit about it. Yet we can slip on another jumper or a sweatshirt.  During the night we are warm in our beds, snug between blankets or duvets.

Spare a thought for those who are not …

We are all plagued and affected by the Crisis, but some more so than others. Please if we could all take but one item or contribute something to this cause, it would mean so much to those who really have nothing. No money to buy the basic essentials.  Their meagre euros are spent on food only and even that doesn’t go far enough. Many families and people living alone can hardly scrape enough together for one meal, let alone soaps and shampoos or cleaning materials. The weather has changed and warm clothing and blankets are also needed.

Spare a thought for those who are hungry…

Jesús 09:30 – 13:30 on Saturday 1st December 2012

Points for collection :

Casal de d’Associaci de Veïns Jesús Catalonia (in collabortion with Cáritas Parroquial de Jesús

La Pèrgola

Enfront del Mercat

Now gather your thoughts and do something positive about it this Saturday! Please support them and help better integration into the multi-cultural communities we live in.

“It is better to give than receive,” still rings in my ears all these years on from first having it drummed into my ears at the end of each school year as we collected for the orphanages of Africa.

Recollida d’aliments “El gran recapte”. Es poden portar tot tipus d’ailiments i productes bàsics de neteja.

Costa Woman online – something for every woman living in Spain.

In order to spread the word the Welcome on this site says it all: “Costa Women is a social community and business networking group for women living in Spain to share friendship, support and provide knowledge about living in this vibrant country.”

There are so many different groups already in operation from Writers to Green fingers and so on. On the other hand why not join up and form a group that is prevalent to you. You will definitely receive support and will make many new friends and colleagues.

This is  a wonderful  platform for networking your own interests and business, then going onto to hook up with them on Twitter, (@rosiereay), Facebook and LinkedIn.

You also receive a monthly newsletter and you can advertise and promote local events fiestas and write abut anything, not sordid nor derogatory prose.  I’ve homed in on other members blogs and have found empathy and friendship with ladies in other parts of  Spain. It is so interesting to see how other people live their lives and become part of their environment. It amazes me daily as I continually marvel at finding out something new or learning about  somewhere else.

Yet, you don’t  leave behind your old friends as once you are a member you can invite them to join. It is brilliant!

 Rosie Reay  from Catalonia, Costa Daurada  would love to see more people from our comargue on there. It is not just for the charming and delightful ladies of  the southern costas. You may even find friends on there you know already.

 

Amusing Bar name in Ferreries – Tortosa

Driving through the quieter streets in Ferreries -Tortosa to save time and avoid the slow moving traffic, a signpost caught the corner of my eye, Bar Gravy.

Never!  Who would name a bar after the famous British salsa called gravy?

I had to go around the block again just to make sure I had read it right. Yes, a tiny little bar with a  faded notice above it, in large print announced the drinking hole as Bar Gravy.

I’ve heard of Oxo, Bovril or Bistro spread over the traditional British style Roast Sunday dinner and they have never caused me amusement as this bar signature did.

Do you go in and ask for  a pint of gravy please ?

When I tried to Google it, all that came up was the actress Claudia Gravy : es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_Gravy

This has flickered across my thought pattern all afternoon. I am just going to have to go and check it out. I will definitely take my camera along with me.

Correfoc -pyrotechnic celebration – 12th September -Tortosa

Don’t forget tomorrow 12 th September, 2009 when Correfoc will start at 20:30 in Tortosa

English version

The Correfoc is a pyrotechnic celebration, celebrated mostly in Catalonia. It has its roots in the “Ball de Diables” (devil dance) in the 12th century. In the Correfoc, the attendants participate more actively than in the “Ball de Diables.”

Explosions, the brilliance from the fire and the whispering from the percussion create a deafening environment and accelerates the vibrations. It’s an indescribable feeling. In the darkness, horns silhouettes dancing and jumping in the middle of the deluge of the fire in an breathtaking environment of sweat and burnt gunpowder.

