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Oranges ARE the only fruit....:o))


By Janey


We were so pleased last week to spend time in Catalunya after 6 years back here in Lincolnshire. As each year began we’d promised ourselves a return journey, but never quite managed it, but it was great to see old friends again and travel to old haunts, after a couple of days it was like we’d never been away, still as wild and beautiful as ever….:o))

I’ll just take you for a quick tour round the area. Here we are in L’Ametlla de Mar, about 100kms south of Barcelona.
A look over the apartment balcony and we’re ready to go….you can see here the locals are against having wind turbines placed in the bay…..and they really would ruin it: they have an enormous amount topping the hills and mountains.

Leaving the coast behind, we travel up the hill and passed our old home, framed by the cypresses.

The hills are full of olive groves and almonds which were just coming into flower. the way of pruning in this area is to keep the tree as small and open as possible for ease of harvesting. They do look like large bonsais!

Up through the hills, the Spanish roads are wonderful to travel on, and there down below, the stunning Rio Ebre, even on a grey day, it looks majestic. Fruit orchards line the banks…..citrus and soft fruits.

The delicate almond flowers which survive the strong winter winds.

In January, the bright blue flowers of this wild shrub light up the hillsides.

Some of the rocks are covered in this golden Lichen, that proves the air is clean and not polluted.

Down to the village Benifallet where the Ebre is flooding on to the foreshore… looks weird to see a palm with it’s feet in water!

A pretty winter shrub in flower, we do grow this here, but I’ve forgotten what it is….:((

More short open trees trained by a walk way. It could be an avenue of Cercis, the branches trained to join each other, so when in leaf it creates strong shade. Now who’s that peeping from behind that stone?….:o))

And wonderful Oranges everywhere down by the river, the citrus trees are laden with fruit ready for harvesting. We walk to a small village shop built round a huge palm tree, the fronds swaying above the roof and buy a bag full of oranges and clementines, what an aroma!

Back through the hills and down to the coast, the sun is greeting us, a wild Agave making a spectacular statement here.

In someones little coastal garden, a money plant is flowering happily.

A gorgeous yellow climber covers the rocks and clambers through trees in January here.

Further up the coast to Cambrils……what a sight after England’s snow and gloom!

Sculptures of fishermen and their sea treasures line the promenade.

A small school girl her satchel filled with sea creatures is enjoying the view.

Gaudi’s influence here, small tiles and mosaics create the fish scales.

Above us in a palm tree, wild green parrots are building their nests and squabbling with each other.

The golden Dorada rocks make a beautiful backdrop to the vivid flowers of the Agave.

Back to L’Ametlla and a sit by the sea wall and the Lavenders in full bloom.

Out to sea, and the fisherman are beginning to head for home, and so are we, ready for a nice glass of wine.

Back to the apartment and some fishing boats are tying up for the night, now where are those oranges, lets see if they taste as good as they look!

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What a delightful blog Janey, so glad you have found time to re-visit and hopefully relax, I love those blossoms, so delicate, is that pink one Japonica?

30 Jan, 2013


I think it may be's not quince is it?

30 Jan, 2013


How lovely to see all those flowers in January

30 Jan, 2013


Oh Janey ,how did you manage to drag yourself back to our dull cold climate you could have stayed there until the spring but then again perhaps not we would have missed you :o) I'm glad you had such a wonderful time visiting all your old haunts .. a lovely blog and photos thanks for showing us xx

30 Jan, 2013


It was Stera, a real treat!
Aw would have been great another couple of weeks, but then Lottie was waiting.....:)). Pleased you enjoyed it!

30 Jan, 2013


Oh lucky you Janey....It seems such a wonderful place...:>)

30 Jan, 2013


I remember it's Chaenomeles or Japanese quince Grandmage! It is Moti, full of happy memories....:))

30 Jan, 2013


What a fabulous blog Janey, such a tonic. I can feel your love for the place and no wonder, it's beautiful. I wouldn't mind seeing more pics if you have them:-))) By the way, I may be wrong, but I think japonica is another name for chaenomeles or quince:-)

30 Jan, 2013


Thanks for a lovely blog, it must have been very hard leaving such a wonderful place, really cheering at the moment with this horrid wet weather and drab winter days....

