Saturday, October 30, 2010

On my way home do bump da ba

Blue sky and sunshine greeted me when I stepped outside and a few minutes of thinking should I take a bus to Ronda, its a 2.5 hour local bus ride but in end decided not to over due my last day so I headed back to Malaga.  I made my stop at the hotel there and used the computer again they were decorated for Halloween and the employees had costumes on, looks like a fun place to stay. Maybe I will next time. 

view from Gilbralfaro
Man they really rough it at this hotel

I was disappointed in the Gibralfaro it was not worth the climb, although there were good views the buildings were just ruins and I read about the gardens but did not see any, maybe was just too tired to appreciate it;  the only good thing was a cute Spanish guy playing guitar, I dropped in some change and asked if I could take a photo after I did I got a wink.. Oh mamama
I saw a bus to the center of town and was trying to figure out it was the right bus but it left before I realized it. I walked a lot so my knee seems ok just going down stairs man and did I ever! As when it wasn't stairs it was a incline and hard to walk I held on the wall at one point as my knees were yelling (the brush burn from the day before did not help) some girl stopped to see if I was ok. I said yes (just screaming inside)

View of Malaga from "above"

I looked at the Cathedral again but decided not to bother going in, think I was Cathedraled (is there such a word if not I just invented it) out. I tried to find a place to eat in Malaga but did not see what I wanted which was fish, the only place I saw with fish was packed . I did try and get a spot but finally gave up. I then tried to find my way out of the center to no avail everything seems just to be alleys that had a bend, hard to explain. I started saying lost in the center of Malaga forever. I knew where I wanted to be but just could not find a straight route out. I finally headed for what I felt was the direction of the local train and after a lot of turns I found an area I knew near the station. Unlike the previous Sunday I paid attention to the main street near the station and then recognized a building near it. I got back to Torrey and I headed for a place that I knew had cod fish and chips but they were closed so walked down "the steps" towards the beach and found a really nice place to eat and the fish was very very good had sangria with it, good send off.

All in all a wonderful trip but I am ready to head home tomorrow, and I will be posting pictures hopefully soon. I am pretty exhausted at this point (okay again I walked way too much) . Going sit on my balcony and drink some white wine. I am so going to miss my balcony and looking at the Sea and Torrey. Being on my own was wonderful and hey I impressed  a lot of people when I would say oh I am on my own they all thought I was so brave. I also feel not knowing Spanish I did pretty good.  Today I got across to a guard at the local train that I wanted to know if the train was running in the morning same schedule and he did understand what I meant esp with my hand gestures.  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sevilla fabulouso despite my fall

Christopher Columbus Grave

This was a different tour company much classier, the seat belts on the bus actually worked, the other tour company didn't. However almost as soon as I got off the bus in Seville I fell on my left knee and also hurt my elbow, it bled some several people came to help me up ( so embarrassing) there was sort of a hole (?) in the street it was my fault as someone was snapping photos of something I could  not see and I was nosy and did not pay attention, and down I went. My knee was very painful for awhile. I hobbled along I was not going to let that stop me.

We did a little walking tour and saw some really nice areas and then we headed to the CathedralCatedral de Santa María de la Sede , (it is the 3rd largest in the world only behind Vatican and St Paul´s ) it was very impressive and up there with the best, and I have seen quite a few. We saw Christopher Columbus grave but there is question if it is actually him. Some believe is he is buried in Santo Domingo, guess his bones have been moved several times (then again so have mine :)  Afterward we had 2 1/2 hours free time one of the girls who helped me when I fell asked if I wanted to go around with them and I said yes. We stopped for a bite to eat I had a chocolate crepe but the girl overcooked it so it was not very good and some tea. The girls were from Glasgow they had planned the trip in April but the Volcanic ash stopped them from going.

some of the beautiful Tapestry

We then we went to the Seville's Alcazar another Moorish place again this was wonderful I am sure I would have missed it if it wasn't for my new found friends Cathy Catherine and Janice. I had read about it but forgot to bring my notes pertaining to it. We split up and I made the most of my hour I covered most of it and took another few millions photographs and the gardens had Lime trees Seville is also full of Orange trees. All in all wonderful place.

colorful tiles alcazar

Then we met the bus and had yet another stop this was to the Spanish exhibition building from 29 it was spectacular we only had a bout 30 minutes I could have spent much more time as I really loved it there it was all like looking at a beautiful photograph in 3-D. The colors were amazing.  I was mesmerized I had trouble finding my wait out and had to run for the bus. Ok, hobble for the bus.

