Last Day at the Villa

July 24, 2018 - Priego de Córdoba, Spain

Will, Bex and Charlie left early and the rest of us had our usual extended and unchoreographed breakfast in the courtyard. David, Sarah and I decided to go into Priego de Cordoba, the nearest large town, about twenty minutes' drive away.

It was quite busy, and although we found a spot to park near the town hall, when we deciphered the sign, we decided it said that we could only park there for about 15 minutes. So we drove on up the hill and found a vacant lot where we could pay to park for as long as we wanted.

We found a little place for lunch but the food was rather disappointing. We were not tempted by the House Specialty, the fried pig's testicles. David had a ham and pork roll, Sarah a Russian salad, and I had ham croquettes and salad. Sounds okay but was very ordinary.

We set off to explore, but didn't venture very far; we were content to stroll through some very pretty streets and enjoy looking at the fronts and decorative doorways of what were evidently quite up-market houses. We arrived in a beautiful tree-lined square, the Square of the Kings, with plenty of seats on which to sit and enjoy the surroundings. It is dominated by a very large 'pond' (the word doesn't do it justice) in the centre of which is a sculpture of Poseidon (Neptune), the god of the sea, with his wife Amphitrite. They are on a chariot being drawn by horses. This is the Fuente del Rey - Fountain of the King - which was built in the Baroque style between the 16th and 19th centuries. It consists of three basins on descending levels, and the water flows over a set of steps between each level. It also has over 130 decorative spouts spilling water into each of the pools.

This is a town which would be well worth exploring at length - it has the usual mixture of Moorish and Christian architecture, lovely old streets filled with white-washed houses and flower baskets, and apparently a number of good restaurants. Perhaps somewhere to stay on our next trip!

On our way back to the villa we stopped at Las Lagunillas and bought a cooked chicken to add to the dwindling left-overs which were to constitute our dinner. Caroline, Florence, Elouise and Felix were catching a plane at 11.30 and Tom was driving them to Malaga, but at least they were able to share our dinner in the courtyard. It was very sad saying goodbye to them as well. The time has gone so quickly.

Being our last night I decided I needed some more sunset photos, and Matt and Rachel walked down the drive with me to photograph the villa from the road, as well as some of the views of and between the olive trees. They went back before me, but I continued onwards and upwards, and after a little while David joined me. I think we got some good pictures looking down on the villa.

I have so far forgotten to tell the story of the abandoned swallow. In the laundry is a nest in which there are four baby swallows, and mum or dad fly in and out regularly to feed them. A few days ago I found a baby swallow cowering beside a pot plant in the courtyard and looking very disconsolate. I put down a bottletop full of water but understandably it didn't seem to know what to do with it. Eventually I picked it up and Matt climbed on a chair to put it back in the nest. Next day I heard 'cheep cheep' in my living room and there it was again, sitting on the floor nearly under the lounge. Matt put it back again but we were beginning to despair of its survival. Tonight Matt told us that the caretakers had taken it to hand-raise, something they apparently have to do each year. We were all very relieved. It's strange how such a tiny thing can can elicit such sympathy.

Back on track. After dinner, those of us who were left - us, the Canadians and Emily (Finn and Isla had gone to bed) sat around talking and for some reason I mentioned that Michael Mosely had said  it was very hard to stand on one leg with your eyes shut. A few people had a go, then more joined in. The champion by far was Sophie who looked as if she could have stood there all night! Then Emily came up with a game which involved putting an empty cereal packet on the ground then, with your hands behind your back, bending down to pick up the packet with your teeth. After each round, the top few inches were torn off the packet, making you bend lower to pick it up. The men chickened out, but the rest of us had a hilarious time. Emily and Lucie were the undefeated champions, succeeding in picking up the packet when only about an inch of it remained.

By the time Tom came back, we were all ready for bed.


1 Comment

Sarah:
August 12, 2018
So fun to remember Mum, thanks for capturing a lovely day
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