Adventures in Requena (Part 2: Parties and Paella)

Cena en casa de Pili

Jessica: El fin de semana empezó con una cena en la casa de Pili, la madre de Diana. Tuvimos que hacer una tarta sin gluten para la fiesta del día siguiente, y Pili preparó una selección de tapas para la cena: patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo, ajoarriero, y esgarraet, un plato cuyo ingrediente principal son los pimientos. Nos fuimos a casa con una selección de semillas de su colección para plantarlas en nuestro huerto misouliano, pero no sin antes terminar la cena con tres chupitos. ¡Fue un gran comienzo del finde!

Rober: When I’m traveling, one of the things I like to discover is the local gastronomy, so we wanted to show our friends some of the dishes we usually eat. Some days we prepared them at home, other days we went to a restaurant where we could try them. But we were really lucky because my mother-in-law, Pili, invited us over to try several tapas she prepares the traditional way. She is an excellent chef. We helped her make ajoaceite (aioli) to accompany the patatas bravas, and I think the result was pretty good!

20190315_204451
Testing the aioli./Probando el ajoaceite.

Cumpleaños de Rodri

Jessica: Por suerte para nosotros, había una fiesta sorpresa para un amigo de Rober y Diana, así que tuvimos la oportunidad de conocer a varios de sus amigos y pasar el sábado comiendo y bailando con un grupo de rumba en vivo. Después del anochecer y de una presentación de fotos para el cumpleañero, la fiesta se calmó por un rato y lo pasamos muy bien hablando en grupos pequeños. La fiesta terminó, por lo menos para nosotros, con unas pizzas por encargo y bebiendo vino en el porrón.

Rober: Everything looked great for the party on the second Saturday with Jessica and Jacob; a big paella for about 70 people, nice weather, really good musicians on the stage, and friends all around, some of whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. Nothing could spoil the party! My friends and I were completely amazed when Jessica and Jacob started dancing Lindy Hop, so cool!

IMG-20190321-WA0038
Paella time!/¡La hora de la paella!
20190316_183754
After lunch, the band started to play./Después de comer, el grupo empezó a tocar.
IMG_20190316_181852
We danced away the afternoon./Bailamos durante toda la tarde.

Domingo en la Caseta

Jessica: Creo que el día que comimos con la familia fue mi favorito. Fuimos a la caseta de la familia de Diana para disfrutar del buen tiempo y de la compañía de toda la familia de Rober. Cuando llegamos, la paella ya estaba en marcha, el cocinero Richar vigilaba el paellero, y mientras Pili nos hizo un recorrido por la casa. La paella de Richar estuvo fenomenal y después de comer, dimos un paseo por la zona buscando espárragos silvestres.

Rober: Diana’s family’s country house is amazing. It’s an old hamlet just five minutes’ drive from Requena, where her mom lived for several years growing up. It has a well, an ancient oven and even an underground shelter from the Spanish Civil War. Diana and I meet here with both of our families once in a while, especially in the spring and summer, to eat and spend time together. On this particular Sunday the family increased, thanks to the presence of a couple of Missoulians. I’m glad that they could meet so many of my relatives.

20190317_141716.jpg
A photo with the chef./Una foto con el cocinero.
20190317_142011.jpg
Paella almost ready./La paella casi lista.
IMG_20190317_161912.jpg
Heading down into the shelter./Bajando al refugio.
IMG-20190317-WA0000
After lunch, we gathered for a game of pollito inglés./Después de comer, nos reunimos para jugar al pollito inglés.

Fiesta Flamenca

Jessica: El Martes, Rober organizó una clase de flamenco con su amiga, Inma. Aprendí bailar la primera sevillana y unos pasos de rumba, lo cual fue muy útil durante la semana siguiente cuando fuimos a una fiesta organizada por Inma y su pareja, Josevi, en su bar de Requena, El Bicho. Cuando terminamos la comida y los cubatas estaban servidos, retiraron las mesas y empezaron a aparecer los instrumentos. A Jacob y a mí nos encantó ver tocar a Rober y a sus amigos músicos (algunos de Gypsy y Los Gatos Rumberos), con todo el mundo bailando y dando palmas. ¡Cómo moló esta fiesta!
Rober: We don’t usually have as many parties as we did while Jessica and Jacob were here, but by chance, it was an especially festive few days. At first, I thought that there might be too many parties in too short a time, but now I think it was perfect because we all had a blast. The flamenco party was the last day we spent together. The food was delicious (paella again, haha), as were the wines and desserts. After dancing and playing music all afternoon, we went to have a drink. I don’t think any of the four of us wanted to go home because we knew it was our last night together.

