I usually go to a market on Saturday morning when I’m staying here in Spain with Linda and George. This time Linda gave me a choice and her description of Xalo and the drive there made it a clear choice – and also I hadn’t been there before! Xalo is the local Valencian name but it’s also known as Jalon – the Castilian name; Castilian being what we know as ‘Spanish’.
Linda told me that one of the loveliest times to drive through the Xalo Valley is in February when the almond trees are in blossom. This is apparently stunning. There are also olive and citrus trees and vines.
We set off quite early to avoid the crowds. The car park was almost empty; the cost just €1 for parking there. Walking down into the main road there was a vegetable and fruit stall set up by the side of the road and another with local honey.
In fact, the market isn’t really a food one but is full of stalls selling antiques and crafts.
I saw some lovely Art Deco style pastry forks and spoons. I wasn’t sure if they were really silver – they had some stamps on the back but different to anything I’d seen before. Anyway, I knew I didn’t need to bring these home – but it was nice seeing them.
However, I couldn’t resist buying a small piece of amethyst and silver jewellery from this stall and the woman was so friendly, it made the buying all the more pleasurable.
I really enjoyed looking round the market. Sometimes this kind of market can be disappointing but there were some genuinely nice things to look at. Linda then suggested visiting the local wine cooperative’s bodega.
This was great too. Bottles of local wine to buy and a small food section with local olive oils, honey and other foods.
I bought some local cava for us to have one evening and a few things to take home as gifts. It was then decided we should move on to Benissa, heading homewards, where we could do some food shopping.
We stopped first in a bar for a coffee – a cortado.
While we were drinking it we suddenly heard music and a band of people dressed in white tunics marched past. Outside we discovered they were Hungarian. We had no idea why there were there but it was great fun.
The most important thing to buy was oranges. This region of Spain near Valenicia is famous for its oranges. George squeezes them into juice for breakfast. An aficionado of oranges after so many years in Spain, he swears that Paco and Sandra’s are the best. They grow them organically on land outside Denia. I know from my years coming here they are very special, the juice sweet and flavourful.
We bought other fruit and vegetables. I bought some dried herbs to bring home. Then it was time to head back to the house for lunch. We’d had a lovely morning and done a lot. So the afternoon was spent more leisurely by the pool and relaxing … before heading out tonight for a meal and live jazz.