Sorry for the raw journal date - the devil's in the details ? when I get 'round to it' I'll add photos & break it up into regions
Fall 2014 Travel Journal
Portugal & Southern Spain & Morocco
Departed from home; caught 1st connection to SLC - then on to CDG. On transatlantic flight I sat next to the isle on the right in the 4 seat middle section - two 'hefty' women sat on the left side leaving a vacant seat next to me. I was hoping no one was ticketed to get wedged in there. No one was - but my hopes of having extra room on the flight were dashed when the 'heftys' sprawled out and took it over - with a 'you don't mind, do you? I have a bad leg' ... Yeah, what am I supposed to say? 'I expect to get 1/2 of this seat'? Sheeze......
Arrived in Lisboa - took directions to the hotel I pre booked, at 'The Keep', in the Alfama district. Easy peesy directions. Took shower & went straight to bed - slept for 12 hours!
Toured Sao Jorg Castle, then went into town & walked around.
Toured Lisboa some more -
Took bus to Belem (Blaim)
Walked along the river & toured Torre de Belem, Maritime museum. Regret I didn't enter the monastery. It's a must see. Had lunch in Belem:
Attention all offal lovers out there - wow are you going to like this! I mean, if you're the kind that 'fishes' the guts instead of gutting the fish - in other words, keep the guts and toss the fish - wowzers - when you come to Portugal, be sure to have the grilled sardines! These aren't the little wimpy things they pack in those flat cans with oil - these are nice trout sized fish, grilled, they're dead ringers for trout. But they're sardines! Complete - yeah, that's right - the whole schmo - must be the chef's delight, 'cause there's nothing to do to them but toss them on the Barbie with a little seasoning! And when I say nothing, that's NOTHING! No gutting! That's the body, the fins, the head AND (say it like Ed McMahon used to introduce Johnny Carson, 'theeeeee guuuuuuts'! So when the plate arrives, you dig in with your fork, and hit that surprise in the middle like the bursting flavor of biting into a chocolate covered cherry - but instead of that creamy cherry, it's.... offal ! Wow! Just one bite and if your experience is as vivid as mine was, your friends will call you 'fish gut breath' because you'll be belching that delectable offal taste SIX HOURS afterwards - regardless of what you eat afterwards!
I'm glad to tell you about this culinary delight as I always knew deep down inside my chance would come to write about a truly detestable - I mean delectable eating experience...
Traveled to Sintra - found the Full Moon Hostel. Stashed my pack, got a map & started trekking around. Bought ticket to the Pena Palace & the Moorish castle - tried to get bus but the throng of people was just too much so I started hoofing it - absolutely incredibly beautiful hike although it was grueling - uphill the whole way - 5 kilometers - (2 1/2 miles???)
Toured the palace (it was impressive but zany - would have made Disney proud) then the castle. Wow - incredible. Then found out there was a direct trail straight into town, a lot shorter distance - but I had no regrets taking the longer way up.
Returned to hostel with every bone in my body complaining, especially my feet! Cleaned up & took a nice rest before dinner.
Had nice dinner at the hostel - a cod with a cream sauce. Was very nice.
Hostel was only €19 including breakfast - very clean, brand new facility. Good experience.
Wasn't sure if I'd stay another night so to keep my options open I packed up & stashed it at the hostel and began my trekking.
Spent most of the day at Quinta da Regalesia - wow -
Afterwards I felt I was done with Sintra so headed back to hostel to pick up backpack and headed to bus station. On the way, stopped at a local eatery - no tourists - wow - great experience! Had cod casserole!
Headed to Caisias spent two nights. Found a cheap enough room - it was on Valbam Street - an old hotel - room was not clean -but price was right (€30) I shopped on internet for a better place for the 2nd night but decided to forget it. Altogether the place was ok - considering the price - included a nice breakfast!
