Saturday, December 31, 2011

Plunge in the sea

Today was more of a laze day did not want to overdo before the big party. I walked along the Beach again the other direction and also would sit in spots and just people watch had my mp3 player today so I was enjoying some music. I somehow got it in to my head that I should take a plunge in the sea. So I walked back to the hotel quite a hike plus climbing the Spanish Steps and up to my room by then I was exhausted so I took a quick 30 minute nap.

I talked myself into heading back to the sea, down the steps again not a plunge had my bathing suit on and went up to my waist the waves were coming in and the sand would go beneath you in your feet so almost fell in. I glad i did it even if it wasn't really warm it was a goodbye to the Old Year.

I did some shopping afterwards found me three new pretty tops all sparkley and it good walking it was just a day to enjoy the sun before the big New Year Eve tonight and our Gala Dinner

Friday, December 30, 2011

Apes galore and all my British goodies Gilbralter

An early morning start to Gibraltar I paid the extra 2 euro for tour that was rated express and not as many stops but we still made 8 pickups. We arrived there early but then we had to wait to cross the airport rode not sure we waited a good 20 minutes the line was long and motorcycles *never saw so many were weaving in and out. I wondered if planes were landing because the guide was saying it was because we have to cross the airport road. So many people walked in Gibraltar and a lot of motorcycles. I checked it out and the average wait for a plane coming or going is 10 mins.

St Michael Cave
with the Cadbury flake

We first had the shopping stop I only went in a few stores had no interest in duty free found just what a I wanted a place with Cadbury bars so got me 3 good sized ones resisted the temp to buy the huge one (and I mean huge) as I wondered how I would carry it home. I also had a English whippy ice cream I love with the Cadbury flake 99.

Then it was off to see the St Michael's caves which to me were nothing to write home about (partly cos all I wanted to do was look for apes) on the way up saw one ape and he was sitting got a ledge as we passed I got couple shots through the window there was another ape who stuck his head through the window to the driver and the driver was saying hello my friend. Ah this was just preview I was worried that was it, was afraid we would not see anymore not to worry.

We stopped on the way down and there they were not sure how many maybe a dozen apes I went wild snapping away. I got so excited as there were some babies and I did get video of them fighting. One baby ape climbed on a car and started putting the antenna in its mouth bending it I got that on video, another one decided to jump on me it was so soft and felt so light, reminded me of one of my cats. I would have killed for a photo and did hand my camera to someone but it jumped off tho had a photo of it by me- oh well I had the thrill even if no photo. I was in ape heaven, some of the drivers were feeding them and it was so fun to watch just did not know where to look my head was spinning.

Did you hear the one about
So when is this bus leaving

Looking at the world

We also made a stop at Europa Point and from there you could see Africa and the other way was Spain it was kewal to know it was Africa but really nothing to brag about. The section is noted for bring 3 areas together Spain, Africa and Europe. I also took photos of British double deckers and the red phone booths, of course. So I got my English kick with this.
A very good day slept most of the way back to Torry it was up to 68 again today tomorrow and Sunday should be 74 which should be a good day for the Zoo. Dinner at the hotel of course.
Take me with you


Tonight there was lamb shank, and veggie pizza had a small piece as the veggies looked inviting. Also pork chop which was good tho if I saw the lamb first would not have had a chop don't worry still had the lamb. Shrimp was available most nights tho I must admit not used to seeing them with their little heads still on. It took some getting used to then again I do not think I ever did.

There are always lovely looking salads so beautifully presented and always pasta and usually some kind of fish plenty of veggies for the vegetarian and always a stir-fry yummy I made that my vegetable almost every night, loads of bread but I avoid and then always some soups. I did try the Minestrone soup but it was not spicy. The dessert varies usually choices of little cakes several kinds and also 4 different custards and sometimes a chocolate pudding covered in walnuts and little containers of ice cream and yogurt.

Dinner always a choice of white or red wine and various soft drinks, juices and water but you could not have coffee or tea at dinner time.

I have tried so many different things and only found one night that there was too many foods I did not care for so stuck to pasta with creamy sauces. Of course plenty of french fries but nope not touching any.

Breakfast not as exciting usually some kind of donuts and loads of different breads. Plus choice of juices they did crepes most mornings and I did notice some vegetable each morning. They had the English breakfast, the one morning I saw a man's plate piled 4 inches high. Heart attack on a plate.

