Turning on the street decorations is a big deal, and in Antequera this happened on 3 December. We even got a token string of lights here in Cuesta Real. Ashleigh, Max´s niece, arrived here on the 5th, and it was time to decorate our own house in the spirit of things.
During the next week we bought in supplies of turrón (local nougat), mantecados (those famous biscuits), and chocolate coated almonds, as well as exotic things for the turkey stuffing, and bottles of Faustino V, as recommended by Bernardo. I returned to Antonio´s to collect the bird (with Max, who was in charge of carrying the beast home). It was crazy alright, even at 9am. We waited again, and yes they had my turkey. It was enormous. They must have seen my face. Would I like a smaller one. Vale. They just happened to have one out the back. I then asked for something to make the stock with. Without a thought, Antonio hacked into the rejected 8kg turkey, presenting me with the chest bones and offering me a chunk of pork fat to go with it. Stock is taken very seriously here.
The Cahorros walk is well known locally for its steps, swing bridges and rock tunnels. It takes you through a river gorge and into the craggy nearby mountains.
Two very excited boys on Christmas morning.
Max and I relaxing a little during the present opening ceremony.
We spent a lovely couple of days on the mountain, about an hour's drive from Monachil - one day just playing in the snow and looking around the mountain village, and another day skiing.
As you all know, New Year follows Christmas, and for this we joined Brian & Sal up in Madrid. We spent a great week enjoying the sights of this fantastic European city, visiting the galleries, the parks and the not-to-be-missed ice sculptures.
The Plaza Mayor is the biggest square in Madrid, but...
We enjoyed some great food and had fun partaking in all the customs the Spanish indulge in at this time of the year - like eating a grape for each toll of the bell at midnight on New Year's Eve. We were glued to the live broadcast from Puerta del Sol, which was packed with partygoers, watching the TV presenters before apparently going out and partying until about the 2nd. We stayed up for a couple of hours, making phone calls mostly, before the thought of the boys waking up at 8am sent us upstairs.