Catalan version

El Correfoc és un acte pirotècnic celebrat majoritàriament a Catalunya. Té les seves arrels en el Ball de diables ja documentat en el segle XII. Al correfoc, el public participa molt més activament que al Ball de Diables.

L’esclat del tro, la lluentor del foc, el fum i el remoreig dels tabals creen un ambient ensordidor i acceleren les vibracions. l’efecte és indescriptible. En la foscor, siluetes amb banyes dansen i salten enmig d’un diluvi de foc en un ambient irrespirable de suor i pólvora cremada.

Gerard Vidal Pallares

http://www.youtube.com/user/logolafre

http://www.logolafre.com/catala/contingut/secundaries/diables/diables.htm

http://www.logolafre.com/catala/contingut/principals/fotos/fotos.htm

Did you book one of those bargain Ryanair flights for October or one with EasyJet between 1stOct-16thDec 2009)?

You did? Fabulous. I was thrilled to see that Ryanair was still planning on flights into Reus from the more regional airports of Bristol and Liverpool.

There has been a lot of grumbles about Ryanair slashing flights out of London – Stanstead (news reported 21st July) and Manchester (headlines 17th August) because the overheads at those giants are extortionate. This is only good news for the smaller airports. We look forward to seeing the timetable from Leeds Bradford airport, and Mr. Marketing Director, we need flights from there into Reus, not Barcelona where Jet2 fly into. Then those who flew from Manchester can now run up to Yorkshire instead of the other way round.

11th August it was reported “jobs for Yorkshire”. Great! Ryanair reckons over a 1000 local jobs will evolve to support and sustain their services on the outskirts of Leeds. So the White Rose wins the “flight” war in the War of Roses again.

So www.EasyJet.com is too offering amazing deals before midnight on the 8th September so do hurry. The perk about their offer is you can fly between … right up to the 15th December 2009.Plus you get free car upgrade and a bonus by being entered into a super duper holiday prize draw.

Booked your flight, so the next step is to decide where are you going to stay and what are you going to do out here. We can help, advise or we can point you in the right direction. www.BrighterSpain.com.

The swallows are gathering in the UK ready for a winter destination in Africa. Our swallows in the Lower Ebro River Valley are still making their nests under whichever eaves they can find. This is a sign our warm weather will linger on for awhile yet, so maybe our autumn will be kind to us again this year.

Weather update today:

Tortosa .Southern Catalonia.Spain

Sunny to hot – 35 degrees celcius

Sat writing in my costume with a welcoming breeze blowing across the Lower Ebro Valley.
Outcome: “Perfect! Just Perfect Ma!”

Saturday 22nd August in l’Ametlla de mar – for tastings of ‘arrossejat’ followed by a Dixi night in the fishing harbour

Fancy doing something different this evening? Good! So why not pop down to the seaside town of l’Ametlla de mar just off the AP7 & N340 or the train line of Barcelona- Valencia?

August 22  #  17:00h Fish Market XXV Arrossejat Cookery Competition. Taste the arrossejat.
August 22  #  23:00h Fishing Harbour Dixie night “La Vella Disieland”

http://www.ametllademar.org/en/p_benvinguts.htm

I have found a delightful recipe for “arrossejat” and am awaiting a translation.

This is the renowned LaVella Dixieland from Barcelona. However this link will give you an insight into the musical ensemble you will enjoy around quiet harbour lights. A town that welcomes everyone -locals, visitors and tourists and multi-cultural Expats. New friends will be made.

http://www.lavelladixieland.com/Sitio_web/a_information.html

Also the bands website gives the starting time as an hour earlier to be 22:00hours tonight.Perhaps if someone else has more local information they will kindly comment in the language of their choice.

(Aside: The comment will not be viewed immediately as it will await my approval to avoid the dread spam.Thank you.)

« Older posts

© 2020 Ebro voice

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