Briwat & Frog Legs (Patas de Rana)

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

WE RETURNED LAST night to Santorini’s (click here if you don’t already know about our favorite Greek restaurant). We had our usual (and, as usual, exceptional) dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and other exceptional Greek dishes. But, because it’s Ramadan this month, the owners (originally from Morocco) had many Moroccan dishes to share. We got to sample briwats. I could have had an entire meal of them. On our way home, San Geraldo got to hear the baby alligators (click here) and I managed to get some photos in the dark. They were everywhere!

My friend Mistress Borghese — and anyone else who has a problem with frogs — should not scroll beyond my after-dinner drink. You’ll see more than just their legs!


REGRESAMOS ANOCHE A Restaurante Santorini (haz clic aquí si aún no conoces nuestro restaurante griego favorito). Teníamos nuestros típicos (y, como siempre, excepcionales) dolmades (hojas de parra rellenas) y otros platos griegos excepcionales. Pero, como es Ramadán este mes, los propietarios (originarios de Marruecos) tenían muchos platos marroquíes para compartir. Probamos “briwats.” Podría haber tenido una comida completa de ellos. De camino a casa, escuchamos a los cocdrilitos (haz clic aquí) y logré sacar algunas fotos en la oscuridad. ¡Estaban en todas partes!

Mi amigo Mistress Borghese — y cualquier otra persona que tenga un problema con las ranas — no deben desplazarse más allá de mi chupito. ¡Verás más que solo sus piernas!

Briwat (or Briouat) is a puff pastry from Morocco. Ours were savory, filled with mince, onion, egg, and other good things. Sweet briwats are filled with almond or peanut paste and, after cooking, (fried or baked) dipped in warm honey flavored with orange blossom water.

Briwat (o Briouat) es un pastele relleno de Marruecos. Las nuestras eran sabrosas, rellenas de carne picada, cebolla, huevo y otras cosas buenas. Los briwats dulces se rellenan con pasta de almendra o maní y, después de cocinarlos (fritos o al horno) se sumergen en miel tibia con agua de azahar.

Mistress Borghese:
Do not look below the Baileys!

Mistress Borghese:
No mires más allá del Bailey.

I Am A Rock / Soy Una Piedra

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I went on a tour bus Tuesday to the British territory of Gibraltar with friends Judy and Joan. It’s an hour and a half bus ride. They had scheduled a minibus tour up “the rock,” but I said I wasn’t going up in any old-fart minibus; I was going up in the cable car. We parted ways when we arrived in Gibraltar. They headed for their mini-bus and I began my 10-minute walk through town to the cable car base station. The cable car was closed for repairs!

I decided to climb the rock. I even passed a group of 20-somethings who couldn’t keep up with me. I got two-thirds of the way up without a problem (except for some perspiration), when I realized I wouldn’t have enough time to see all I wanted to see, so I started down another way, with a planned stop to visit one of the hangouts of the local Barbary Macaques, a wild population living mostly on the upper Rock — although they sometimes wander into town (and into homes with unlocked doors or open windows).

No one knows for certain when or how the macaques arrived from Morocco, although theories abound. One ludicrous story is that they came by way of a 24km (15-mile) tunnel under the Straight of Gibraltar from Morocco. Anyway, I connected with Judy and Joan’s minibus and I hitched a ride back down for lunch and to then wander the town on my own.

El martes fui en un autobús turístico al territorio británico de Gibraltar con mis amigas Judy y Joan. Es una hora y media en autobús. Habían programado una excursión en minibús por “la roca”, pero dije que no iba a subir en ningún minibús viejo; Yo estaba subiendo en el teleférico. Nos separamos cuando llegamos a Gibraltar. Se dirigieron a su minibús y comencé mi caminata de 10 minutos por la ciudad hasta la estación base del teleférico. El teleférico fue cerrado por reparaciones!