Still in Caisais - had so-so sea bass for lunch - rained a good part of the day - spent most of the day resting my poor feet! I know I had so-so sea bass for lunch. I was just finishing up, having coffee when two older women came & sat down at a table. They were hesitant to sit down as they weren't sure it was a good place. One woman ordered soup - when the waiter left she asked me in a whisper if my food had been good - I shrugged & said 'so so' - she began to get alarmed (lol) so I eased her fear a bit by saying "it was ok - no doubt they do a good job with soup !" - that did put a smile on her face and she proceeded to ask me questions about why I'm here, am I traveling alone, etc. so I answered her and asked her a few questions - she was from Germany, traveling with a group, etc. I happened to mention that I was in Southeast Asia in the spring - the other woman spoke up & said she had been there too. Then I mentioned that I had visited an island off the coast of Malaysia (Tioman Island) where they filmed a few segments of the classic film "South Pacific" - as soon as I said that the lady
That had been in SEA began singing one of the songs - and I joined her, helping her along with the lyrics - then together we sang "Some Enchanted Evening" and "Happy Talk"! Then they hurried off to join their tour group!!!! It was a magical moment!
"Happy hap hap hap hap happy thoughts
Talk about things you like to do
You've got to have a dream
If you don't have a dream
How ya gonna have a dream come true"
That night was lured toward an Indian restaurant - was really good. I sat down at a table near a man smoking a pipe. I said, "pipe, I can handle. Cigarette smoke, no way. But pipe smoke is a pleasure to smell. Pipe and, cigar. My dad smoked a pipe, my grandfather smoked a cigar." And we had great conversation. He was from Finland - German last name - Schroeder 😊 he was retired - had just moved from Finland to Caiscus, starting a new life. I wished him well.
Left Caisais and headed back to Lisbon, took train from there to Setubal. Went through Belem - wished I had planned better. Mondays the Monastery that I missed earlier is closed so I didn't stop.
Arriving in Setubal, I disembarked from the train and saw not a single sign or indication which direction to go. No tourist office, no hawkers, no nothing. I should have asked - or at least turned on roaming to get a google map reading. Instead I followed my gut instinct - which turned out to be both dead right and dead wrong. For wrong, I headed in a totally opposite direction from where I really should have been going. After a while I stopped for coffee & to ask directions. The lady that got my coffee couldn't speak a word of English so led me next the next door shop where a person spoke some English. It was then I found out I had gone totally the wrong way. But instead of retracing my steps, she showed me which direction would be best to get to the port of Setubal. That's when things turned dead right. I walked past some shipyards and found a hole in the wall restaurant filled with workers. Got the best cod fish lunch I have ever had! 1/4 of a large codfish, garbanzo beans, potato, diced onions, dessert, water or vino (I took water since I don't drink) and coffee - all for just €8.00!
And then I found the city center, immediately finding a nice inexpensive hotel (€20.00), rested for a while then tried to explore a bit but the rain was just too much.
That evening the rain stopped - I walked to the dock filled with fishing boats, and was drawn into a restaurant where I ended up eating the largest shrimp I had ever laid eyes on (Maguel's - right across from the boat dock. Marcos was my waiter - spoke good English!)
I was tempted to stay another day in Setubal, but the wandering blood In me nudged me to keep going. Had coffee then found the train station - and away I went to my next adventure - in Evora (pronounced Evra). Setubal is definately a place I'll want to return to!
On train going east, we went through a forest of trees - like the Italian Cypress, then went through grassy plains.
Arrived in Evora - met two young guys who used to be Mormon missionaries together in Portugal - now returning to so some sightseeing. We walked toward town center together - then came upon a Gypsy flea market. I forgot what the Mormon guy called it. It was just like the Hispanic flea markets back home - mostly new & used clothing, then produce & tools or brickabrack. Lu was surprised though not a whole lot of food vendors - just some form of funnel cakes. And, some of the hawkers were crying out their wares at the top of their lungs!
I said adios to my Mormon buddies and headed off on my own to the town center looking for a hotel along the way. I combed the area going here & there. Finally found one called the 'Old Hostel' - walking in, there were my Mormon friends ! That sort of coerced me to stay there - although later I felt it was impulsive as I regretted staying in a dorm with 5 others.
Regardless, I committed to stay there, deposited my pack & started my trek around. Took a walk around the outside walls of the old city. Near the old Roman aqueduct
I found an entrance back into the walled part of the city. Saw a cafe that was booming with locals. Decided to check it out - ended up having an awesome pork lunch there - wow what a show those cooks & waiters were ! Nothing fancy - just slinging food left & right - they must have served 300 people the time I sat at my table eating & watching the action!
Had time to do everything I wanted to do there - sat in main square watching people until 6:00pm then went to hostel - I'm too old for this. It only cost €12 - but if I hadn't been impulsive I would have found a private room for probably €20 - oh well, I'll ride this one out.