30 Jan, 2013


Very beautiful blog. It is good, to know that now somewhere else almonds are blooming and oranges raping...I love Spain and Italy, for this atmosphere, so much condensed in your upper photo of Cupressus sempervirens and olive tree. I smell it here :)
I am going to Barcelona in spring, hopefuly will have time from work to go and see its coast and gardens, too.

31 Jan, 2013


Really lovely blog Janey, and your usual beautiful photos too! What a different month January is there! My OH was very unhappy this morning as he thought we were in feb. then realised we aren't quite! Your blog really makes me long to be back in the Canaries again. Our holiday seems like so long ago now! thank you so much for sharing this beautiful place with us. I imagine you will have been very sad to leave it all again?

31 Jan, 2013


P.s. I think it's a Chaenomeles!

31 Jan, 2013


Yes, Ba it was like going home, the strong light makes such a difference, it seems to bring out the joy in people....:)). I'll see if I've some more pics, they may be old ones though....

Thanks Dd......yes it was a wrench at the time, but they are a lovely couple who have it now and love it like we you know they're both from sunny Scunny like we were!

Oh I know what you mean Katerina, those scents of the hills with the thyme and wild curry plants are magical....and feel so healthy! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time in Barcelona, there is everything to see and such a vibrant city buzzing with life. All Gaudis architecture to enjoy and his Parc Guell....stunning!

British winters are so depressing aren't they Karen, I feel
for your husband, especially when now we are lucky
enough to travel to warmer brighter places, you kow how much better it could be. We were sad to come home, but you know it always there to visit again, and we have had 2 invitations to stay.......the new peeps in our finca, would like us to come and enjoy it again, and give them some advice on things, and some friends need their place looking after whilst they return to the UK for a few weeks......couldn't be better....:))
Yes Chaemoneles that's it!

31 Jan, 2013


just wonderful ! I lived in southern Italy for a year, similar weather, flora & fauna & happy people, I know how it is missing such a place. However, what memories eh? Happy days indeed !!

31 Jan, 2013


What a lovely, uplifting blog Janey . . thanks! It's super to see blossom already, and I loved those blue flowers. Actually I loved everything, and also "recognised" the Japanese quince but couldn't think of it's proper name - now we know :))

31 Jan, 2013


Janey@ just reflecting what you said above: I hope I will be not offensive if I say, that also southern nations often reflect you as "unlucky people". Once Italian colleague of mine said about our British colleague from Southampton.
"Ach, poor guy, such a sad place to live, on those moors, without sun." Lol. So that was his impression from England.
Strange is, that I have never that impression, when I was in London or nearby. It was often cloudy, but lot of green in parks, so many things to see in galleries, so I never saw it in that tragic

31 Jan, 2013


Yes so pleased like you we experienced another way of life Bampy......good to see life in a more natural way than ours too...great memories!
Thanks Sheila, Feb 2moro though, we are on our way....:)). Soon we'll see our own Prunus, and off we go again!
No not offensive Katarina, everywhere has it's beautiful spaces, and there are plenty of those in our British Isles!
We all have preconceived ideas of other countries, when I think of Ireland, I think it would be greyer, colder and wetter than here, though it has stunningly beautiful parts.
The Mediterranean people do seem to have a much happier and contented outlook, and consider themselves as part of the whole. I think an unsettled climate makes for unsettled people, we never seem to be content here, always striving for more whether we need or really want it....:((

31 Jan, 2013


What a lovely blog, so much of interest.
Good to remember the sunshine too!

31 Jan, 2013


Janey@I forgot the name of that ancient historian (Plinius? Maybe..) who said, that nations, which come from sunny and hot climates, are not built for wars, while those, who live in cold and foggy climate, they do.
My own experience is not so clear-cut, however, I remember a school mate at University, who came from Yugoslavia and was very charismatic and favourite companion for all parties. He was always late, sometimes it was one hour or more.
"Our time passes differently," he used to say. Lol.

31 Jan, 2013


Wise man, I think he is right Katarina, the colder the clime, the faster you have to keep moving and the more aggressive people can be. Winters are long here, not so bad as Finland, which has a high rate of suicide though, and everything is geared to a very fast pace....."our time passes differently" is a good philosophy to adopt, and the Spanish would say Tranquilla....tranquilla....calm, calm.