Entonces, decidí subir La Roca. Incluso pasé a un grupo de veinteañeros que no pudieron seguir conmigo. Llegué a las dos terceras partes del camino sin problemas (a excepción de algo de transpiración), cuando me di cuenta de que no tendría tiempo suficiente para ver todo lo que quería ver, así que empecé a tomar otro camino, con una parada planeada para visitar uno de los lugares de reunión de los macacos de Berbería locales, una población salvaje que vive principalmente en la parte superior de la roca, aunque a veces vagan por la ciudad (y en casas con puertas abiertas o ventanas abiertas).

Nadie sabe con certeza cuándo o cómo llegaron los macacos de Marruecos, aunque abundan las teorías. Una historia ridícula es que llegaron a través de un túnel de 24 km (15 millas) debajo del Estrecho de Gibraltar desde Marruecos. De todos modos, me conecté con el minibús de Judy y Joan y me subí a almorzar para luego pasear por la ciudad por mi cuenta.

Tangier, Morocco, distant left. Algeciras, Spain, right. / Tánger, Marruecos, a la izquierda. Algeciras, España, a la derecha.
I reached beyond the next tree line before heading back down. / Llegué más allá de la siguiente línea de árboles antes de volver a bajar.
“Didn’t I just see you … / “¿No te acabo de ver …
… way up there? / … hasta allá arriba?

The Watercolorist

After reaching the heights of the Moorish District of Frigiliana on Monday (see yesterday’s post), we came upon an artist’s studio. Above the door was a sign that read “Acuarelas” (Watercolors). The works displayed outside were so intriguing that we decided to go in for a closer look. (Click the images for the color enlargements.)


We were greeted by a charming man who turned out to be the artist, Klaus Hinkel (check out his website here). Klaus has had his studio in Frigiliana for 20 years. During our entire visit, I kept thinking how much My Mother The Watercolorist Dowager Duchess would have loved Klaus and his work. This was a day I would have enjoyed sharing with her.

San Geraldo and I very quickly fell in love with a large, framed, fine-art giclee print. Klaus painted the original during one of many trips to Morocco. The original painting now hangs in Boston, Massachusetts, where San Geraldo and I first met.

Judyshannonstreetwhat chose three small, unframed Frigiliana street scenes.

When Judy wondered aloud how she would get a large framed painting home to Seattle, Klaus said, “Oh, it rolls.”

We all looked perplexed and imagined attaching wheels to the bottom of the frame.

Judy followed with, “And then what, it would just fit under my seat on the plane?”

Klaus laughed and said, “I mean, I take it out of the frame and it rolls [up] in a cardboard tube.”


Klaus and I initially began to converse in Spanish and he asked where I was from. When I told him I was American, he was surprised. I’ve been told at times I speak Spanish with an Italian accent. But Klaus, originally from Germany, told me he thought I was either Swedish or German. Ach du lieber and Swedish meatballs! Swedish or German? Italian and Spanish are at least both Romance languages!

These are called “panqueques” in Spanish. Or, as I pronounce it, Flappen Jacken Hooten…

Whiskey And Soda, And Rock And Roll

Our favorite pizza place (we don’t eat Spanish food every day) — here in Los Boliches, Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain — is another great spot just a few minutes from home called Pizza Maestro.

Pizza Maestro, although in Spain and serving excellent Italian food (and thin-crust, very healthy tasting pizza), is Finnish. Well, Finnish-owned.

Everyone speaks Spanish. One of the waiters hails from Morocco and his native tongue is Arabic. Some people find English easier. But the language one hears most often is Finnish.

They’ve been playing great music lately. Perfect atmosphere.

This afternoon while we shared, of all things, a pizza Hawaiana, San Geraldo blurted, “Listen. It’s Klezmer!”


“They’re singing Yiddish!” he exclaimed.

Here’s what was playing (for the umpteenth time, by the way). Yiddish?

(The translation isn’t the best, but you get the idea.)