For up early while everyone else in dorm were asleep. Packed up ready to travel to next destination - wasn't sure where yet - when i met up again with my Mormon buddies. They were headed to Albufeira on the coast - on the way to Faro by bus - so I decided to tag along - we arrived in Albfieura - said adios (again to my Mormon friends as they were headed west, and I was headed east toward Faro. But decided to walk into the town first. Another eureka! What a place Albufiera is! Walked around for a while & found a cheap place to spend the night if I wanted to. Since it was already past 2 I decided to. Had awesome restful time here - although I tossed out my dinner choice on pizza and later donar kabob
That night I used ear plugs but still had a hard time falling asleep - the town caroused until 2:00 am - way in the distance somewhere there was loud music and what sounded like the whole house of people were singing - 'till 2:00am !
Oct 16, 2014, 8:15 AM
Just now crawling out of bed - I woke up at 8:00 - not a peep outside - it seems like the whole town is still asleep! But I'm getting up - have to pack & get to the station!
On way, stopped for coffee an a nice place overlooking the ocean - made me wish I was staying forever! So relaxing - although seeing the vendors of the hawker stands setting up - and last night watching them packing up leaves me with a very mixed feeling - a feeling of guilt, humility and thankfulness that I am able to travel as I am... I don't take it for granted. But for the grace of God!
Then there are the ever present Gypsies - not numerous, but they're here - very very poor people.
Oct 16, 2014, 10:07 AM
Hoofed it up to the central bus station & bought ticket to Seville 😞 classic poor planning again - bus doesn't arrive FOUR hours 😞 what to do but wait!! 😞
Nice coffee, pastry and baguette shop at bus station & pleasant place to sit & catch up on this journal! Funny thing - last night I noticed a couple walking - this gal had zany multicolored hair... I thought what a nightmare it would be to have to wake up each morning to see her! I'm sitting here outside waiting for bus - that same couple came and are seated ought next to me !
As far as bus stations go this couldn't be nicer lol - except for a man in the corner hacking and smoking away .....
Oct 16, 2014, 2:37 PM
Just a few minutes left before bus to Seville arrives. Time passed quickly enough (I guess) between writing and my all bread and no chicken sandwich😊 Need to be smarter next time. I'm remembering Mersing - spent the whole day at the bus station. Angst.
Pondering the fate of life - on one side of the bus station are beautiful million euro mansions. On the other side is the Gypsy camp.
Oct 16, 2014, 2:55 PM
Off to Seville - goodbye Portugal ! Hope to return soon. Trip is half over - still to see the wonders of Andalusia - Seville, Cordova, Granada, Malaga - and maybe Tangier?
Arrived in Seville around 9:00pm - I don't like arriving in a new town that late & having to hunt down a room. But I found the old district soon enough - it was an exciting & easy walk from the bus station. No hostels tonight. Since the night before, at least for now I want a private room. First two places I checked were booked. Ewwwwee. Been down that road before. Third one had accommodations for that night only - I took it. Only €17 - private room but shared bath. I took it. Deposited my pack & went out to get something to eat & check Seville out. Had some tapas - it certainly tapas-ed my wallet. What a ripoff. I ended up eating too much for that late and paid dearly for it all night.
Slept in because of the difficult night - was out of the room by 10:00am. Stopped for coffee then walked to the amazing cathedral - looking for a hotel along the way. Found a nice one - fancier and more than I wanted to spend (old hippie ways never seem to go away 😊 so I'm in really nice digs tonight & tomorrow.
After checking in I deposited my pack & started trekking - toured the Alcazar and the cathedral & around the river.
Oct 18, 2014, 10:47 AM
Woke up at 8:00 - stiff & sore - rolled over & slept another hour. Felt good to not ' have' to pack up & be on the go. Only motivation to get up was to get coffee. So eventually
Oct 18, 2014, 7:17 PM
Now having light dinner & coffee
Today was great. Took it easy - no hard trekking, went to Plaza de Espana, hung around in nice cafés.
Good food experiences - but no real deals
Oct 19, 2014, 10:58 AM
Left hotel, stopped for coffee & started out for Santa Justa Train Station - a 30 min walk. Seemed like every crook on road I was pulling out my camera - Seville is beautiful!
