Ulloo4 - Spain
There are still four, but....
... Ashok, he's an Ulloo too!
So now there are five!
Visiting the beautiful Alhambra palace
(Raj) The bull ring in Seville - as seen from the top of the cathedral spire.
No, we did not want to see a bull fight!
I had been to Spain (Madrid, Toledo) twice already and before the country joined the European Union. I wondered what affect that had had on the country. So much news about the booming construction industry and rampant change. When we got there Spain was just as I had remembered it - thank heavens! I had fallen in love with the country at first sight and still love to visit when I can.
A unique picture
Something local to eat? Not quite!
The little tapas bar that leads to the restaurant seems promising as the selection of tapas looks to be quite authentic. Therefore, the logic goes, the restaurant must also be genuine. The Spanish are used to eating their dinner late in the evenings – ten or eleven O’clock are not unusual hours to commence dining. We stick to the routine we are more accustomed to – that is to say about eight O’clock. Since it is almost that time, we walk into the restaurant dining room and are seated in an otherwise empty room with neatly laid tables.
Drinks are served and each of us given a menu. Almost every dish offered is the same as what we have been eating for the past few days. Pizzas, pastas, roast chicken, fried fish, salads and French fries. To our disappointment there is nothing genuinely Andalusian about what is on the list. This will not do so we have to find a way to leave and seek out the real thing. The task of preparing for our exit falls on me. The waiter standing at our table is ready to ask the question:
“Si señores, what would you like to order?”
“Well, we are vegetarians and there is nothing on the menu we can have that is vegetarian,” I fib to the waiter. Only Samji is vegetarian.
“In that case we have fish.”
“Sorry, we don’t eat fish.”
“We have omelette and eggs.”
“We don’t eat those either, we are very strict vegetarians.”
“In that case we have salad.”
“But we have been eating salad for days, we need a change.”
“In that case señores, we can give you nothing.”
Thank heavens for that! Once the drinks are paid for we leave for the city centre to look for a genuine Andalusian treat.
And we succeed in finding a genuine restaurant, but it is not Andalusian. It is Cuban and, prophetically, our wishes have been granted as the menu is one hundred per cent vegetarian! Our reason for going there is not due to having already seen the menu but because of the length of the queue winding from its door and spilling onto the street. After a little waiting and getting further soaked by what is now drizzle instead of a downpour, we are seated inside a room packed and vibrant with diners. Our charming and talkative waitress is genuinely Swedish, but the chef, we are assured, is genuinely Cuban.
The menu looks interesting, largely because we have just vague clues about the dishes listed. Our selection will be based on guess work and a bit like throwing a dart at the board while blindfolded. What eventually lands on our table proves to be one of the best meals we have had since arriving in Spain. So, contrary to what I had been told, Cuba does have a cuisine to boast about.