This time it was off to Spain! We only had 3 days to explore - so it was go...go...go! Day 1
: There is nothing worse than an alarm waking you up....especially when it goes off at 2:15am!!!! Yes, that's right - 2:15am. That's when we had to rise and shine to catch our 6:45am flight from Stansted Airport (London). At 3:15am we stepped out the door, walked a mile to Putney High Street, and waited for the number 14 to take us to Tottenham Court Road. We had a 5 min walk through the city to our next bus stop. It was 4am on Saturday so we had the pleasure of wheeling our suitcase through the hoards of intoxicated party goers (what fun...)! It was then onto another bus to Waterloo. By 4:45am we were on the Stansted Express (45 min direct train to Stansted Airport). By 10am we were at Malaga Airport wondering how we were going to recognise our host! And it wasn't long before we stumbled across a lady holding a sign that said "MITCHELL".
A bit of background: Stacy's Dads friends (Alan and Ruby) invited us to stay with them in Spain. We had
met Alan, but not Ruby. At the last minute we found out that Alan wasn't going to be in Spain and that we would be spending the weekend with Ruby! So we were just a little worried about how we were going to find each other. In the end everything was great. Ruby was a fantastic host.
Alan and Ruby own a Villa just East of Estepona (An hour west of Malaga Airport). The place is gorgeous, with 2 pools, private bar, restaurant, and it's right on the beach!
When we arrived we went for lunch at the restaurant with Ruby, before stumbling back to the Villa for an afternoon siesta (we just couldn’t stay awake after such an early start!).
That night we headed to the Estepona Harbour for tapas and drinks. It was then back to the beach bar at the complex for a Sangria (or two...). Day 2
. Was a road trip that we found in a book called “Following in the Footsteps of Caesar”. The drive took us from Estepona to Casares, through Gaucin, on to Castella, and back to Estepona. The Andalucian hinterland is the home of many fortress towns
with castles and churches; they have altered little in appearance over the centuries. The countryside is steep, the roads windy, and little white cubical houses litter the hillsides like scattered dice. From Casares you can see for miles across the ridge tops, each of them filled with wind farms. Gaucin is a classic of its kind: perched on a hillside with the Castillo del Aguila at its eastern edge, the town fans out beside it. From this castle there are awesome views across the countryside to Gibraltar and the North African coast.
As we drove into Castellar, we were reading an excerpt from a book which stated, “Castella is a very quiet town, it’s almost like a ghost town at times”. Then, we turned the corner to find the annual fair in full swing, with hundreds of people partying to local Spanish bands, and kids running riot between fun park rides! We spent an hour taking in the sun and celebration. Stacy even won me a cute toy (awww) by shooting down targets at one of the stalls (though first he had to work out which direction the dodgy rifle was manipulated to fire!).
That night we headed
The cubical white houses litter the hills
with Ruby to Puerto Banus. This town is famous for it's picturesque marina filled with multi-million dollar yachts, expensive restaurants, yuppie bars and dodgy nightclubs. Only 15 years ago Puerto Banus was a traditional Spanish fishing village! Here we strolled around the marina, staring in awe at the enormous luxury cruisers, and also made a pit stop for a drink at the famous Sinatra Bar. We ended up having dinner down the road at a more local restaurant, and the three of us shared a huge Paella (pronounced pie-ay-ya). Paella is considered a ‘happy food’, a ‘fiesta food’, which is normally served for Sunday lunch or a picnic in the country. The Rose' we drank with our Paella certainly helped the food live up to its reputation! Day 3
. Before the long trek home, Ruby took us to a wonderful town called Mijas, nestled in the cliffs above Malaga. We took in the breathtaking view, wandered around the quaint streets and took time to have lunch alfresco style before heading to Malaga Airport. So it was “AdiÃ³s” to Spain and our extra special host Ruby, and a “Hi Ya” again to London, the place we currently call home.
Castillo del Aguila
Look closely and you can see the Rock of Gibraltar in the distance
Finally, big thanks to Ruby for having us over the long weekend. Your hospitality was sensational, and we are very grateful! Till our next adventure, its back to the grindstone once more…..
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