Made it to Santa Justa - ticketed for Cordoba - over €30 for the high speed train - otherwise I have to wait 1/2 the day for the milk train. The bus takes forever too - so I just paid the fare. Leaving in 45 minutes
Made it to Cordoba - had to pay €30 for ticket - high speed train . All the others were 2x as long and later in the day. But I got a nice room - online price was twice what I paid (I paid €25)
Arrruugh! I'm at a restaurant - on the menu I see roast pork so I sit down. When I order, they say they don't have pork - it'll be chicken. So I give in - and go for the chicken. It's breaded - and it comes to me UNCOOKED! I took 2 bites - then asked if it's supposed to be crudo or cocedo - cooked or raw.
So I struck out.
Later that day I went across the river to the Torre xxx and kept walking out of the tourist area. Found a little place called 'Dona Maria'. Would have had an early dinner but they didn't serve until 'Ochoa' - 8:00. The man was very apologetic. I said no problem, had some water & olives & left. That night after checking the prices of food in the tourist area I decided to return - had a very nice steak & potatoes for only €7 ! Made up for that bad meal this afternoon! Hap hap happy!
Cordoba was a great place to visit. Once the largest city in Western Europe - and the place where Columbus met Ferdinand & Isabella to present his case for his historic voyage for the first time (1487 I think)
Oct 20, 2014, 8:46 AM
What a crock - woke up early to get to bus station to catch 9:06 bus to Jaen. First off my gut told me Google maps was wrong. I asked directions at every intersection & ended up at the train station - then found out the his terminal was across the street. Good. Then I see on the screen, Jaen 9:45. The WINDOW to buy the ticket doesn't even open until after 9:00. What the.... So I have an hour to cool my heels here at the bus terminal. Seems for the life of me I cannot get time tables worth a hoot!
Oct 20, 2014, 9:33 AM
Ok to confuse things more, Google time table says 9:06, the departure screen says several departure times to Jaen - 9:40, 10:00 & on. I get the ticket - the guy says no 9:40 bus. So 10:00 it is. This is probably the one that is 3 hours - and not the direct one. The ticket counter man couldn't speak a word of English so didn't try asking. At least I'm not stuck here for the rest of the day..... (Hopefully!)
Btw 'Jaen' is pronounced 'Hyn' for all you gringos out there - otherwise they look at you here like you just fell out of a tree ...😊
Oct 20, 2014, 9:59 AM
On bus - ready to get whipped around turnabouts like a spinning top for the next 5 hours to go 100 miles or less - what a crock -
Oct 20, 2014, 2:02 PM
My stop off in 'Hyn' basically was more hassle than it was worth - again since I can't make heads or tails out of Fooble (lol) maps I asked directions enough to hoof it up to the citudad historical & the cathedral. They charged €5 to have a peek inside, I said forget it. Done giving any more money to a dead Mary & Vatican Mafiosi. Walked around a bit - stopped for water - wanted to get lunch but it was too early. They brought out a free tapas and olives (although the olives were the big full lye cried big pitted ones - not near as good as the ones I cure!) - hey, that was enough for lunch & it only cost me the water - €1.25 ! Whoooweee! Came back & got my ticket to Granada. Passed up the pastels & am just having coffee !
Jaen Provence has more olive trees than any other Provence - over 25,000,000 - I believe it - there were olive trees as far as the eye can see in every direction - some very mature trees with big thick trunks - although I hate to say it, I suspect the mountains are treated with roundup or something like it / not a blade of grass growing in between the trees - & I saw many spray rigs being used 😞
Bus leaves for Granada @ 2:45
Oct 20, 2014, 3:00 PM
On my way. Driver made a bid stink about me not putting my pack in the luggage carrier. I don't know what he was saying but I motioned that I could put my pack in the overhead. Idk what his tirade was all about. It fit fine upnin the overhead. Easy peesy.
Oct 21, 2014, 1:01 PM
Whew what a day - started when the alarm clock went off at. 6:30 - I hustled to get in line for tickets for the Alhambra. Got there around 7:15 - my guess is there were already 250 people in front of me - and by 8:00 when the doors opened there were 500 behind me. By 9:30 I got my ticket - entered & have been trekking around ever since. Over the top experience, worth giving up coffee for one morning 😊
In late afternoon I was one exhausted old man. Laid down & just let my feet throb. Recharged myself while my camera battery recharged. Went out around 6 & walked around til after 9. Amazing city. I love Granada!
