Viva Espana!

 

 

I used to look down, metaphorically, on Spain, as being overdeveloped for tourism and not very Spanish. I was wrong. OK, I know it’s hard to believe but, yes, I was wrong. Of course, some areas are like that but there are advantages even then. Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Marbella, Fuengirola are all over developed, full of Irish bars, English bars, Scottish bars, Netherlands cafes, German Bier Kellers… it goes on. In Summer you could not pay me to go there. Full of people in football shirts, baseball caps on backwards and bad tattoos.  Alright, I’m a snob and prejudiced.

Out of high season, however, it is very different. The cafes and so on are still there, of course, but nobody makes you go in them. And Spain does lurk just below the surface, you only have to look a little harder. Those resorts are good places to stay out of season because they have all the facilities you need and, more to the point, they provide an excellent jumping off point for exploration and the Spanish side of Spain is just around the next bend.

Get a hire car; go up into the mountains to Ronda. The drive is a little hairy in places but the views are stunning. You can stop and listen and there is no music, no traffic noise, no nothing at all.

how rugged can it get? So beautiful.
how rugged can it get? So beautiful.
Stopped to listen to the silence.
Stopped to listen to the silence.

 

 

Not a sound except for the goats and birds of prey overhead.

 

The birds are overhead, not the goats. It’s wild but not that wild.

The best I could do as a close up.
The best I could do as a close up.
Vultures overhead.
Vultures overhead.
Aforementioned goats - NOT overhead.
Aforementioned goats – NOT overhead.

There are gentians growing by the roadside, lemons and oranges on the trees and castles straight out of El Cid – you expect Charlton Heston to gallop across your path any minute. The air is clean and there is a scent of herbs on the breeze.

I'm told this is a folly, not a real castle but it looks the part for me.
I’m told this is a folly, not a real castle but it looks the part for me.
Close up of the castle.
Close up of the castle.

 

And, in Ronda itself, the town in lovely. Not all of it, of course, what town is? But the centre and the old town are really well worth a visit. And we found this restaurant. Of course we did, we always do. Looks a bit ordinary on the outside but…

Inside Restaurante El Patio.
Inside Restaurante El Patio.
Another inside shot.
Another inside shot.
He must have been running at a hell of a speed to get stuck like that.
That deer must have been running at a hell of a speed to get stuck like that.
Hope the two gents don't mind being pictured here but I want the world to know about this cafe.
Hope the two gents don’t mind being pictured here but I want the world to know about this cafe.

 

 

 

 

 

At the back of the restaurant.
At the back of the restaurant.

IMG_1392

and we had the Menu del Dia, can’t  remember what it was but all four of us enjoyed it and, much to the loved one’s delight, it wasn’t expensive.

So go to Ronda, it’s worth it for the drive alone but the town is fabulous too. And Spanish!

And then there’s Antiquera, off  in the opposite direction, behind Malaga and full of castles and ruins and nice bars.  We got lost and spent hours walking in a huge circle but it was worth it.

How many towns near you look as good as this over the rooftops?
How many towns near you look as good as this over the rooftops?
Now that's what I calla bay window.
Now that’s what I call a bay window.

 

Just a door, nothing special, justa  door.
Just a door, nothing special, justa door.
Looking across the town from the castle.
Looking across the town from the castle.

SAM_4184

Ask me how many camera dangling tourists there were – yup, just the two of us.

And we went into Malaga for the day by train. We knew parking would be a nightmare and the fare is less than six Euros return. Another city with an old town and lots to see.

 

The cathedral in Malaga, huge and impressive and ornate. Superb.
The cathedral in Malaga, huge and impressive and ornate. Superb.

And, everywhere we looked, there were tangle patterns.

Can I turn this into a tangle? Maybe someone already has.
Can I turn this into a tangle? Maybe someone already has.
This looks a bit complex for a tangle but it called to me from across the street.
This looks a bit complex for a tangle but it called to me from across the street.

 

SAM_7656

I know it's corny but they do look so right.
I know it’s corny but they do look so right.
An open air theatre. Look at the birds on a wire. Made me think of Leonard Cohen.
An open air theatre. Look at the birds on a wire. Made me think of Leonard Cohen.
The play of light and shade on this roof over the walkway by the port/marina had me fascinated.
The play of light and shade on this roof over the walkway by the port/marina had me fascinated.