IMG_20190312_191908.jpg
Rober organized a Flamenco lesson with his friend./Rober organizó una clase de flamenco con su amiga.
IMG_20190319_164215
Once again, we danced away the afternoon!/Y de nuevo, bailamos durante toda la tarde!
20190318_171941
Let’s do this again!/¡Repitamos esto!
Advertisements

Algunas Actividades en Requena (Parte 1, Paseos y Visitas)

El Parque de Bomberos y La Villa con “el Bombero”

Jessica: Rober nos explicó que en su entorno hay varias personas que se llaman también Rober– conocimos al menos a cinco de ellos. Para evitar confusión, utilizan apodos, y estuvimos varias veces durante el viaje con el Rober conocido como “el Bombero”. El Bombero vive en La Villa en una casa la que ha remodelado a su manera con resultados impresionantes. La casa, como otras en esta zona se sitúa encima de una cueva–su cueva también es impresionante, pero de otra forma. Nos lo pasamos muy bien con el Bombero las veces que coincidimos con él durante nuestro viaje, pero sobre todo me encantó la visita al parque de bomberos, donde me deslicé por el poste, me probé su traje, y tomamos café acompañado de panal de miel en la sala de descanso.

Rober: When I told Rober, a.k.a Bombero, that my friends from Montana were coming to Requena, he asked, “Would you like me to show you guys the Fire Station?”

It isn’t the typical place that you show to your guests when they come to Requena, but I asked Jessica her opinion, and she was completely on board. It was a really interesting outing for us. Sometimes when you are traveling you have more fun and discover more authentic places when you do things a little outside the box.

Bombero also showed us his neighborhood, La Villa. I had been in his home, but not the cave underneath it, and I was amazed when we saw it.

20190310_200641.jpg
“Want to try on the suit?”/”¿Te quieres probar el traje?”
IMG_20190311_204157.jpg
The cave under Bombero’s house has huge vessels once used for wine and olive oil, and stairways where it used to connect to a network of caves under La Villa./La cueva bajo la casa del Bombero tiene grandes vasijas que se utilizaban para guardar vino o aceite de oliva, y unas escaleras para conectar una red de cuevas bajo La Villa.

Paseos en el Campo

Jessica: A Jacob y a mí siempre nos gusta caminar durante nuestros viajes y Requena tiene un paisaje muy bonito para hacerlo. Fue divertido ver en persona los sitios de los  escribió Rober en sus posts del año pasado. Un dia, andamos con Richar, el hermano de Rober, su amiga Cristina, y su perro Draco, hacia San Blas y el río Magro. El jueves, después de trabajar, Rober nos llevó a Chera, donde caminamos a unas pozas y por la orilla del pantano. Mientras se ponía el sol, fuimos a una catarata, y apenas con la luz suficiente dimos un pequeño paseo para subir a una cueva que hay en el mismo sitio.

Rober: One afternoon, Jessica and Jacob and I met up to go for a stroll near Requena, starting from my place and heading towards the northern part of town, in the countryside. We had a nice stroll because the weather was really good and we could take pictures and chat quietly while we enjoyed the views. I also wanted them to visit the area of Chera, which has a big lake and several swimming holes. It’s a beautiful outdoor venue worth seeing for that alone, but is also a common place for people from Requena to go in the summer to swim, or for Easter to camp, as my friends and I used to do when we were teenagers.

20190314_182836.jpg
A quick little pose on the rocks for Día a Day./Un pequeño y rápido posado en las rocas para Día a Day.
20190314_185728
On the shores of the reservoir./En la orilla del pantano

Cofrentes

Jessica: La noche que llegamos a Requena, estuvimos riendo durante varias horas con Rober y Diana, intercambiando refranes de nuestros respectivos idiomas. Uno de los españoles, “A quién madruga, Dios le ayuda,” resultó cierto el siguiente sábado cuando madrugamos para llegar a tiempo para una ruta fluvial en barco por el río Júcar. Después del barco, paseamos por Cofrentes y tomamos una cerveza en una terraza con vistas al río Cabriel, ya que en Cofrentes confluyen los ríos Cabriel y Júcar.

