Saturday, 23 April 2016

Our Spanish Dream The Siesta Part 45

The Siesta

The Siesta is something that can take a bit of getting used to, as can shops shutting on Sundays.  Both traditions are slowly disappearing in the coastal holiday resorts and towns but are still very firmly up-held in the less touristy places.  The laws on Sunday trading were relaxed in some areas as a result of the financial crisis so shops could maximise opening times and therefore hopefully generate more income.  Not opening up until 10am and then closing your business, whether a shop or a legal firm, for most of the afternoon is just not ‘British’!  However once adjusted to the idea of an afternoon rest most people come to like it.  In the height of summer, when it is too hot to go to bed before midnight, it makes sense to hide away somewhere cool at the hottest time of the day and take a nap to recharge your batteries for the cooler evening’s entertainment.  A long lingering late lunch with friends is also a social event, not to be rushed.
Seeing young children out playing late at night is another tradition Brits are quick to criticise.  But these children will have slept for two or even three hours during the day and taking your children out with you in the evening is not only acceptable in Spain but expected.  In summer an evening meal starts around 9pm at the earliest so there is certainly no plan to be tucked up in bed by 10pm – the evening is just warming up then!
If you holiday in Spain in a resort you will find it easy to find some shops open all day and a full menu available from 6pm, but if you are in a traditional area either living or just visiting you need to accept that things are not geared towards northern Europeans timetables, it’s Spain so the timetable is Spanish.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Property of the week Finca Near Almoradi

Finca Near Almoradi

 Ref: HEQ0045
Type: Country Property
Area: Costa Blanca South
Town: Almoradi
Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Pool: Yes
Price: €300,000
This 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom Finca is located in the village of Las Heredades near Almoradi and is within easy walking distance of all the local amenities, shops and restaurants. The beautiful sandy beaches are only a 15 minute drive away.
Situated in a rural setting this property is divided into two separate accommodations.
The entrance comprises of a courtyard with the main door leading to the entrance hall with doors to the spacious lounge which boasts a log burning fire and doors leading to the 2 double bedrooms which also has patio doors that lead to the terrace.
From the other side of the hallway there is a family bathroom and the master bedroom with en suite which also has patio doors leading on to another terrace.
From the top of the hallway there is a door to the kitchen/diner with log burner and stairs leading down to the Bodega (Wine cellar).
From the other side of the courtyard there is a large garage with enough room for at least two vehicles and above the garage there is a self contained apartment with lounge, kitchen, bathroom, large double bedroom and a solarium.
Externally there is a large private swimming pool, log cabin and a storeroom.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Our Spanish Dream Shopping out of season Part 44

Things change slowly in Spain and seasonal shopping is something that has yet to change.  Buying a sun lounger in December or a heater in June is nearly impossible.  Whilst in the UK the summer clothes hit the shops while we are wearing winter woollies and boots straight after the January sales, you can buy a beautiful knitted hat and scarf set for a friend’s birthday in July or a barbeque for your Dad for Christmas, it just doesn’t happen like that in most of Spain.
In Spain there are distinct seasons – summer starts in May, winter starts in November and never the twain shall meet.  Once the summer stocks have sold out they are rarely replaced, so if you want the best choice in outdoor furniture make sure you are looking early summer as by September the one you want may no longer be available.
When a sun umbrella at our house was broken by a renter we set out to buy the replacement when we visited in October, but we were met with blank or confused looks in the stores where we asked – they had sold out and why would they have stocks of sun umbrellas in October?  We didn’t bother trying to point out that the sun shines for over 320 days a year in south Costa Blanca!  Thinking we would plan ahead we decided to buy a gas heater for winter guests, but it was still September and no-one was stocking them until the last week in October!
Like shops closing for siesta and on Sundays you get used to seasonal shopping if you live in Spain, but when you are there just part-time it can be frustrating if the item you want isn’t available in the weeks you are visiting.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Property Of the Week Santiago De La Ribera

Ref: HE14559

Type: Townhouse
Area: Costa Calida / Murcia
Town: Santiago De La Ribera 
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Pool: Yes
Price: €99,995

Description: This spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom town house is situated in the lovely town of Santiago de la Ribera on the beautiful Mar Menor. The stunning beaches and a huge selection of amenities are all just a ten minute walk away.

The property comprises of a large front garden with covered terrace, leading into the lounge/diner, a downstairs bathroom, separate fitted kitchen and large rear covered terrace. Upstairs is the second bathroom, a double bedroom with balcony and twin bedroom. Internal stairs lead up to the spacious solarium.

The Owners Love –
“The peaceful location with lovely neighbours, the inviting swimming pool and the short distance to amenities and beaches.”

We Think –
“As the owners have mentioned, the location of this property is excellent with the beautiful Mar Menor beaches within comfortable distance. The house has been looked after to a high standard and is in showroom condition”.