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In our resources section we post regular articles covering everyaspect of life here in Sunny Spain, our articles are grouped into categories:

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Not Just a Cup of Coffee!! Your Guide to Spanish Coffee

(Category: Restaurants and Bars)

The Spanish love their coffee and it is as much a part of everyday life as tapas or wine! Below are a list of the different types of coffee that can be sampled in any restaurant or bar.

Cafe Solo

Small strong black coffee usually served in a small glass, popular around 11am when workers come into bars for the main breakfast of the day.

Cafe Americano

Not traditionally Spanish but slightly weaker than a cafe solo and served in a larger glass with a little more water.

Cafe con leche

Probably the most popular with tourists, half cafe solo, half hot milk, served either in a glass or cup.

Cafe Sombra or Manchada

(sometimes called leche manchada): Largely milk with a dash of coffee! The name sombra means shade and mancha means stain, effectively staining the milk with a very small amount of coffee.

Cafe Carajillo

A shot-sized glass with brandy and a small glass of cafe solo beside. The brandy is set alight and when all the alcohol has burned off the cafe solo is poured into the glass – perfect morning tipple particularly on a cold day!

Cafe Bombon

Perfect for a sweet tooth! Condensed milk is poured into the bottom of a glass, then cafe solo is poured on top – slowly! The drink remains half black and half white until it is mixed.

Cafe Belmonte

The same method as a cafe bombon but brandy is added

Cafe Asiatico:

This coffee is known only to the region of Cartagena, reaching to Murcia. Thought to have been imported from north africa, the method is the same as the cafe bombon, but slightly more complicated. A coffee bean is added, plus lemon rind, a liquer called “43” topped off with ground cinnamon – absolutely fabulous as a hot toddy and off to bed!!

ENJOY…..

Touring Spain – Culture Break to Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha

(Category: Places of Interest)

Visit to Cuenca, August 2010

We set off during the evening from Murcia and stopped overnight at Albacete, Hotel Santa Isabel **** – just off A31 can be seen from the motorway on the north side of Albacete (has Decathlon opposite) – fabulous new hotel built in retro-Normandy chateau style – on the edge of an industrial estate!! No expense has been spared with the classical/boutique style interior & furnishings – don’t miss the owner’s collection of vintage cars & motorbikes some dating back to 1905 and can be seen in the garage below the hotel!! Our double room was 70 euros for the night, great value for money.

Contact Hotel Santa Isabel
Phone Email
00 34 967 264 680 recepcion@hotelsantaisabelalbacete.com
Web Address
www.hotelsantaisabelalbacetecom Avenida Gregorio Arcos, 02007, Albacete

Day 1, Onwards to Cuenca through stunning scenery….
Cuenca, historical & cultural city, is located in the region of Castilla-La Mancha. The region has seen a traumatic history with many battles between the Christian crusaders & the Muslim forces as early as the 8th century. The region is known for the production of sun flowers, olives, mushrooms, Manchego cheese and windmills, the latter being featured in the worldly famous novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. UNESCO declared Cuenca a World Heritage City and will be the European City of Culture for 2016. We spent a few days in this wonderful city and the surrounding region.

Cuenca is divided into two clear parts – old and new. The modern city is low lying and the old quarter has been cconstructed on the imposing limestone cliffs that jut up from the Huecar valley floor. The “hanging houses” (casas colgadas) are an astounding landmark symbol of the city where medieval properties were built over the edge of the limestone escarpments. One of these casas colgadas houses the Museum of Abstract Art.

The Parador, a converted 16th century convent is situated on a rocky outcrop looking upwards to the old quarter. With frescos and ornate plasterwork everywhere and a tranquil garden that now fills the cloister, guests could not fail to marvel over its culture and historical value. Definitely a special place to stay.

Contact Cuenca Parador Hotel ****
Phone Email Web
00 34 969 232 320 cuenca@parador.es www.paradores.es

Construction of the cathedral of Nuestra Senora de Gracia began in the 12th century and is one of the earliest examples of Spanish Gothic style. It’s the City’s jewel, along with the attached Episcopal Palace and the unusual Town Hall that traverses above the main vehicular access from the modern quarter to “Plaza Mayor” (main square) and more of the old quarter of the city. The facade of the Cathedral was restored in the 1920’s. The cathedral and other museums charge an entry fee but they are minimal, usually around 2-3 euros, all are well worth visiting. There is a free bus service operating regularly that ferries people up and down the old quarter, over the wonderful medieval cobbled streets.