Rober: Diana and I wanted to visit the Júcar river route some time ago, so we decided to wait for our Missoula friends to do it. It was a great idea, the canyons around the river are breathtaking, and the tour passes by Castillo de Chirel, so you can see it from the ship. The route goes from Cofrentes to Cortes de Pallás. I was wishing that the tour had a stop in Cortes de Pallás so we could get out and visit this village, but no such luck.

IMG_20190317_105933.jpg
Who’s driving this thing?/¿Quién conduce esto?
20190317_121546.jpg
Beers on the terrace./Unas cervezas en la terraza

Visitas a las Bodegas

Jessica: Rober había organizado la visita a dos catas de vino, una de ellas con la explicación de la bodega y todo el proceso de hacer vino. Las dos fueron de las mejores visitas a bodegas a las que he asistido, con respeto a la información sobre cómo catar el vino correctamente. Aprendimos cómo distinguir los aromas a roble y frutas, y cómo averiguar los grados de alcohol de un vino. También nos enseñaron a calcular la edad del vino por su color, y probamos vino de Bobal (la famosa uva autóctona de Requena) en las tres fases en las que se caracteriza un vino en cuanto al tiempo de maduración: joven, crianza, y reserva.

Rober: According to one of our tour guides, there are more than 100 wineries in Requena. I didn’t expect such a high number! One of the things that I like about having guests is that you go on outings in hometown and find out things that you took for granted. We visited an underground winery located in El Rebollar, a village near Requena. All of their wines are organic and the process for making it is traditional. We bought several delicious wines to drink during the week. We also visited Ferevin, an association of almost 30 important wineries in the area. Nuria, the woman who works there, and her colleague, gave us a lot of information about wines. We tasted 4 different wines, including one sweet one, and a couple of shots.

20190315_200210.jpg
Ferevin is in La Villa and serves wines from all around Requena./Ferevin está en La Villa y tienen vinos de toda la zona de Requena.

 

Looking Back and our Imminent Encounter

More than a year ago, when Jessica proposed we write a joint blog, I had never written anything like that before. I had composed some lyrics in Spanish for bands I’ve played with, but writing a blog was something completely different and new for me, and of course it was something really challenging because I would have to write in English.

I was doubtful at first, but I soon realized it was a great idea. We had been talking on Skype for a few months and we needed to take our writing to the next level. Before talking to her, I had been attending English classes for 6 years, a couple of times a week. At that time I felt that I needed to leave the classes and find a language exchange partner, since I didn’t feel fluent at all. I found Jessica on italki.com and we started talking twice a week. So, when she suggested the blog, I realized I had been really focused on talking and had set aside other important skills.

20180920_104338
Photo from Ratatouille de mi Huerto, by Jessica

 

I was doubtful at first, but I soon realized it was a great idea. We had been talking on Skype for a few months and we needed to take our writing to the next level. Before talking to her, I had been attending English classes for 6 years, a couple of times a week. At that time I felt that I needed to leave the classes and find a language exchange partner, since I didn’t feel fluent at all. I found Jessica on italki.com and we started talking twice a week. So, when she suggested the blog, I realized I had been really focused on talking and had set aside other important skills.

Apart from writing our own posts, we edit each others’, we write and respond to interview questions, we take pictures, etc..–all these things take quite a bit of time. Fortunately, it’s pretty interesting to take outings where you end up having fun and learning something more than a language. As we work our way through unique experiences in our local areas, we often discover things about familiar surroundings that we didn’t know, or we visit places or do activities we wouldn’t usually do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Photo from A Walk Around Requena, by Rober

As you’ve seen in our posts, when Jessica or I go for an outing, we’re often accompanied by our respective partners, Jacob and Diana. Well, we’re excited to announce that, in a few days, the four of us will have the opportunity to do new activities all together! Later this week, we are finally going to meet in person!

Where will the encounter take place? Missoula? Requena? What activities do we have planned? If you are intrigued and you want to know how this new adventure is going to end up, stay tuned because we will keep you informed. See you in …

Photo Jul 02, 4 11 24 PM

IMG_20181021_130028.jpg
Our partners (and some friends) also participate in our posts