For any that have read my previous post Up, Up and Away, you will know that I have recently been on a holiday in the sun to Spain. I was soon to realise, that my anxiety was the least of my challenges on this adventure.
It was a bit of a worry for me leading up to the trip, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be on holiday. It is the first time that I have been on holiday somewhere really hot.
Previous holidays have been busy, with lots of trips and sightseeing. This time it was to really experiance the Spanish lifestyle as we were staying with friends in their house. This is always the worst thing for me, as I am not good around people that don’t know I have anxiety. This is because when I get anxious, I like to take myself away and deal with it, but I can’t with others around.
We arrived in Madrid Airport to a balmy 30 degrees, where everyone was milling around looking for bags and loved ones. We soon spotted our friend and host for the next 9 days, Ventura. He was also going to drive us the 4 hours to Denia in the east of Spain.
Now I haven’t really delved too much into the Spanish way of life. I don’t want the Ibiza type of holiday which as Ventura put it ‘Is the little England and New York in Spain’. I don’t see the point of going to another country and then trying to make it like home but with sun. People looking for a full English breakfast and a local nightclub while getting drunk on cheap beer. What I experianced was not at all as I expected.
I want to see the local places and sample the local foods. The latter was to take me to the limit of my food comfort zone. The first stop was roughly half way to Denia, in a motorway service station. This is not the greasy, poorly cooked examples you would find in the UK. This was a huge restaurant with nice dining area and polite staff.
The menu was not surprisingly in Spanish. Ventura recommended the local pork chops and both my wife and I decided to try it. Our friend had fish that came in a big round slice covered in batter. Our pork was delicious and full of flavour. This was the first of many times that our host would introduce us to local food and drink.
A couple of hours later, we would arrive in the beautiful coastal town of Denia. This is where we would begin our amazing holiday. Not only would there be hot sun and great beaches, but also delicious local food and a few surprises.