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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

Adra (because it's there)
24 December 2020 @ 07:37

Over the years, I have visited many parts of Spain. I've studied in Seville, lived in Madrid, spent long hospital time with my late wife in Pamplona and, during the nineties, run offices in various pueblos on the costas, which necessitated regular visits (and a lot of aspirins). There was also an office in Mojácar, the town that I have called 'home' for most of my life. I know the province of Almería pretty well, with the last few years spent living just outside the capital, and, of course, I've made endless trips to various towns and villages over the past fifty years.
But, until now, I had never been to Adra.
This hardly makes me unique. No one has ever been to Adra.
Adra, at 25,000 inhabitants, is the large fishing port that signals the end of Almería when heading along the Mediterranean west into Granada and Málaga. In the old days, it was a turn-off from another switch-back curve on the ghastly road between Almería and Málaga (there were 1,060 of those horrible switch-backs, as the old N340 curved and wiggled through the sharp hills above the coast-line), but now the fishing town of Adra is close to the bright new motorway. There is still little inclination to visit the place, which, as I finally discovered this weekend, is a shame.
According to Wiki (we couldn't find a tourist office), Adra is the fourth oldest town in Spain, founded in 1520BC. Let see... it was originally called Abdera by the Carthaginians, was flattened by an earthquake in 881, yadda yadda, it had the first steam engine in Spain and is a big fishing port...
Yep, the man from the Wiki clearly hasn't visited the place either. Confusingly, Google gives more space to another Adra, which is an agency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (and may help to explain why no one ever visits).
Anyhow; in the spirit of 'because it's there'. I went with my pareja to give the car a good growl, see the sights, buy a 'He who is tired of Adra is tired of Life' bumper sticker, and hopefully enjoy a good fishy lunch. The road to Adra, designed apparently by more of the school of those who only know the town through its motto: 'En Adra, perro que no muerde, ladra' (the dog that doesn't bite you, barks at you instead), swings you in through and out in a confusing swirl, but then, as your heart sinks and you wonder whether the next town down, Motril, might be open for business, the planners relent and bring you back down to the harbour.
That day, there was by chance a flea market. We walked around, admiring a stand selling Franco memorabilia, and eventually, while looking for a bullfight poster for a friend, we bought a couple of naïf pictures from another dealer. They look great in our kitchen.
Adra appears to be a place that is worth getting to know, or maybe a great place to hide, as nobody would ever think of looking for you there. It's probably chock-full of museums and interesting relics and buildings, plus a few wanted counterfeiters and smugglers (the murderers prefer Marbella, obviously), but we were there principally for a cold beer and a warm fish-head.
Alicia didn't want to eat in the Club Náutico (you can never go wrong in a Club Náutico in my opinion) so we walked past some dowdy looking places, including a joint that described itself from outside as 'American/Italian', before alighting on the Taberna La Granja, a splendid and atmospheric bar/restaurant in a back street. We ate a satisfyingly expensive lunch there, served by the owner himself (intrigfued, no doubt, in meeting the first visitors to the town in decades) and returned, replete, to the car.
La Granja - and you are on your own here - has a great Tarta de Whisky. The owner pours half a bottle of scotch over it to make sure that it meets with the diner's approval.
Worked for me, although I may have got a speeding ticket while we were driving home...



Like 1




2 Comments


PablodeRonda said:
25 December 2020 @ 09:50

Very entertaining piece. Keep 'em coming!


Feia3 said:
27 December 2020 @ 18:29

Thanks for that! It is a lifestyle we are dreaming about, but how free you feel to travel now with all risks and restrictions due to Covid?



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