Another grey day in the valley that we could, perhaps, escape, if we headed for the coast. Our chosen target this time was Jávea/Xàbia which, I think, is another Brit stronghold a little further north up the Mediterranean coast. Before we get there, though a little linguistic digression/question.
The accent mark over some Spanish vowels doesn’t change the sound, as such, but is a stress mark. Now, I couldn’t help but notice that in Jávea, the regular Spanish (i.e. Castillian), it’s an “acute” accent mark, whereas in Xàbia (i.e. Valenciana), it’s a “grave” accent mark. I then wondered if this was a language difference, Castillian versus Valenciana. that falls down, though, when I look at Jalón (Castillian) and Xaló (Valenciana). Now I’m really confused. If anyone finds out, do please let me know. Anyway …
Jávea/Xàbia did not disappoint – the sun was shining. There was a moderate breeze blowing the usually calm Mediterranean up into cresting waves crashing onto the stoney beach. The foam from the top of the waves fizzed almost inaudibly as the bubbles burst. There followed a delightful trickling noise as the water percolated back over the small, round pebbles into the sea, ready for the process to start all over again. I could have just sat, closed my eyes and listened all afternoon.
I didn’t just sit and listen, though, and it was just as well. We wandered along to the harbour area where we stumbled across a gaggle of people, banners and hubbub. We could hear what sounded like an auction emanating from the fish market building. The banner announced “Xàbia al Plat Mariner”, a sort of a seafood fest. We went in to find several stalls handing out food though folks appeared to handing over tickets rather than money for the tasty morcels. A little further study revealed that we were to buy tickets outside, €2 per tapa, €1.50 for a glass of vino, and exchange them inside for our chosen delicacies. We opted for 4 tapas and a glass of vino each.
Our first irresistible item was a “mini hamburguesa de sepia con pan de tinta” which, I believe, translates as “small cuttlefish hamburger with bread coloured with its ink”. It was utterly delicious. Given that this Parador de Jávea seemed so skilled, we couldn’t resist trying their other offering, “pastel de gallineta con gambas y salsa de cítricos” which was, I think a “mousse of guinea-fowl with prawns with a citrus fruit sauce”; again, delicious.
It certainly didn’t go downhill from there but those two offerings were so good that all others were going to be struggling a little, I thought. This pulpo a la plancha [grilled octopus] was very good, though. 😀
We wandered back listening once again to the hypnotic crash of waves and trickle of water on the beach. A swift visit into the uniquely designed church – it resembles a ship’s bow – swapped the sound of water for the sound of classical music as a rehearsal for an upcoming Mozart concert was in progress. Returning again to the promenade, a coffee delayed our departure a little longer.