This was a good day. 🙂
The theme for this latest Jerez Getaway was… THE PLAN IS THERE IS NO PLAN. Obviously there were some inklings and ideas, a few wanna-dos and several would-like-tos, but in general everything happened almost by chance.
I left Sevilla with Pam & Gord in their rental car, and on the way to Jerez it became apparent that we would actually get there in time for the noon English bodega visit at Tracición. So I contacted them from the car and said we’d be there. We arrived two minutes before the tour started. Yay! As always, it was a great experience, visiting both the bodega and private art gallery, and tasting some amazing VOR (+20 years) and VORS (+30 years) sherries.
Meanwhile, I was also hoping to stop in at Urium. I’d been in touch with Rocío and she said her dad Alonso was planning to be at the bodega around 5.30, which was perfect as it would give us time to check into our accommodations after Tradición and have a quick lunch. Then I got a message from Rocío saying that Alonso was meeting his friends at the bodega at 3 pm… okey dokey.
This actually gave us plenty of extra time to do our check-ins, but it also meant I had to see if my other friends Anne & Paul could meet us at Urium earlier. It also meant we wouldn’t have time for lunch between bodega visits. Oh well!Turned out no lunch wasn’t a big issue as the other group of friends that Alonso had invited showed up with whacks of food, as did Anne & Paul. And suddenly it was a party.
Just so you know, Bodegas Urium do not offer visits to the public. This is a small family run bodega, with Papa Alonso, his daughter Rocío and her husband Mario taking care of pretty much everything. It also isn’t the type of bodega suited to tourist visits, simply because it is a unique experience that can’t be replicated on a daily basis. Each time it’s something different, which this time included everyone singing Christmas carols in both Spanish and English. So lovely. I feel very privileged that the Urium family includes me in their sherry family.
I’ve been taking photos of this particular belén (nativity scene) in the Atarazanas Market in Málaga for years. Usually the figures are nestled amongst the chiras (small clams) but on this day they were sold out, so they were perched on pulpo instead.
“And look!” one of the guys said to me, “We have a new addition this year! The three kings crossing a desert of prawns!” He was so excited and so was l. I will never stop loving this random humour and joy that exists here…
LOVE this guy (excuse blurry photo grabbed from video below). David has stood the test of time, always being honest, straightforward, unmoved by social bullshit. And I am very happy that he is my friend. We got together this past week in Málaga for a nice lunch at classic Mesón Ibérico. Didn’t get to see the rest of the family (Kasha and daughter Kira) this time round, but hope to see them again soon.
Tuesday in Málaga started with a walk around Atarazanas Market with Ania @ania_marchlik, who was leaving at midday to catch her flight to Poland. And we ended up having just enough time for a quick Beer O’clock at Cafe Bar Estraperlo before I met up with Victor @welovemalaga. As you can see, some people clearly don’t know how to do Beer O’clock. 😉
The original plan had been to go to Fuengirola with Victor and meet Janet @janet_mendel for lunch at Los Marinos José, a place that I have been wanting to go to for AGES as a result of seeing so many tantilizing Instagram pics taken there by Fernando H. So imagine my disappointment when I found out they were closed for winter holidays. But Victor said not to worry, he would plan a Day of Surprises for me. 🙂
But first I had to stop in at Victor’s to give Harriet and Gingerbread a cuddle…
This new plan ended up still including Fuengirola, even though my only reason for going there was that one particular restaurant. But Victor said we could go back for that another time and that he had something special to show me after lunch. Well, between us we had a list of recommended places to try in Fuengi. This first one (Casa Colón) was fine, we had a “starter course” there. But the next one on our list, Tánicos (recommended by Fernando), was closed on Tuesdays. Dammit. Third rec turned out to be a dud, so we didn’t stay. Instead we got back in the car and headed to Mesón La Salina, another one recommended by Fernando, and it was fabulous. Definitely want to go back with more of an appetite and at least 2 more (hungry) friends.
Next up… my surprise! But first we stopped off at The Inner Life of the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmádena along the way. It is the largest Buddhist stupa in the West and quite impressive. Which I reckon counts as a surprise, and a good thing too because when we finally got to the Castillo de Colomares… yep, it was closed. Though we did manage to get a pic through the gates.
But you know what? I didn’t really care because it had been such a lovely day with Victor, going here and there, chatting and enjoying each other’s company. My Málaga Getaways have changed over the past ten years, but meeting up with Victor is always one of the happiest things I do there.