They also did the cold slices of meats. Containers of yogurt were available. Coffee, chocolate various teas. The toaster oven was this rolling thing where you put it one end and it traveled through some times people walked away and ran back to grab it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Going up up up Benalmáden

After breakfast and doing some things around the room I decided to try the pool this morning but didn't last long, my foot that I had hurt before I left was bad when I tried to get out of the pool and pulling myself up the ladder. I was sooooo tired that I took a nap after sad isn't it then after it is my vacation and I can do what I want. I decided to head to Benalmáden and I saw the cable car and said heck let’s do it, I get nervous on things like that. It was quite the ride up took 15 min and I was taking photos like crazy and enjoying the view. I had the car to myself yea.
I just missed the bird of prey show but did see the eagle and took some photos the guy holding it was pretty cute they had 2 little snow owls so took some shots of them. I then started the climb up it was rocks but you had a railing but you were climbing rocks too and I would stop when people came down to let them pass. I finally made it to the top and what a view. I sat for awhile to take it all in and took some shots and I got someone to take photos of me.

After a bit headed to a spot that was beautiful no one was there but me for awhile so I took in the sea and the view and I could see the rock of Gibraltar in the distance not clear because of haze but enough. I was really enjoying the feel of the warm sun on my face it felt so good. I was setting my timer and doing shots of me but after someone came up there I had my photo taken there too. I headed down after awhile and finally to the end. I walked around could see a big dog and took some pics and he walked over to me he was on a chain so I was kind of daring him because he could not get to me. I could see an eagle tied to something so got some shots not sure how they will turn out also saw a St Bernard dog and snap snap and then decided I wanted to head down I did not want to hang another 40 min to see bird of prey show it’s not like I never saw one.
The town was boring nothing there I was too far away from Costa Benalmáden walked towards the sea but after awhile realized it was far. I found a call box so made a call home and good to catch up with my sister for a few moments. I am waiting to go to dinner now and then a good night rest and some more reading in bed tomorrow it is off to Gibraltar and the Apes.

Even on top of the mountain they had a Nativity Scene

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

By the sea by the sea the beautiful sea

My big toe is pretty bad as the nail is is trying to fall off so I found some peroxide and some bandages and see if that helps. It wasn't as easy as it sounds trying to find peroxide when the everything in the shop is in Spanish however I do know there are so many similar words Spanish/English and saw the word oxigenada and that was it.

I walked in the sea today it was lovely and SUN the water was cool at first but I did get used to it after awhile and it was good I was calling the waves to come to me and kept saying chicken and then all of a sudden one came and I got the bottom of my capris wet. I walked for awhile and it was good and the sun was so warm. Finally !! my kind of weather around 70 not too hot nor cold. I just wore capris and short sleeves though some people had jackets and pants, not me.
Pablo Picasso Statue
Naughty Cricket
Sand Sculpture

Malaga Cathedral

Then I headed off to Málaga again just walked around nothing exciting I  was enjoying the sun and people watching. I walked over to where these white tents were that I had seen earlier in the week and they turned out to be little shops. It was nice to be by the water I just sat there for awhile soaking in the sun and viewing the Cathedral and the Gibralfaro across the water.

I then headed off in search of a toilet and finally found one by an little children's amusement park. Now here is where I made my fatal mistake I saw one with a handi-capped sign so headed for the other one the door was open so that hid the sign, Now walking in I saw urinals which should had given me a clue but I got it into my head this was a shared bathroom, men or woman. So I went in and shut the door and heard men's voices as they came in minutes later. So I just stood there and waited till I could no longer here them talking and opened the door to step out. One was just at the main door leaving so he saw me but did not bat an eyelash. Of course checking the open door other side was a little figure of a man.

I looked for a place to check mail and went up and down a lot of little interesting alley ways. I checked my mail I spotted a little Fairy outside a store came complete with a toll stool and she was posing with children I took a few shots, I looked at the lights again and people watched. I decided to head back and have dinner as was getting tired, I managed to catch and earlier train as I remembered the time of the one I just missed.

