After sprinting through Barcelona we are taking a nice 3 week reprieve in Jimena de la Frontera, Spain, giving us plenty of time to rest and do schooling and enjoy life on our quiet, little, no-car street. Every morning we wake up at around 8:30 because it is still incredibly dark outside. We plan the rest of our day including some homeschooling and exploring. Then the honking starts and it goes like this: “beep beep beep beeeeeep beep beeeeeeeep…” and about a second later a woman starts screaming in rapid Spanish. At first we thought some person was honking like crazy and a woman was screaming at them. This proved to be very comical once we heard the same series of honking and then could expect the same screaming and we laughed about it every time, imagining all the things she was yelling. My parents came back from the bakery one morning with the news that this lady just stops her truck in the road, honks a bunch, and starts screaming that she has fresh fish for sale! And yes, it is still hilarious.
Once homeschooling is over we do plenty of exploring. We have gone up to the fort at the top of the hill that overlooks the village. We can even see Gibraltar from there.
As a day trip we planned going to the ruins of an old roman city in Bolonia. The sheer age of the statues and rocks and pillars that are still standing never cease to amaze me. The museum was very well presented and very modern, which was funny considering it was standing next to and showcasing 2,000 year old artifacts. All citizens of the EU are free since the European Union supports this museum and we did not have to pay, except for papa (a mere €1.50!) We ate at a little restaurant overlooking the beach and its windsurfers and bulls, which were just wandering around completely free. This was a little unsettling, but they never strayed far from the grassy areas so that was good! We had a great time in the waves afterwards!
After seeing a poster for a horse ranch named Rancho Los Lobos we checked it out and discovered that it was a really charming compound, with little apartments for vacations, a swimming pool, communal kitchen, and the highlight: 6 horses! Suzanne, the manager and caretaker, is from Switzerland so she can speak perfect German and is really nice. We talked and Mama said we could each have a half hour of riding lessons on Thursday and then we did. We learned how to brush them, saddle them, and finally we rode them. Audrey and I rode Estrella, a small white one and Emilia and Josephine rode a huge black one named Olivero. He was so big we were surprised he felt anything on his back at all! Later we were allowed to take a quiet dip in the pool during siesta. 2 hours of horse back riding and a splash in the pool is a great way to spend €50 in my opinion!
To top it all off we packed a baguette, some cheese, and ham into our backpacks one night and had dinner on the top of the fort. Later the stars came out and we tried to name the constellations, using our imaginations and an app named Star Walk, which can tell where you are and tell you all of the constellations you are looking at with no internet. It’s very cool to explore, especially for kids, and it gives you a ton of information on anything in the night sky!
Soon some larger day trips will ensue, including Ronda, Sevilla, and Grenada!