Oct 22, 2014, 12:51 PM
This morning all went well. Woke up around 8, went down stairs for breakfast & coffee, back to room to pack up then checked out. With backpack, I wasn't sure if I'd spend another night in Granada or not. After leaving hotel I went first to the chapel which is the tomb of Ferdinand & Isabella - yep - I saw it - I believe they thought what they did was the work of God when in fact it was ultimate deception and the work of the devil.
Then I hiked up to the Sacromonte district - saw grand views of the Alhambra up above. Then caught bus and saw bits of the Albayzin district. Maybe I should have stayed another night & explored more - but decided to move on. Will need to return to Granada for sure. For the life of me I couldn't find the paper that I had written down train times to Ronda, my next stop. So started for the station - on the way I visited the monestary of Jeronimo - sheeze - more Roman Catholic grandeur. I gave it the 'tag it & go' tour & booked it to the station. For once in my life I got there 3 minutes soon instead of 3 minutes too late. There sat the train - bought ticket & jumped on board. Next stop, Ronda, travel time 3 hours.
Oct 22, 2014, 1:55 PM
Going slowly through mountains with trees laden with olives.
Oct 22, 2014, 8:33 PM
Arrived in Ronda - asked directions to the ciudad historico & found it after about 15 minutes walking. Crossed the bridge & went down the hill looking for a hotel - there were a few **** along the way - I passed them up. In the old part of the town I saw a * star - they were booked. Just as well - it was over €50! So I hoofed it back up the hill to the city center - immediately found Hotel del Roco - €25 yay!
Deposited pack, rested a while then went out for coffee & tapas - then walked uptown, then went looking for the old Roman bridge - found it - and the old Roman baths. Had a great walk - returned after dark - around 8:30! Had a good dinner - now am done for the day!!!!!
Oct 23, 2014, 10:21 AM
Up & at it at 7:30am this morning - packed & went down to a nice breakfast then headed to train station. Train departs for Algecieras at around 9:00. I was tempted to roll over & catch a few more winks & take later train, but it is 2x the cost - and there are some uncertainties I am facing as my next destination is Tanger, Morocco. Train to Algecieras, then bus to Tafira, then ferry to Tangerville - then walk to Hotel Continental - just a few minutes walk from the port.
The train trip from Ronda to Algecieras is as expected, beautiful. Lots of little towns to stop in if is had the time. Saw an incredible castle in Xxxx De la Frontera - wow what a place off the tourist circuit to stop! Also, Antiqueria. Will remember for next time!
Oct 23, 2014, 10:36 AM
20 minutes to Algecieras !
In San Roque, the last stop before Algecieras I saw The rock of Gibraltar!
Oct 23, 2014, 11:16 AM
@ bus station - bus for Tarifa leave in 1/2 hour - that's DOable - hey, are my train/bus connections improving??
Oct 23, 2014, 11:57 AM
Algecieras to Tarifa - overcast / cloudy & humid - mountainous region. Getting glimpses of the strait - doubtful at the port it will be clear enough to see Africa!
Oct 23, 2014, 12:06 PM
Still on bus - windey road - I SEE AFRICA I SEE AFRICA! - oops - that's an oil freighter..... 😊
Ha! Do I have ferry reservation? No - do I even have time table? JR, you'll never change!
Oct 23, 2014, 1:07 PM
Ha ! Amazing amazing! Got off bus, saw ferry ticket office - purchased ticket for 1:00 departure! Hustle hustle to port ! Got there right as they were boarding! We walked on board right where the vehicles board - I went upstairs and 'stumbled' upon the passport control line - was almost 1st - everyone else was behind me! 35 minute trip - Heeeeeeere we go! To Africa! Ebola Land!
Oct 23, 2014, 1:32 PM
Enroute on ferry - sunny skies but hazy in the distance - must be a cloud of Ebola !
Oct 23, 2014, 1:34 PM
Now can make out mountains!
Hmmmmm real dangerous / sitting next to a couple like my parents - a woman like my own mother! What are kids doing on this ferry? Ahhh the daring trip!
Oct 23, 2014, 1:44 PM
Getting close to port - can see buildings on the hills - I predict we'll disembark within 15 minutes - I have 'flu' like symptoms already!