Back to Torrey for one last day I may go back to Malaga tomorrow as much as I would love
another tour I really would love to see Ronda but it is 2 1/2 hour bus trip I think I will pass, save it for another time, a reason to go back. Leave always wanting more.

I have been so lucky weather wise on this trip which I can not believe is coming to an end but I have covered so much I will be anxious to see my photos I think Seville is my fave place and that is saying a lot as I saw so many wonderful things.

Just beautiful
Spanish Exhibition

Seville Cathedral

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Codoba Mezquita and Tapas

the cathedral
After a yummy breki I am very impressed at the choices they have all kinds of sausages if I didn't fail Knife 101 I´d have some. I was heading to Cordoba today on a tour I went to wait for the tour bus it was 25 mins late seems the people from Marbella were late. It was a long ride and I dozed quiet a bit because I did not sleep good at all last night a lot on my mind. He driver suddenly burst out in song at one point and we all joined the chorus aye aye yi yi it was fun wish he did more.
Roman Bridge
When we arrived we could see the Roman bridge before we left the bus and you could see the Mezquita which was the great Mosque and now Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, just seeing it gave me the chills. We walked for our tour however the French group (who were late for the tour) had a guide right away and so did the Spanish but no English guide after waiting while our tour guide made a phone call she said we had to go find the guide. Since we were late she left without us can't say I blame her as it was more than a few minutes. As a result we missed about 30 mins of out tour of the town, this was a major disappointment. We did some some of the Patios that Cordoba is famous for and an explanation how they live upstairs in the summer as it is so hot and downstairs in the winter.  We also saw a statue to Muhammad Ibn Qassoum Ibn Aslam Al-Ghafiqi, simply known as Al-Ghafiq a famous Muslim surgeon.  We finally got back to the Mezquita and it was unbelievable inside I just was awestruck I think this a lot more beautiful than the Alhambra that I had seen in Granada. The colors were amazing and we did the first part and then into what our guide called the sister the Catholic part. I loved it and took a few million photos, however no matter how hard you try you really can not capture it and believe me I tried.
outside the cathedral

Inside the Mezquita

After the tour the guide told us what we missed on the first part of the tour we ran back to see the synagogue I can't say much worth bothering about.
I went and looked in some shops for a few cards to send and saw a tapas place so I decided to have that instead of the sandwich I bought. I had hearts of lettuce in garlic which was ok it was good but nothing to it and some yummy potato's with some kind of sauce and also finally the fried cod fish yum and bread decided to grab a small glass of white wine to finish it off. I sat for awhile and just watched people go buy I love people watching.

Afterward I looked around some more and headed back to the Roman bridge took some photos around and finally managed to get someone to take a photo of me with the bridge in the background he was really into it and was moving me around for the photo he took 2 shots and then walking back towards the bus I could see he was picturing more shots.

All all a wonderful day and Seville tomorrow and checked another off my bucket list.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mijas My Ass

Grande the white donkey notice the 3rd one in looking at me he is the one who "liked me"

I headed out to the bus station and saw a woman feeding a bunch of cats I smiled and said how many and she out he hands up to indicate 10, and said diez. Nice to know in Spain they feed strays too, since I also am taking care of 10 feral cats.  I took the local bus  to Mijas because I had read about the donkey Taxi's and also free Flamenco performance on Wednesday the ride up into the mountains was something else some of those turns were quite wild and you could see how steep looking down. At one point the driver tooted his horn so a car would know he was coming around the bend and half the bus screamed when we finally "landed"everyone applauded yes it was a heck of a ride. The fare was unbelievable about $ 2, for an hour ride.

I first  headed to the donkey taxi I bonded with one right away and he wanted to be petted and loved he was so sweet I wanted to ride him but I had to go on another one not sure why (he looked sturdy). The ride was good even though it was short ride but worth the 10 euro for trip and the donkey was very good. His name was "Grande" and as we walked along the street the man leading us would speak to him in Spanish and he acted like he understood. What amazed me he suddenly stopped and turned and started walking the other direction without the man touching his reign he knew the route.

