Wonderful Spanish Village House

The house that we have to rent in Spain is in the charming village of La Fresneda. The village has a population of around 400. Shops include: two general stores, chemist, hairdresser, two bakers, two butchers. There are two or three bars, a restaurant where you can get a local meal with home grown produce and the Convent which serves dinner in a very nice setting.

In the summer months the swimming pool in the village is also open. Nearest town is Valderrobres where there are many more bars, a pizzeria run by Terry, shops selling local produce and a castle to visit. Alcañiz offers supermarkets and tourist information centre.

The whole area is fairly arid and grows mostly olive and almond trees. La Mataraña is the main river of the area. It is a tributary of the mighty Ebro.

Our house is accessible in two streets and is just below the main church which is near to the summit of one of the  hills that give the village its character. That hill is crowned by the minimal remains of a castle, and the other by the more substantial ruin of an hermitage. The house is built of local stone and there is a garage in Santa Agueda Street through which one takes steps up into the kitchen. This has a large fridge with freezer box, a gas cooker with three rings and an oven, and a dishwasher. Leading off the kitchen is a fairly large sitting room with settee, two armchairs, display cabinet, dining table and chairs and T.V. A large window looks out over the village and to the view beyond which is ever changing depending on weather conditions. There is a door through and up steps to front door - in Calle Libertad, and on to two bedrooms, one with balcony, again looking over village. There is also a bathroom on this floor with a shower. Another flight of stairs takes you to two more bedrooms and larger shower room and up again to the roof terrace and area where the washing machine is kept. From the terrace (which has a table and chairs) you can see over the rooftops of our village to the village of Torre del Compte where our daughter had a house, the valley of the Mataraña river and the mountains near Beceite and much else besides, including the  flight of swallows, martins and swifts.

We fell in love with the whole village on a visit to our daughter who lived  nearby. It seems to be just at the end of an era in Spanish life. Very little English is spoken but you would probably get by with French as Catalan is spoken as well as Spanish and a language which seems to be a mixture of both. Our Spanish is not too good but we do get by.

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