The older woman in Spain are rude I have been shoved in the back more than once they jump ahead of you in lines and oh they never shut up non stop yakking any men I see with them just look so downhearted I guess they deal with it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


What incredible lights in Malaga last night it was so awesome never saw anything quite like it totally and I took a few zillion photos they did not over advertise it was truly amazing. Especially on Calle Larios I just stood staring and it got me choked up. There were little bands playing Spanish perky music and people were dancing it was fun just to watch as people jumped into the middle and started to dance. Decorations all over the town a bigger than life Nativity scene in the center
Dazzling lights
Nativity Scene Malaga

I went to Malaga early and went to the cathedral as did not see it last trip it was really beautiful and so many different altars, this one altar with an big eye and it was really interesting then I went out side and saw another area to go in with life size statues of the annunciation and then also the nativity it was beautiful. I remembered the place where I had lamb pita last year so found my way back and had one, though I left off the chips. I walked around awhile saw people in line at the city hall and I decided to get in line someplace in my mind I remembered reading nativity there and I was right.
Eye altar

They love to do the Natvity scenes here people its like a huge village not just the typical scene Mary Joseph Jesus and wisemen  and so many little things it was worth the wait partly as it had a bathroom and was warm as the evening was getting cold. The down side was listening to this woman ramble on and on in Spanish so loud and no one with her got a word in edgewise.
Then I came out and saw the lights and they were everywhere and totally amazing. I walked quite awhile there were so many little alleys off the main street and they were full of lights too each area different than the last.  Never knew what I would see next . I think I saw where the Christmas market might be but was too sore and tired plus it was almost 8 pm. I was getting hungry for dinner. The dinner was ok I did not eat a lot because of the lamb pita for lunch but I had me some wine.

The Annunciation


Luckily I found Cricket in the wine barell

I had decided to go to Ronda since I did not make it last time the tour stopped in Marbella and had a quick walk through the old section (and I mean QUICK) and then we had 20 min free time to drink or pee I choose a quick walk to the sea which was finally blue as it was sunny. The sun was just rising as it does not get daylight that time of year until almost 9. Cricket my travel buddy was climbing on statues and the next thing you know the cops came along and he got arrested for refusing to get down. Luckily I convinced them that he did not read Spanish and they let him go.

Looking down the Gorge
We then headed to Ronda. We met our tour guide she walked us around the old section. Also made a stop for views of the famous gorge, it looked deep and pretty the sun was finally shinning. A man in costume came by on a horse and she said it is okay to take photos I did of course. Then we went for wine tasting and I had 2 little cups of white wine might not have been a good thing early cricket was climbing on barrels and I almost forgot to pick him up, cos he was drinking way too much.

Then we visited House of St John Bosco it was really interesting palace and his name rang a bell with me (good old Catholic school) but somehow I was thinking not Spain  I asked and he was Italian and never lived in Spain

We then walked some more through the town and also visited the famous Ronda bull ring. Ok don't get me wrong I am against bull fighting but the other part the costumes the culture sound fascinating. The guide admitted she never attended one but went on to explain the culture behind it. She was talking about famous ones attending like Antonio Banderas and I said now him Id like to see to another woman on the tour and we were both making faces about him.. Oooo lala.
I saw a beautiful white horse and it turned out to be the man who had ridden by earlier and you could have your picture on it for 2 euro but getting up was hard but he managed to haul me up somehow my foot that was bothering me made it harder and I found someone to take my photo oh with the matador.

Then we had free time I walked around got an ice-cream yummy it was getting quite warm and I was overdressed with long sleeves on. I found a spot and they were playing Spanish music so enjoyed it as I had my ice-cream. Saw and a beautiful church walked some more and then ran into the Gorge again somehow I forgot to go look for it must be the wine only had about 15 min but got a lot of photos and gazed. I ran back to the tour and just made it for along walk back to the bus esp. with sore toe.
We stopped in Puerto Banús which is the rich jet set and saw lots of yachts and also some super cars we only had 35 min but I covered lots of ground despite my feet hurting me so. (Chic restaurants, bars and cafés cash in on the hype, and everything costs considerably more. Marbella has the highest per capita income in Europe and more Rolls-Royces than any European city apart from London.)
Then back to hotel and the internet to call my nephew Kevin for his 20th birthday and then off for dinner ran into the Welsh couple from the Christmas dinner and the wife came over to talk with me. I got back to my room and my toe was pretty bad have to go and get something for it in the am.

Christmas trees everywhere
Cricket and his yachts