31 Jan, 2013


Mmmmm! I just luuuuurve my adopted country! Lovely pics Janey. Don't you wish you could stay? :o)

31 Jan, 2013


Adding this to faves Janey . . . I just can't tear myself away. And I'm SO susceptible, just want to be there like you! Did you fly to Barcelona??

31 Jan, 2013


...ha ha...we are going to Barcelona in May! A little family celebration for our daughter's graduation...can't wait, never been!

31 Jan, 2013


We did enjoy living here Nariz, no wonder you do! Maybe we'll make the leap again when we're retired...:))

Ooh you did enjoy it Sheila....:)). No we flew to Reus a small airport on the Costa Dorada, it's only half an hour away. I'm sure you would love the hinterland, I'll have to look through my photos and take you on another trip round....:))

You'll love it Karen, and a good time to go, not too hot. Loads to see and do, just be careful and mind your bags, there are some serious professional bag snatchers there, one piece of advice, don't wear tourist holiday style clothing, smart summer city stuff would be better. Congrats to your daughter!

31 Jan, 2013


Oooh, you're a brave girl Janey, if you flew with Ryanair! But I can see that it was worth it :))

Yes . . . congrats to your daughter Karen! and do take Janey's advice re Barcelona - my sister was mugged by having a hanging basket drop on her head :((( Just keep a tight hold on your handbag at all times!

31 Jan, 2013


Good advice, thanks. Two of my friends were mugged in Paris, one at the Eiffel Tower! I suppose all cities are the same. I nearly had my bag stolen in the British Museum once.

31 Jan, 2013


Lovely blog Janey......

31 Jan, 2013


Thanks Janey for sharing this Wonderful Blog , very beautiful and what a very lovely Places:-))))

1 Feb, 2013


When my Oh and I were in Spain about 11 years ago, we had a problem with pick pocket types. We were strolling along minding our own business when we were approached by two young eastern european girls and one, who had an item of clothing over her arm, came very close making kissing noises and kissy mouths at us ...being British we didn't know what to do and stood there in total embarassment lol. Fortunately a stout Spanish woman started swinging her handbag at them and shouting ...they went away. She told us that is how they steal your money. We were also approached by a couple of others on the Ramblas (we must have looked stupid lol) I loved Barcelona and we went into Gaudi's House of Bones beautiful and strangely,very moving . There was also a fantastic Kandinsky exhibition in an old bank building which, if I remember rightly, was also a Gaudi building. It was in Barcelona at about 2am that I tasted my first chorizo on tomato bread .... bliss:-))

2 Feb, 2013


What a shame it's everywhere now Karen, you'll love it even so!
Thanks Lincs and Junna, pleased you enjoyed it.....:))
That experience you had Ba reminds me of a story some friends told of a couple of young people whom would approach tourists with bum bags worn at the front. They would try and ask them something leaning in very close then slit the bag with knife and empty it. It was only when it was unzipped that the couple realised what had happened! As Karen says thoughts mainly cities everywhere really. Ooh tomato bread, and alioli, olives and Rioja....heaven...:))

2 Feb, 2013


Ha ha, we were wearing bumbags around our fronts Janey looking for all the world like foolish English tourists with our pale skin. I love real alioli, but frightened to make it with raw eggs:-( anyway, everything tastes better there, probably being able to eat outside helps:-) When we went out for meals there after 10pm, there were families with children in push chairs strolling around and you never felt threatened by drunks or unruly youths. My husband got into a long conversation with an old lady who lived through the Franco years. She was lovely and kept trying to include me in the conversation so I just kept grinning at her like a maniac. OH was fluent and she joked that she didn't believe he wasn't Spanish:-)

2 Feb, 2013


That was lovely Janey. Thanks for showing us where you used to live. It's really beautiful, and I bet you enjoyed it there.
That shrub you don't know may be Chaenomeles ? It looks like it to me. I had a dwarf one in my previous garden.

3 Feb, 2013


Lovely pics Janey ...
Very interesting to see ..
I agree with Hywel that the flowering shrub looks like Chaenomeles ....

6 Feb, 2013

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