After the donkey ride I grabbed my spot to see the Flamenco dancers, it was hard to tell just where to sit but everyone was keeping the area in front of the gazebo open so I sat on the side. They came out and went into the gazebo to dance and it was wonderful they were all good but the one man really stood out and I was memorized by him his dancing was amazing I filmed almost one whole song. At the end they came out of the gazebo and danced a bit in front of it this was great as it was much closer and you had nothing blocking you. I snapped away.

dance Monkey dance

The Shrine of the Virgin of the rock 


After that walked around the town saw the church that was built into in a rock it was small inside but beautiful. I walked up uphill looking at shops as I went,  saw a Bullfighting ring.  I came across the Shrine of Our Lady of Los Remedios, a very tiny shrine full of beautiful statues. There were plenty of little cafes and I glanced at some menus but nothing appealed to me could be that I was still full from the omelet I had at breakfast and 2 yummy rolls. I decided to have just an ice cream and of course it was a yummy chocolate cone. I decided to take an early bus back to Torry as I felt very tires. The first bus was full and I had no intention of standing on such a wild ride so I waited for the next bus and went over to talk to the donkeys again. I dozed off on the bus ride back down the mountain. When I arrived back I wound up having a kabob, I would have loved trying a Spanish dish but so far I have seen nothing that appeals to me. The fish ones tend to be ones  I would not touch swordfish, squid and I do not even want to know. 

I decided to try the swimming pool and I asked a young boy who was coming back from the pool and he said that it was cold outside and that I should go to the one upstairs as that one was indoors.  Then he asked me where it was and he lead me up the stairs to it and I said thank you and  I will go get my bathing suit. He then asked if I needed him to show me where the restaurant was and  then asked if I could get to my room okay. He was such a polite child. I had a good swim despite being tired and then I hit the sauna. As I headed back with my new little cover up on I met a man who winked at me so that made my day. 

My goodness in here is on a phone booth where you can call overseas  is screaming in Spanish at someone and the woman in the booth next is screaming too I wonder if they are talking to the same person. Mijas is such a pretty town and I am so glad that I checked it out tomorrow is a tour to Cordoba and I am very much looking forward to that.

the Plaza de Toros

Me and Grande or is it Grande and I

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Alhambra in Granada

An early morning trip I had a quick breki as I was afraid the bus would be early it was a tiring morn as I was up before 6 so I kept dozing the till the alarm went off. The Alhambra (Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds," in allusion to the color of its buildings and the woods around them) the first part the gardens was a disappointment and only saw one small area, but probably because we were rushed although in springtime they would probably be better. We were split into groups so we had an English speaking guide and then they waited for 2 more people when you wait it takes away from your time. It was also to early in the morning we were there after 10 so the sun was up but lots of shadows and it was cold yes Pat said cold but we were in the mountains and I had short sleeves on. I met a couple from county Louth,Ireland they had a little baby.

The Palace was the best part it had many colorful tiles and the Moorish work was spectacular also the sun was higher so photos were better the bad part was being so rushed. We really only saw a small part of the Alhambra, that is the bad thing about tours. We saw the court of the Lions the lions were inside another area as they as they had been restored and you were not allowed to take pictures too bad they looked beautiful.

After the tour some people went to the paid lunch and I looked in shops bought yet another tee shirt but it was nice and I wanted to have one from Spain. The woman showing me the shirt would say X X Large the way she pronounced the X's was so cute and then she would show me a large and say Large and Tall not XX. The one I really wanted was only available in medium she thought it would fit by I knew better I finally settled on a different shirt in Large she said yes NOT X X. Half the reason I bought the shirt was I did not want to disappoint her with no sale. I also went back to the garden area and saw some parts we had not seen. I and went in the church barely made it as was closed when I was leaving I love how beautiful the statues faces are in Spain just like Costa Rica.
I went back to the bus and people were 20 minutes late of course they were older Spanish woman and after that horrid shop keeper no longer care for them well that lateness took from our time in the city so we had only an hour instead of 90 minutes I walked quickly to the Cathedral with a couple from Houston and from SC it was closed because of the siesta that was sad as I really wanted to see the grave of Infanta Isabella and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon (they brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain) I did get a postcard from the shop of the grave but not the same thing. The Cathedral was quite large so there was no place to stand to capture it properly. This seemed totally out of place near the Cathedral.

I am so glad I brought a baguette sandwich along the Irish couple stopped some place and it was 26 euros for a burger fries and drink for one person so he just ate they had not purchased the lunch part of the tour, neither did I as it was 20 euro she was Japanese and she was mocked by some Brits because she said she was from Ireland they were so rude to her. Good day and happy I finally saw Granada check off the list.