Procession of Our Lady of Hope and Peace
May 2, 2017
After weeks of bright blue, cloudless skies we have woken to grey clouds wreathing the tops of the hills and mountains surrounding us. Edges of the clouds are a deep grey, the wind is blowing with a cold chill so we may be in for some rain!
Now back to Easter. On Good Friday we had dinner out at the mussel restaurant that is hidden away in the Old Town with friends Bette and Andy. After eating plates of steamed mussels and mussels covered in a yummy cheese sauce we went hunting for a spot to watch the religious Easter parade. We found ourselves a great position in a tiny Spanish bar on the narrow street that led down from the church. The parade of ‘Our Lady of Hope and Peace’ slowly marched past with men and women carrying the ornate, flower decked floats, holding the life size statues of Mary and Jesus. The perfume from the flowers on the floats, especially the lilies, was overpowering as the procession moved slowly past our spot.
The Brotherhoods and Fraternities that take part in the procession have been preparing their displays of piety and devotion for many months. Their robes and pointed hoods do resemble the Klu Klux Klan but these outfits first appeared in 1521, centuries before the KKK was even thought of. They are worn as a sign of penance for their sins.
For over an hour we sat comfortably in the bar watching this amazing religious festival before we could make our way back onto the street.
Our Easter was a little sparse of Easter eggs as the Spanish don’t have them as part of their Easter celebrations. I did find a small bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs on my travels so that was our Easter treat. The Spanish have a sweet bread with a pink or blue painted hard boiled egg in the middle of it, similar to the Greeks, as their treat.
We had a lovely lunch at Joy and Trevor’s new home on Raco campsite. We hope that you will both be very happy there.
I have been enjoying walking with our friend Edna. The two of us took a bus ride in Albir and walked all along the front to Altea then up the steep, narrow streets, to visit the famous church with its blue and white tiled domes that sits high on this hill top town. Although the church only dates from the 19th century there has been a place of worship on this spot for over 900 years. From this point, high up in the town, we had a fantastic view of the bay. Next we walked the length of Benidorm's two beautiful sandy beaches, Levante and Poniente, and over a rocky outcrop to La Calla, a tiny little rocky bay with a sandy beach just a stones throw from Benidorm. After stopping for a bite to eat, all washed down with a glass of cold, white wine we would make our way home. After our walks Edna was always as fresh as a daisy, still raring to go, where I would just want to put my feet up, rest and enjoy a cup of tea!
We had a fabulous meal out with friends at a restaurant called ‘Sun Garden’ in Albir, just a 10 minute drive from Benidorm. It was yet another farewell, this time to Frank, Mary and Edna. We have eaten at this restaurant before and always provides excellent food and service. The Tapas Platter that I and Paul both ordered was a gastronomic delight. The large square platter held garlic prawns, melt in the mouth smoked salmon with a light mustard dressing, Brussels pate with a fruit compote, chicken with a balsamic dressing and an edible basket of salad leaves with crispy bacon, lightly coated in a homemade dressing, and that was just our first course!!
The campsite is now emptying again after the busy school holidays. Our neighbours have changed a few times and today we have a Finnish couple on one side of us and a Dutch family on the other.
That's all our news for now.
Liz and Paul x