We stayed in a “hostal” which translates as a guest house, La Tabanqueta **, Calle Trabuco (opposite side to the church of Santa Pedro, just up from bus stop)

Contact La Tabanqueta Hostal **
Phone Email Web
00 34 969 211 290 info@hostaltabanqueta.com www.hostaltabanqueta.com

Our room offered breathtaking views over the River Jucar, more than 100ft below, looking up the valley. We would recommend Room 4. Worth every cent of the 50 euros fee for our double room per night! Simply decorated with excellent ensuite facilities. The rooms have been fully renovated in 2010. Unusual for Spain, the room includes a kettle with tea and coffee, plus a nibble of croissant/sweet pastry – we couldnt ask for more!

Day 2 off to Ciudad Encantada & Uña

A journey not to be missed, took CM2104 – wow – stunning scenery with breathtaking views as you wind your way upwards to higher places! First stop “el mirador de Uña” (viewing point) – enjoy a beautiful stroll or drive through woodland via dirt road for about 1.5km, then come upon an amazing view – enjoy!! If you are lucky the eagles will be soaring on the thermals!

Second stop, breakfast in the hotel opposite Ciudad Encantada which is just across the road from the start of the walk to view Uña. Ciudad Encantada – 3 euro entry fee – prepare to be amazed, yet again! Wander through ancient (prehistoric) rock formations, unique experience again not to be missed!

Follow the CM2104 until it joins with the CM2105, take the right hand turning towards Uña and follow the road down towards this beautiful hamlet beside a natural lake. If you drive through the village and follow the sign for the lake there is a beautiful view point.
Back into the village and the main “square” consists of a two restaurants beside each other, both offering menu del dia and a la carte. I ate trout that had been caught in the lake that morning!

There is one hotel in the village which also has wooden cabins beside the lake. Our cabin was 55 euros for the night

Day 3 Source of the River Cuervo

After about 30 minutes of driving through breathtaking countryside, arrive at the woodland walk up to the source of the river. Ample parking and picnic areas abound. Pass by mysterious waterfalls and scenery, plenty of opportunity for great photos of wildlife, flora and fauna. Across from the parking area there are a couple of restaurants offering varied menus.

If you are looking to experience some “real” Spain, why not take a few days out of your coastal holiday and visit the interior, immersing yourself in its history and culture. The journey to Cuenca from Los Alcazares is roughly 3 hours – this is not the most direct route via motorways, but through some unmissable countryside.

The Yachtsman Irish Pub & Restaurant, The Marina, San Pedro del Pinatar

(Category: Restaurants and Bars)

Puerto Deportivo, Villa de San Pedro, San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia

Contact: 00 34 600 749 181

A recently extended Irish bar & restaurant, located within the Puerto Deportivo Marina of San Pedro, making it an interesting focal point for those wishing to explore the Salinas and nature reserve which are an important feature of this coastline.

The Yachtsman has an extensive outdoor seating area, with some seating overlooking the marina – a perfect place to sit, enjoying a coffee while watching the boats and sailing activity. It offers a varied menu including an excellent menu del dia for 9.50 Euros, Monday to Friday. The Sunday carvery (2pm to 4pm) is highly recommended serving a traditional roast with all the usual trimmings for an unbeatable 9.50 Euros! Booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

The Yachtsman also offers sailing packages, unique to the Marina. Costing approx. 49 euros per person, morning or afternoon sailings are available with meals included.

Sailing Packages
Morning Sail Afternoon Sail
Breakfast Menu del Dia
3hr Sail 3hr Sail
Menu del Dia Afternoon Tea

The package is available for groups of between 4 and 7, making it a really interesting and enjoyable alternative for those on holiday or for special occasions such as birthdays or family celebrations.

Ghurka Durbar Restaurant, Los Alcazares, Murcia

(Category: Restaurants and Bars)

Calle Viena 61, CC Euro Roda, San Javier 30739, Murcia

Contact Ghurka Durbar
Phone Mobile
00 34 968 593 198 00 34 637 053 809

Receive a warm welcome from Khim and his attentive staff to this Nepalese style restaurant. It has a beautiful “wall of water” feature that greets you inside the entrance. The Ghurka Durbar has an extensive menu, specialising particularly in Nepalese cuisine with some amazing tastes to savour – all prepared fresh to order. Take away service is available. There is ample parking directly outside the restaurant.

Walkers Around the Region of Murcia – W.A.R.M.

(Category: Sport and Leisure)

WARM is a group of people who enjoy walking in the countryside and the coastal areas of Murcia. The walks are FREE and the leaders on the day decide on the length and difficulty of the walks. Each walk is led by different people, offering a variety of walks and interesting places to see. A degree of fitness is required to enjoy the walks, but they are graded in order to offer something for everyone.

The walks either involve a picnic en-route, or a visit to a restaurant afterwards, it depends on the venue for the walk.

If you are interested in joining this lively and interesting group of walkers, please contact them via the email link below.

warm2005@gmail.com

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