09.07.19 — Travel

Another Murcia Visit

Upon arriving back at my flat after a whirlwind 18-hour trip to Barcelona, I had very little time for rest nor recovery, for I had only a few hours to unpack and repack my bag ready for yet another train journey! This second trip of the day was to be a gruelling six hours instead of the mere three I had endured in the morning, but it was all for a good cause – I was off to Murcia to visit my parents!

With my auntie owning an apartment down in the southern region, and with my parents visiting relatively regularly for short holidays, I have been down a good few times before. This time I was to follow the same plan as ever, catching a late train down to a nearby town in order to coincide with my parents’ arrival on the plane.

Once they’d picked me up in their hire car and we’d made our way to the apartment, I revealed what I’d brought for tea (dinner, if you want to call it that): some cream cheese and turkey breast bocadillos (sandwiches). After we’d eaten those it was pretty much straight off to bed, as it was way gone midnight by the time we turned in for the night.

The next morning began, as mornings down on the golf complex often do, with a trip up to the resort’s little supermarket for the breakfast essentials. Usually I enjoy a leisurely stroll up to the shop in the renovated barn, but we had risen late and were dying for some food, and so we made the short journey by car.

A tree in front of a white wall.

After a spot of breakfast, we then hopped back in the car and began our fist (and my only) full day. Heading down to the coast, we stumbled upon a little craft market along the promenade, and I bought myself a little artesanal candle holder for my flat – I do love a good candle-lit evening by myself!

A street market on the coast in Murcia.
The shadow of garland lights cast on the beach sand.
The beach on the coast in Murcia, Spain.

With the heat soon getting to us, we dipped down a side street and sat down at a little bar we found along the way. Mum remembered about the existence of ensaladilla rusa (a mayonnaise-based salad of vegetables and tuna), so I ordered a sharing plate of the stuff and a round of drinks, and we proceeded to sit there for a good time, chatting the afternoon away.

An old building with the sign "Villa Cartagenera".
The facade of buildings near the coast in Murcia, Spain.

As we passed into the late afternoon, however, we had to make a move, as I wanted to visit the imported British foods shop to see if there was anything I particularly missed that I could pick up – like me and Cami did in Tenerife just a couple of months back! I am pleased to report that my tastes must be changing, as I didn’t find anything that particularly caught my attention, and instead found myself looking forward to a trip to Mercadona (a Spanish supermarket chain) afterwards!

Once we’d done a proper shop, we headed back to the apartment, where we ran into my auntie’s neighbours and good friends. As we’d just finished putting out a little spread of snacks and drinks, we invited them over, and sat around for a good few hours having a chat and a good few laughs.

We eventually had to head back inside, however, as we’d booked a table up at the golf resort’s restaurant so that we could all have tea and a drink together that evening. We wandered up to the little place, and I enjoyed a typical plato combinado (“combined plate”), which consisted of fried chicken, chips, a fried egg, and some salad. I also got chatting to a lot of the staff, who seemed quite shocked to hear me speaking Spanish – I have to thank the guys at Erretres for constantly teaching me new phrases!

A sunset over the golf complex in Murcia.

The next day was a rather lazy affair, as I jumped in the pool and hung around the apartment for most of the morning. For lunch, however, my parents had an idea of where to go, and so we jumped back in the car and headed to a little local village in order to enjoy a menú del día (a daily set menu) at a spot that my auntie and uncle enjoy.

I’d never been to the place before, but upon arrival it was blatantly obvious that it was very popular amongst locals – for me, always a good sign! The poor staff were rushed off their feet, but we enjoyed a gorgeous three-course meal of salad, ribs, and homemade desserts, all washed down with a coffee and accompanied by a beer.

A vibrant blue building in a town in Murcia.

Fit to burst, we hopped back in the car, and made our last stop of the visit before I headed back to the train station. This time we visited another coastal town, sitting on a terrace along the front for a quick drink in a cocktail bar, where I realised that I had once again lost my sunglasses – this is why I never spend more than 10€ on a pair!

A graffitied wall in Murcia, Spain.

All too soon, however, I found myself back on the terrace of a bar which sits by the train station, sipping on my last beer before the train back to Madrid. I waved my parents off as they stood on the platform, not knowing when I’ll next be back in England to visit them, but I returned to Madrid happy and recovered after such a relaxing weekend.

I have to send thanks to my parents for allowing me to crash a couple of days of their weeklong holiday, and also my auntie and uncle for letting us stay at their place whilst they spend the summer months back in old Blighty. I am looking forward to seeing my auntie and uncle again when they stop off in Madrid on their long car journey back down to Murcia in October, after the three of us had a lovely time together when they visited back in May.

I am, of course, now back in Madrid, and so the next post will have a lot to do with the pride celebrations which have been painting the city with colour for the past week or so. Watch this space!