Gandia is a large tourist resort about 15km north of Oliva. We drove up to explore the beach area and stopped on the sea front for a coffee. Parking on the seafront road was surprisingly easy; I should have been a little more suspicious.
But we stopped and walked to a cafe about 100m from the car and sat at one of the tables outdoors. Unusual for a tourist resort on this part of the coast the menu was entirely in Spanish but we’ve always found one of the exciting things about eating in a foreign country is the hazy combination of a slight understanding of the language and a great deal of luck. So we pointed at a couple of things that sounded vaguely familiar; the picture suggested they were open sandwiches with various toppings. Fortunately we ordered a meat sandwich and two fish sandwiches, all very tasty.
We finished eating and were watching the world go by when The World turned into 2 traffic police writing tickets for all the cars parked along the seafront. Panic. Not only us but a couple of others jumped up in alarm. Trying to quickly settle up for our food with an apparently unconcerned waiter while watching their steady advance did take the edge off our enjoyment but we managed to win the race to our car and drove off before they reached us. As I was hurrying towards the car I saw one sign, previously hidden by a large van, that said “no parking June 15 to Sep 15”. Today is June 19. No wonder we found space so easily.