Oct 24, 2014, 9:25 AM
Finally made it to breakfast - so groggy from sleep. Felt funny being 'ushered' in to the breakfast but the place was a bit tricky to find. Upstairs - actually right next to my room - terrace I didn't see because of the lattice. Very nice breakfast - tomorrow I bring my sunglasses though
Oct 24, 2014, 12:36 PM
Having a great time walking around the medina & the town - up to the Kaspah (sp?) - it was a clear day - I gazed across the strait & saw the European continent.
Now back to the square having a coke watching the action of vibrant life in Tanger!
My observation, there are hawkers because they are very poor. They're desperate to make some money. But I also find people to be extremely polite & peaceful. There are energetic children everywhere with their school backpacks just like anywhere else. Sitting down at an outside cafe in the petit socco in Tanger is an incredible people watching experience!
Dinner that night was a 'mixed' experience. Chose a little restaurant near the hotel. Proprieter was friendly enough. I decided on the Tanjine lamb with couscous. He put good olives on the table plus good lentils. He talked me into the fish soup which was half as much as the lamb tanjine. But it was very good. Then comes the tanjine. He pats the top as if to say '-abracadabra'. Top comes off, and instead of Kebob lamb, the lamb consists of four small sausage like kebabs made of a ground meat in the top of vegetables over the couscous. So much for a good savory lamb experience. And really - who ever finished that couscous anyway? When it's all said & done, there's no real taste to it. Strike out.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:47 PM
Did more walking around city this evening - although regretfully not all was as positive as this afternoon. One thing you can count on, these shop keepers never forget you. You make a promise or even an indication that you'll return, and to them the item of interest is as good as yours. I looked at some tiles this morning & passed by the place - yes, his passed by it - and the guy recognized me. I took another look at the tiles. He was so pushy I decided I didn't want them if he gave them to me. I started out the door & I thought he was going to tackle me. He actually did grab my arm to coerce me to remain so he could extract some money out of me.
This experience happened after my 2nd bad meal experience at a sidewalk cafe at the 'Grand Socco'. Earlier I checked out a menu - and told the guy I wasn't hungry but when I was I'd return. When I did there were three or four similar restaurants all together. The proprietor of one 'flagged' me down and I was about to sit at the table when the one I had spoken to earlier recognized me and had a royal fit that I was about to sit down at his competitor's table. After this recognition I acquiesced that indeed he was the one I talked to earlier so I moved over to his group of tables - with a handshake he greeted me like I was his long lost brother. I sat down and ordered 'Tanjine Chicken'. I asked the guy what I was going to get with this tanjine chicken - a bunch of vegetables and just a small portion of chicken? Which was not what I was wanting, but anyway he said 'yes' so I sort of knew what to expect. And sure enough when it arrived and the lid was opened, it was full of squash, carrots and potatoes. Buried underneath those cooked vegetables was a pitiful chicken leg and thigh. Bleeeeauugh. I picked at it, ate as much as I could, paid for the stupid thing (50dm, about $5.00) and left. Before I end this episode I'll add that he also brought me a salad. I was apprehensive about eating anything that was not cooked but ate it anyway. I don't know exactly what has caused my present belly ache or compulsion to sit where I am while I write this - (you can guess where that is) yep - 'ebowla' land alright.
Besides the stomach problems I was bothered all night by buzzing mosquitos. I know one got me good at least once.
Also in the plaza down below kids played soccer until 4:00am - I kid you not. That really didn't bother me though next to my other troubles!
Oct 25, 2014, 11:36 AM
I survived the rough night. Got up late & managed to get to the restaurant for coffee & orange juice. Couldn't do any more. Body is weak & sweating / sill trying to dispel sickness but at least no more runs or stomach ache.
No way to try to make the first ferry crossing (10:30am) I'm here early for the next one (2:30) - the way I'm feeling there's nothing more I want to do in Tanger. Altogether barring that nasty meal last night it was a great experience. My advice is to avoid those little steer cafés on the Grand Socco - especially the one in the middle.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:53 PM
Well out to sea now on the way back to Spain. It was hot & sunny in Tangier - seems misty & a bit stormy in the strait. Hmmm.
I do regret I didn't ticket to fly out of Casablanca. I allowed my fears to distort reason. Regardless, I am on my way to Malaga (via Gibraltar) and back home - in only 4 days.
