«Oh, what a beautiful morning!» Singing at the top of my lungs, probably scaring the early daylight of the neighbors, I opened the doors leading out onto the patio. It was bathed in the morning sun, as was the garden, the pool, treacherously inviting, but cool, and the rest of L’Alfas del Pi and the part of the world that I was able to see.
Which was all that mattered right now. Living in a happy bubble for a couple of weeks, indulging in work and adventure, the rest of the world seemed far away. After the morning shift, we drove down the now familiar road through Alfas and made a left towards Altea, to experience the local farmer’s market.
The little street at the foot of the hill, was packed with people, buying ingredients for today’s dinner, or just enjoying the colorful displays of fruits, vegetables, flowers and other produce. People were friendly and smiling, and the vendors, forthcoming, did their best to understand our halting attempts at Spanish, and when we got stuck, spoke English or sometimes even astonished us by speaking a very tolerable Norwegian… Which, of course, should not come as a surprise, considering the fact that about a quarter of the municipality of L’Alfas del Pi’s 20 000 residents are Norwegian.
We strolled up and down several streets, taking in the relaxed feel of the former bohemian town. Which was even more tangible when we entered the Ciudad antigua, with houses clinging to the hill on all sides, like seashells on an underwater rock. Separated by crooked streets, leading this way and that, making you feel like walking within a maze. The difference being, that ever so often, the lanes opened up and the houses gave room for a square or a view over the turquoise colored ocean down below. On top of the hill was a plateau with outdoor cafés and restaurants, and the church, Nuestra Senora del Consuela, with its spectacular, white and blue ceramic dome.
Having had glimpses and full views of the beautiful Altea bay so many times during the day, a dip in the sea was inevitable for some of us. As a compulsory impulse bather, there was now room for hesitation or restricting inhibitions, even though the bathing gear was in the suitcase back at the house. Stripping down to the bare essentials, I threw myself out into the waves. Whereupon they promptly threw me back to shore! I had obviously underestimated the force of them and the underwater currents, and ended up tumbled and a little bruised from the encounter with rock bottom, so to speak, but happy.
The afternoon shift started when we got back home, and lasted long into the evening, just interrupted by a delicious meal made using ingredients from the market and a few, definitely health-brining sips of organically, if not locally, produced 2009 Sangre de Toro.

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