It’s not that easy to get a plate of vegetables in Spain when dining in restaurants. A salad is generally easy and there’s always potatoes but just a plate of vegetables is not so easy. Denise has discovered this a few times. Whenever she orders something that boasts that it comes with vegetables, it invariably means it comes with a few slices of spud.
Today Mirinda found a whole plate of grilled vegetables in a fantastic restaurant which boasted having a panoramic terrace and definitely delivered.
This was after a bit of a wander around both the old and the outskirts of the new Vejer de la Frontera.
Vejer has been here quite a while. There’s archaeological evidence of prehistoric habitation dating back quite a long time but the first concrete evidence of a permanent population is that of a Roman villa on top of the hill.
Moving along to the year 711AD and we find that someone called Rodrigo was defeated by a North African called Tarik here. Tarik took up residence with his troops and was here for about 500 years. Not Tarik, obviously, but his Muslim descendants.
Then, in 1250 the Christians came along, attacked it and decided it needed to worship a god of another faith. This reign, however, didn’t last long because the Moors fought back and returned it all to Islam in 1264.
There followed a bit of argy bargy with first Christians then Muslims taking control. Obviously the people all stayed the same, tending their fields, having more people, changing their icons regularly. This time of mayhem eventually came to an end in 1307.
Christian King Fernando IV granted a fellow called Guzman the town and jurisdiction over everyone for miles around. Guzman was nicknamed ‘the Good’ and he and his kin ruled the entire south of Spain through the 15th and 16th centuries, second only to the king.
Then the final Guzman decided he was more important than anyone and took away the peasant’s privileges which made them revolt. This went on for quite a few years until it was settled in the law courts and the privileges were restored. And now a lottery is held every four years and the land gets swapped around between the inhabitants.
And, no, I don’t understand that last bit either.
One of the odder things about Vejer de la Frontera is the scary looking women who seem to inhabit the town. They are sometimes standing at lookouts, other times against the walls, also in shops. They wear a strange outfit that covers them completely apart from a tiny slit at the head so they can see out but only with one eye.
These women are wearing the traditional subjugation outfit. I don’t know what it’s called beyond a big black bin bag but the women wearing them are called El Cobijao. And it looks horrendous. Whenever I see anything like this I wonder first why on earth men think it’s acceptable and then why women put up with wearing them.
But, moving right on along…
The day started with a rather wasted walk down to the TIC in order to get bus tickets for tomorrow. It turns out that the mysterious Comes bus 903 that goes from Barca de Vejer to Malagar does not exist. It could be run by a different bus company but who knows. The woman at the TIC suggested that we could pay on the bus but it would be a risk as to whether there’d be seats.
(The website Rome2Rio needs to look at this route and change it!)
Some things are really easy, I have no idea why this has to be so difficult. So, instead of a direct route, we bought tickets back to Cadiz and we’ll then get a train. Denise was happier with this because she can read on a train as opposed to a bus.
All of that aside, we wandered around, found somewhere for a drink when all the town’s bells announced beer o’clock then tried to visit a few sites.
The big church on the hill was a complete waste because it only opens Monday to Wednesday (it’s Thursday today). The Castle was closed to reopen in the late afternoon and the museum was…well not to put too fine a point on it…it was small. And, according to both Mirinda and Denise, had a transvestite handing out tickets.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The main thing we had to do today, as our host Wim told us yesterday, was to get lost in the old town. We managed it easily.
It’s also very important to note that the weather has returned to the perfect it has been for most of our holiday. Hopefully it will last till tomorrow night when we go home.
After a bit of a siesta, we headed out for a trip to what has become known as The Gary Shop. It was my first time but Mirinda and Denise found it when I was wrestling with booking our bus tickets. It sells meat, cheese, wine, port, in fact everything that is good in this world.
Denise claimed it looked like diamonds and, in some strange metaphysical way, I guess it did.
We bought some stuff then headed to a bar we quite fancied. Apart from it being cool and funky it also featured a football game with my new team FC Cadiz, playing. They were winning 2-1 as we left.
We then wandered down to Cafir, a rather up market Moroccan restaurant that was recommended to us by Wim, our host.
Leaving aside the fact that quite a few of the staff were rather abrupt and sometimes just rude, the whole place was amazing. The food was excellent as well, though some of us were still a bit full from lunch and couldn’t finish her lamb.
Speaking of Denise, as we walked down the final bit of entrance into the restaurant (it’s down about five streets and eight miles, she suddenly exclaimed that she’d been there before! And she had on her previous visit to Vejer. Apparently it hasn’t changed much.
On our slow walk back to our rooms I thought I caught a glimpse of Polly and Dennis but it was only the Germans in the room next to ours racing up the hill in that way that the under 30’s can.
Oh, and the castle didn’t reopen because we read the sign wrong.