Joe and I went house hunting this morning with Marilo from the Housing Dept. The housing office is great here at Moron, they drive you around in a big van to the nearby towns and show you a number of homes that you have chosen from a book of available properties.
Our first stop was Utrera, a town about 15 miles west of the Air Base. There were two other people searching with us this morning and they were looking at a few townhouses and apartments in Utrera. Utrera is a relatively large village town that is rather industrial-looking on the outskirts. Joe and I weren’t very interested in Utrera, it was a little larger than what we were looking for. After the trip to Utrera we headed to the town of Moron de la Frontera, a quaint Spanish town about 10 miles east of the Air Base. The only house we were set to look at this morning ended up being perfect for us. A huge old Spanish style home with stained glass doors, 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a large living room, dining room, tons of storage, 4 patios, large yard with gardens, private pool and a few fruit trees. We loved it from the minute we saw it. It’s set back from the street and maintained by a couple that lives in a gate house at the entrance of the home. We can walk to the local market, Eroski, very similar to Walmart, as well as other downtown Moron businesses. The neighborhood surrounding the house is quiet and is close enough to the village as well as being a short commute to work for Joe. There is plenty of room for guests as well as huge patios for parties and barbecues. The best news is that the house was well within our housing allowance and is much bigger than we imagined we would find.
We are signing the lease on Tues. morning and are hoping to move in a week from today. Once we move in I will take tons of photos to post.
This afternoon Joe and I had a few more things to take care of, his consisting of in-processing tasks and mine including renting a car for a month, since our car won’t arrive until mid-March. After an afternoon siesta from 5 – 7 PM (as is customary in Spain), Joe and I drove back into Moron de la Frontera for dinner and to wander around our new village.
Our town is so perfectly European with small, winding streets lined with Valencia orange trees, pedestrian only historical areas surrounding old cathedrals and buildings and plenty of friendly bars and tapas restaurants.
Moron is gearing up for Carnaval (hence the Mardi Gras mask lights hanging on the Avenida. Carnaval is Spain’s version of Mardi Gras and attracts tourists from all over the country. Currently Carnaval is being celebrated in Cadiz, with the 3rd largest celebration, only trailing behind Rio de Janeiro and Trinidad. Next week, Moron will celebrate their Carnaval with parades, concerts and celebrations. Joe and I are heading to Cadiz tomorrow (about 1.5 hours southwest) to try to experience some of their last few days of Carnaval.
Joe and I wandered around from 8 – 9 PM and then finally stumbled upon a cute tapas bar in Northern Moron. At 9:30 PM there were two tables empty in this small bar/restaurant of about 10 family-size tables. We did our best to decipher the menu with an outdated Spanish dictionary and a handout from the base library about local tapas. We ended up ordering a ensaladilla (a delicious mayonnaise based potato/chicken/egg salad), papas bravas (potatoes pan fried and served drizzled with a mayo and mustard sauce), croquetas (almost mozzarella sticks but filled with a meat and cheese mix and fried), and a serranito de pollo (a crunchy grilled sandwich with a thin chicken breast, slice of ham and fresh, flattened bell pepper). The food was delicious and it was awesome to taste a little bit of many different things. Joe had a beer and a Coke and I had a water and our bill was only 11 Euro. Quite a deal!
Check back in a few days for pictures from Cadiz.