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May 9th 2006
Published: May 9th 2006
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when we first arrived in europe we were quite excited, seeing as how much we love our own pups, at how people take their dogs everywhere. it seemed that dogs must hardly ever be left at home. and quite a few of these dogs aren´t even on leashes. you can whistle, hauller, snap, do a jig, and they won´t even acknowledge you. they look straight ahead and stay near their master, glancing up every once in a while waiting to instruction. there is however a flip side to these seeming love for the animal. there are few patches of grass in the cities. dogs do their business on the sidewalk. all of their business. anywhere on the sidewalk or street. so after a while, tony and i have developed this talent for avoiding such hazardous parts of the sidewalk while looking around and talking. but beyond that, we think this must be one of the contributing factors to the greater smell of western europe. indeed, it has a stench almost everywhere you go. but now where we are now. now, we are on an island in the mediterannean: minorca, spain.
after leaving cadiz scolded by the sun for not wearing sunscreen, we ventured on to marbella, still considered to be part of southern spain´s ¨costa del sol¨ with a quick stop in gibraltar. the rock of gibraltar is much like a mountain with one side all jagged rock. tony and i were not aware that people lived on it but they do. and so, off the bus we ventured across border control and found quite a cultural switch as we stepped from spain to britain. suddenly signs were in english again. we were very relieved to find a bookstore in the city for our upcoming beach days, and were able to walk around for a few hours before hopping back on the bus. see, spain´s train system is pretty near nonexistent. and so, our travels through spain have so far amounted to 7 hours on buses.
marbella was a little bigger city then cadiz as was the beach, and a little more focused towards the tourist. we stayed in a hostel right on a main street in the old town and had a few days of sun amidst our 4 day, 3 night stay. tony had a little place in the shade under a palm tree as i ventured back into the sun. oh yes, did i mention yet that tony´s skin began molting. it did. he could peel off huge sheets of it at a time. it was first his chest, then back, and surprisingly odd enough, now his legs. i´ve never seen anything like it. anyway, marbella was beautiful although it proved difficult finding food and tony seems to not be too fond of siesta when shops and stores close in the middle of the day for hours. the hardest part is most don´t post when they are closed and they don´t all close at the same time. so you pretty much count on not trying to go to any stores between 2 and 5.
with an early bus ride we were headed to granada just for the day until our night train to barcelona. there we visited alhambra, a 13th century fortress. well we actually just visited part of it called ¨general life¨which entailed some of the most lush gardens we have seen. the fortress only sells a certain amount of tickets a day and we were too late to purchase any - sold out. but on our walk back down we found two tickets that someone had trashed when leaving and they had not gone to this one part. and so, we were very thankful as we observed God´s beautiful creation. you could smell the orange blossoms and roses everywhere you went and fountains led to archways to outside stairways whose rails were carved out and a natural spring was flowing down. it was amazing.
but again we were on a night train and on to barcelona just as a stopping point for us to fly to here. we didn´t really have time to look at much in barcelona but will be returning for 3 days after we leave here on thursday.
but here. wow. it is without words. the water is as clear as a pool except with colors of blue that put crayola to shame. there are jagged cliffs on one beach and pine trees and forest all the way up to the shore at another. we have rented a scooter a couple of days and ventured around the island wind blown and sometimes freezing but loving the scenic drives and stunning coastline. there have been quite a few days of sun and so of course i have been laying out and playing frisbee. we are staying at one of the cheapest places we have been on our trip and yet have a room, bathroom, kitchen, and living room slash dining room with terrace and lounge chairs. we feel completely spoiled as we see how truly we are creatures of habit attempting to have a routine each day. we arrived here last thursday and will be leaving this coming thursday. each day we´ve had home cooked meals and play chess while eating chips and salsa mid-afternoon. it has really been wonderful and we have affectionately named it our island. creative i know.
after thursday we will be in barcelona for 3 days and then to madrid where we fly from madrid to london to catch a play at the shakespearean globe and readily onto the plane home wednesday the 17th.
well i hope that gives you a little insight into our days. we are certainly looking forward to many things back home but are enjoying this last vacation part of our trip.
until next time.


9th May 2006

what about your dogs???
hey guys! i've been thinking this whole time how on earth did you live without your dogs for 2 months???? we have the same puppies, so julianna was telling me all about your dogs and how they compare to ours....quite interestingly, the yorkies and the yorkie-poos differences/similarities are almost exactly alike....anyways, i just had to tell tone that my mom was looking at your pictures with me and she wanted me to tell tone that "william wallace would not mark up his body like that" :)....thought tone would appreciate that one.... :)

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