An observation - I wonder with the opening up of global communication and transportation - are people in the world growing closer or more distant? There's any number of ways to communicate globally - but nary a word is spoken between two travelers sitting near one another on a jet, train or boat. It used to be that Americans would at least compare notes. That is becoming less & less the norm. You could be coming or going from Zanzibar. Total strangers. No one seems to care.
Oct 26, 2014, 10:14 AM
Had much needed sleep - woke up @ 8:00 - feeling perfectly well now. Walked around Tarifa, had coffee & headed to bus station. Found out I had over an hour to wait so took a hike down to the beach & over to the point I believe is the 2nd pillar of Hercules - (the first one being Gibraltar) - could see African coast in distance - just amazing!
Very impressed with Tarifa -will want to return
Made it back just in time to catch bus - it came 15 minutes early!!!! If I had banked on it coming at 10:15 I would have missed it! Now on way to La Lineia Della Conception - where I catch bus to Gibraltar
Oct 26, 2014, 10:43 AM
Made it to Algecieras - 11:00 bus to La Lineia
Oct 26, 2014, 3:46 PM
Whew! Arrived in G - caught bus into the main market place square , walked a few blocks, then took bus #2 to the lighthouse - then took it back to Marketplace - had great fish & Chips at Roy's - got back to bus station in La Linea & bought ticket to Malaga - have an hour to wait so am having coffee con leche - how's that for a travel guide? Tag It -n - Go Tours ....
Oct 27, 2014, 8:32 AM
Arriving in Malaga I found city center & a nice hotel. Checked into the hotel, got in elevator & pressed the floor (5th floor). The elevator stopped but I didn't see the door open - I just heard some mechanical noise. I pressed open & all I heard was the mechanical noise again but no open door. Then I looked behind me - duh...
Had good night sleep! Decided to stay here until I leave for airport.
Now up & across street having a good cup of coffee - ready to walk around.
I found Malaga to be different from the other large cities as the buildings are not quite as old but it's got an ambience to it that makes it equal if not surpassing the others in charm. A great marina and beach.
Had a 'traditional' Spanish breakfast with toast & five types of spread - very good but I cannot say it agreed with my system - I suspect I was spreading on spread with a lard base ..... Eaauuuu....
Oct 28, 2014, 10:04 AM
I am laying low in Malaga. Feet & back are shot. Less than 21 hours to departure back home. I love distant places but I love home also.
But for now, am happy to sit & have coffee - and do my thinking and writing.
Oct 28, 2014, 6:02 PM
Out for my last little trek - again not doing much. Sore. & tired. Ready to come home.
Oct 29, 2014, 7:20 AM
Whoo hooo - got up at 4:25am, had a great night's sleep! All rested, I finished packing up & walked through empty streets recently cleaned to the Main Street where a line of taxis were waiting. Then to airport, arriving a few minutes before 5:00. Line for AirEuropa was a jaw dropper- no movement at all, about 200 people. I figured it would take a day to get through - I had only an hour & 50 minutes. Got in it anyway and surprisingly I was through it in 40 minutes. Security could have been another near disaster but again I sailed right through - although by the time I finally grabbed a cup of coffee & found my gate there was no time left. I swallowed a jamon baguette I had in my pack & gulped my coffee down. Had a stash of olives that were rather smelly & soggy that I decided to leave behind.
With that last slurp of coffee, I depart Spain.
Oct 29, 2014, 11:04 AM
Connection to SLC was hectic. Made the mistake of confusing 'boarding' time with departure time and even miss it on the screen ( duh). Caused me to hustle to next gate for no reason. As it was, again not a lot of time to spare, but made it in plenty of time. 10 hour 40 minute flight to Salt Lake.
So wrapping it up,
7 Tues arrive Lisbon
8 Wed Lisbon
9 Thu Lisbon
10 Fri Sintra
11 Sat Cascais
12 Sun Cascais
13 Mon Setubal
14 Tue Evora
15 wed Albufiera
16 Thur Seville
17 Fri Seville
18 Sat Seville
19 Sun Cordoba
20 Mon Jaen , Granada
21 Tues Granada
22 Wed Ronda
23 Thurs Algecieras Tarifa Tanger
24 Fri Tanger
25 Sat Tarifa
26 Sun Tarifa to Gibraltar to Malaga
27 Mon Malaga
28 Tues Malaga (airport?)
29 Wed homeward bound
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