The city’s yet new, but weekend nature escapes feel just right. This time, amiga Maite invites me to el Delta del Ebro, Ebre en Catalan.
I have (very) vague memories of Histories of Spain 365 with Chris. There was some mention that the Peninsula was drier than you might expect, and I’m sure there was a quiz question about the major rivers that I missed. I do remember the name Ebro, though. The etymology of Iberian derives from it.
Where fresh meets salt, the shallowest of islands are swallowed up in seagulls. The short cruise we take doesn’t swing by close enough for a proper shot of the birds, but I’m pretty sure I note a faint “Mine? Mine?” in the humid air anyway.
Post-boat, we head to Casa de Fusta, an institution in the Delta since 1926. The whole area is covered in swampy rice fields; the grains here are so renowned they actually carry their own D.O.P. to ensure the enthusiast of quality.
We split the menú de desgustación plus a few extra special entrantes between the table. The menú is a wide amalgamation of goodies from the sea, including brandada de bacalao, cigalas y sepia con cebolla y patatas, y arroz caldoso con rape y langostinos.
I’ve been promised that one may enjoy ortiguillas rebozadas – fried anemone – in this area, and so request it. They’re the mysterious breaded gooballs pictured above. Ñam!
The terrain here is so flat that people build lookout points to be able to take a proper survey. There are 316 species of birds that make the Delta their home. Elongated necks and beaks can be seen picking about the fields from up here for kilometers.
Post-rice feast, we take a much needed long walk on Playa de la Marquesa.
Sea to one side, rice to the other, and this tiny strip of sand in between.
Weekends are just so much longer this way.