Olvera

TRAVELING SALESMEN

Olvera is such a small town that it doesn't have many stores. (And to tell the truth the economic downturn has probably reduced the number of viable businesses as well).  So like in small places elsewhere, a weekly market that consists of traveling salesmen (and women) becomes a hub of activity.

This particular one blocks the roads up to the cathedral hill where we live, so what else to do than go down and buy underpants, shorts for Dante and a big bag of gummy bears from the spice man? And since it was a nice hot day we stopped at Cafe Pepe for Fantas.

 

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At Cafe Pepe

At Cafe Pepe

Am I getting old? I though this dress was pretty funky. But it was a size 44! 

Am I getting old? I though this dress was pretty funky. But it was a size 44! 

WORLD OLIVE OIL CAPITAL

We attended a fair last week - and it was so interesting, the fair was ALL about olive oil. Cadiz province is the olive oil capital of the world, and it shows - there are olive groves everywhere.   I once again, learned more about what I don't know, for example that there are dozens of varieties of olives (like apples) and subsequently there are numerous varieties of olive oil (like different wines). So we walked around the fair tasting different products and then we of course bought some: olives, olive oil, local cheese in olive oil, some baked goods and some sausage for Dante.

We attended a fair last week - and it was so interesting, the fair was ALL about olive oil. Cadiz province is the olive oil capital of the world, and it shows - there are olive groves everywhere.

I once again, learned more about what I don't know, for example that there are dozens of varieties of olives (like apples) and subsequently there are numerous varieties of olive oil (like different wines). So we walked around the fair tasting different products and then we of course bought some: olives, olive oil, local cheese in olive oil, some baked goods and some sausage for Dante.

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Olive groves, olive groves. The olive trees bear fruit once a year, and harvest time is generally between November and February.  

Olive groves, olive groves. The olive trees bear fruit once a year, and harvest time is generally between November and February.  

 

Olives are important in Cadiz, and I noticed that many olive plantations are behind barbed wires. I asked if olive theft is an issue and it is! Apparently people drive trucks into the groves in remote areas and fill them with olives in the middle of the night. This has given birth to a new profession: olive wardens - people who go and literally sleep in the fields to prevent theft. Their campfires can be seen afar. Even though I adore the Andalusian landscapes, I do not envy this job - the harvest months are the coldest, and wettest of the year.

For my fellow opera nuts it should be noted that we are currently in ground zero Carmen-land. The opera takes place in Seville which is an hour and a half away. I am sure that the second act, with Lillas Pastia's bodega was already at this end of town, and the third act where the bandits have a mountain hideaway is surely somewhere just around the corner from us here in Olvera. And maybe the smugglers' contraband du jour is olives?

Our meal after the fair. Olives, dunking bread in olive oil and balsamico. Veggies and hummus. Local cheese and fruit.

Our meal after the fair. Olives, dunking bread in olive oil and balsamico. Veggies and hummus. Local cheese and fruit.

VERY TIRED AND VERY HAPPY

We are in Andalusia! After a looong day flying from Vancouver to Toronto to Zurich to Malaga and driving two hours to Olvera we have settled into our place. It is so beautiful here - I am happy to report that nothing has changed since I was here last in 1992. The white towns are white, gorgeous, and the wise people here continue to make sure they don't get messed up. An excellent argument for strict and restrictive town planning - which I often do not advocate... 

 

View to the valley in front of our house. My mind just rests when I see this. 

View to the valley in front of our house. My mind just rests when I see this. 

View towards the City from our door. We are in a no cars area, in the Old Town of Olvera.

View towards the City from our door. We are in a no cars area, in the Old Town of Olvera.

Our first dinner in Spain. The Spartan menu is due to the fact that we arrived on a Sunday and cannot buy anything, and also cannot eat out. Everything is closed, with the exception of a little bakery where we got bread and cheese, a jar of pickles for Lili and bottle of wine for Dante. And there we sat, still groggy from all the travel and admired the evening sun. 

Our first dinner in Spain. The Spartan menu is due to the fact that we arrived on a Sunday and cannot buy anything, and also cannot eat out. Everything is closed, with the exception of a little bakery where we got bread and cheese, a jar of pickles for Lili and bottle of wine for Dante. And there we sat, still groggy from all the travel and admired the evening sun.