Gibraltar and Spain - Alhaurin el Grande

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June 10th 2012
Published: June 10th 2012
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Tuesday 29th May 2012 – 9thJune 2012

After saying good bye to our friends who had also stayed at the campsite with us for the day, we drove back into Seville and then took the road to Utera. After Utera on the way to Ronda, the road was very pretty, with fields of sunflowers, verges of poppies and then yellow trees and fields of olive trees before the stunning views of Zahara castle perched on a hill overlooking a turquoise blue lake.

On to Ronda and then down over the mountain to San Pedro on the coast, taking the AP road to Marbella and then the A7 along the coast to Fuengirola where we were meeting with some more friends to collect the spare key for the house (We had forgotten ours – oops!!) Had a good catch up for a couple of hours before getting up to the house at about 6.00pm, where we unpacked the van and after having a good wander around the town, sat on the porch with a tinto verano!

The next few days we didn’t actually do very much except enjoy the sunshine, clean the house, shopping, reading........a lovely relaxing time! The temperatures are now reaching about 40c through the day so difficult to do too much although we did do our favourite walk early one morning up at the lakes.

Chris’ sister arrived on the Friday so we collected her from the airport and then had a few busy sightseeing days! Went to our favourite coastal haunts such as Benalmadena Port and Parque de la Paloma, as well as visiting and wandering around the old town at Marbella which was absolutely stunning at this time of year, with the purple jacaranda trees, wisteria, geraniums and bouganvilla flowering everywhere!

It was also the Queens Diamond Jubilee on June 4th so we decided to drive down to Gibraltar and enjoy their street party with hog roast and musicians playing in the squares. Lovely festive atmosphere, made all the more enjoyable because of the sun!! Also caught the cable car to the top of the rock (9.75 Euros return) to view the apes and have a wander around the rock before climbing down the 600 or so Charles V steps and then an old stony track and then more steps past Lopezs Ramp, back down onto Flat Bastion Road in the town. It’s a hell of a trek down so not really a viable option to walk up to the top of the Rock and then walk to view the sights which are probably about 4km apart once you get up there!! We wish there was a hop on – hop off taxi service around the Rock but at the moment there is only the choice of a taxi ride stopping off at each point of interest or the cable car! The taxi’s are currently charging about 22 Euros each which includes the 10 euros entry to see the sights. Anyway it was a very enjoyable day, although we did notice that the tolls on the AP motorway had gone up quite a bit (about 8 euros each way from Marbella to La Linea!)

We were also lucky enough to be invited by some friends to Cannon Ball Normas’ 80th Birthday bash at Valpraiso on the Mijas Road. She was trained as a Ballet dancer but in 1954 was ‘promoted’ to being a human cannon ball, being shot out of a cannon 2 x a night for the next 2 years! She celebrated her birthday by being ‘fired’ from a purpose built stage cannon.....not sure it went quite as planned as she did appear to sort of crawl out of the front of the cannon!! Anyway, a good night was had by all with plenty of good food and wine, dancing and music, all outside on a beautiful terrace overlooking the coast. Chris won a boxed set of wine in the raffle and the only downside was that I managed to get about 10 mosquito bites because I forgot to spray myself!!

We went to Mijas on our penultimate day as it was their International Gastronomy Fiesta. Parked in the old quarry and walked down into the town. There were a lot of people milling around the pueblo with loads of stalls from different countries selling their native food and their local wares. They then all took turns dancing, in their national costumes, the traditional dance of the country, on the three different stages. Saw some lovely colourful National costumes and watched the Spanish children dancing flamenco! So cute!! Also watched the procession of English, Spanish and American gleaming classic cars through the town accompanied by a music band! Had Pad Thai for lunch and just wandered about enjoying the sunshine and the atmosphere........

Tomorrow we are packing up the house and starting our 4 week trip home..........

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