7th – 13th March 2019
During our second week in Andalucia we’ve managed to venture a little further – a road trip inland, some more city sightseeing and discovering Benalmadena Pueblo. Steve’s getting steadier on his ‘foot’ now, although it’s still not up to running or long treks. Oh well, mustn’t grumble – loving the chilled way of life!!
On Thursday we took a wander around Benalmadena Marina and then to the nearby beach. Loved the marina and discovered it to be the pretty end of town with interesting beachside shops and cafes too. The sunbeds are more expensive than Fuengirola though and toilets not so accessible (very important factors when you’re pensioners!), so our other beach days this week have seen us return to a favourite spot along Fuengirola beach. Steve’s happy resting up while I fit in my 5 mile promenade walk most days – wherever you are along this coast the promenade just seems to stretch for miles. There’s also plenty of exercise equipment dotted around for stretching it out too. It’s not that I’m a fitness fanatic (I wish I was) – I just have to compensate for that ‘essential’ holiday eating and drinking!
However, on Saturday’s beach trip I had a bit of a ‘funny turn!’ After my walk I went in for a swim – it was pretty cold as usual, I seemed to be the only person in the sea that day. I came out and must have very quickly dozed off in the sun …. and when I came too I had lost part of my memory … I knew who Steve was but I just couldn’t remember where we were, how we had got there, where we were staying etc. It was really scary and I think I freaked Steve out. It was a good hour or so before things starting to return to normal. We’re guessing it was sunstroke or my body reacting to the extremes of temperature. Of course Steve’s had plenty of mileage out of it since … trying to convince me that I don’t like G&T … and apparently I hate shopping … oh and I’m married to George Clooney (still waiting for evidence of that one)! 😆
So on Friday we decided to embark on the 180 miles return road trip to Granada to visit Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex steeped in Moorish and Spanish history. The drive was pretty spectacular in itself – the vast stretches of farmland and hills and the snow capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada. The road systems were amazing too, we were often one of a few vehicles on vast 4 lane motorway stretches. The GPS went a little astray towards the end, due to new roads we think, (plus navigating never was my strong point), however we eventually found our way into the car park and eagerly set off to join the queue. Only to be informed that as I had no ID we could not enter the palaces. I was devastated … I tried the “we’ve driven 2 hours to get here” “I’m English and we don’t carry ID” …. I even considered trying to raise a few tears … but it seemed that nothing was going to make them budge. Some compensation however in that we managed to save ourselves some euros and there were parts of the grounds we could visit without an entrance ticket – and it was all stunning – so all was not lost.
On Saturday, after my mysterious ‘memory loss’ incident, we were booked on an evening Airbnb experience – a wine and tapas tour in Malaga. I was still feeling a little bit dizzy but we set off with the thought that we could return if I didn’t feel well at any time. It turned out to be a fantastic evening. We met up with our host Alicia (https://ohmygoodguide.com/) and 4 others in the group, all youngsters in their twenties – all so friendly. We learnt so much about Andalucian tapas and the local sweet wines. During the evening we wandered through the beautiful city of Malaga and sampled tapas and wines in a few different bars. There was a fair bit of standing up although a few times they found me a stool (age does have its compensations)! The local sweet wines are what we would call sherry – delicious – reminded me of the odd schooner at Christmastime. And later we had Vermouth – now that reminded me of 70s nightclub drinking! We ate little bits of food in different bars – tortilla, gazpacho, olives, broad beans, goats cheese, Serrano ham, tuna and breads. For old’uns we kept up well with our party until it was time for us to leave to get the last train back to Benalmadena. Sat amongst the late night revellers in their tipsy states on the journey back – we felt like teenagers!
We’ve been back a couple of times this week too to explore the delights of Benalmádena Pueblo, and we’ve absolutely fallen in love with it. We spent the whole morning up there on Sunday, enjoying the pretty streets and houses, visiting the church with its open doors as the mass was being said, beautiful hymns ringing out and we soaked up the amazing views over Benalmádena. We sat and had coffee in the square – such a great atmosphere, the sun shining down.
We returned late Tuesday afternoon to do a little wine and tapas tour, sampling in three bars …. and loving the life. We’ve been looking longingly in the Estate Agents’ windows – could absolutely live here – as well as its quaintness, mass is at the reasonable time of 12.30pm …. and they sell ‘Yorkshire Tea’ in the local shop! What’s not to love!
On Tuesday we took ourselves off to the very large market in Fuengirola – even if you don’t buy it’s an experience. We managed to restrain ourselves from overspending but I did come away with a sun hat and Steve splashed out on some walking socks and some very snazzy red shorts. Afterwards we wandered into the old town of Fuengirola, mostly searching for reading material as stocks running low. Found one bookshop with extortionate prices for English books and limited choice, but needs must. I’m alright Jack – I have my kindle!
We spend occasional time too at our apartment pool although the water is definitely on the chilly side. Another couple of residents were there on Sunday – and ‘Macho Mike’ jumped into the pool to impress his stunningly attractive young girlfriend but almost stopped breathing with shock in the process … and made a quick exit out!! So I’ve decided not to venture in quite yet.
Adios for now. The sun is shining … wish you were here 😎🍷
Alicia’s Wine and Tapas Tour: https://ohmygoodguide.com/