SAM_7673

i think one of my ex-neighbours modelled for this.
I think one of my ex-neighbours modelled for this.
Inside the tapas bar.
Inside the tapas bar.
The tapas bar in Malaga with pictures of celebrated flamenco artists. hope they danced better than the singing.
The tapas bar in Malaga with pictures of celebrated flamenco artists. Hope they danced better than the singing.

There’s a Picasso museum, which we failed to find, to my disgust but, on the other hand, we had real tapas in a real Spanish tapas bar and asked the waitress for help with choosing. She was delighted we were interested and we had a great lunch, just like the locals. (Downside? Bloody flamenco music playing in the background. Am I being punished for something? I must have been VERY naughty.)

And now we are home again, subject to unending drizzle, cloud and chill winds. However, it’s only a few weeks till we go off again in search of the warmth, so I’ll have to get my Christmas shopping done quicksticks.

I did some drawing while we were away. I had a second go at the Huggins/Trio/Xyp tile and liked my second attempt better. Did another left hander too, which was also better in my eyes but pretty kindergarten nonetheless.

And a second try using Trio, Xyp and Huggins Again, better, I think.
And a second try using Trio, Xyp and Huggins Again, better, I think.
Second attempt at a left hander, better but I still don't like doing it. It's like taking medicine. It may be good for me but...
Second attempt at a left hander, better but I still don’t like doing it. It’s like taking medicine. It may be good for me but…

Someone I’ve been working with has moved on and I did her a little picture of an olive tree, to remind her of her ambition to go and live for a year in Italy and really learn the language. SAM_7638

And then there’s the new Challenge. I had real fun with tis one. I couldn’t think where to start so went on Tanglepatterns.com and looked up grid patterns. I tried Zonked and Window Grill but couldn’t free them up enough but then I found Snagz. This is a great pattern and I just loved it. So it’s a monotangle. I did use a sort of grid to get me started but rubbed it out quickly, before anyone noticed.  So, my thanks to Sandy Hunter for this Challenge. I think I may do more of these.

DC 195 Snag

 

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10 thoughts on “Viva Espana!

  1. i had some problems with this challenge. Yours is impressive. I wouldn’t have known about the grid you quickly erased “before anyone could notice”—if you had not spilled the beans. 😉

    I really enjoyed reading about your perseverance in finding the real Spain. My first ever trip with my husband of 32 years was in 1981—to Spain. I think we found the real Spain very easily, including finding the Spanish parliament building ringed by soldiers with submachine guns—it was right after an attempted coup d’etat. There weren’t too many tourists flocking there at that time—not even to the Costa del Sol. My second trip to Spain was with our son, 20 something years later. I think we still managed to find the “real Spain”, having some meals in places where we were clearly the only foreign tourists. If you are interested, here’s my account of that journey; http://www.boomeresque.com/on-the-road-in-spain-with-our-2-boomlet/

  2. Great pictures of Spain. Can feel the warmth of the Sun looking at them, and I know what you mean about the over tourism parts of spain. We had the same feeling. Before we visited it once. We where not near the the coast, so we had a great nature scene, with lots and lots of forests. Your zendala with your non-dominant hand looks great. And your Snagz tile is awesome. Love it.

  3. Your photos are always fun to look at – the skies are so blue! Your challenge tile kinda reminds me of a lopsided (in a good way!) snowflake 😛 It has a shine to it, and looks like it is ready to sit on your Christmas tree xD

    P.S. I truly applaud your attempts with your non-dominant hand ❤ ❤ Thanks for visiting my challenge entry and leaving kind words ❤

  4. Goats overhead. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us all. Now longing to jump on a plane 🙂 The tangles are great, as always, but I must say, I love your olive tree. Hope it is a great inspiration to your colleague.

  5. Love your Post. Wonderful photos. Love your narration. I, too, find the Olive Tree piece beautiful. Terrific creative work. Your Snagz tile is great. I see a maple leaf represented there. Beautiful Tile. I like you other Tiles also. I very much enjoyed this post.

  6. I enjoyed your visit to real Spain, Maggiebee. I live there and not too far from Antequera, so recognise the things you were enjoying – great bars with great food, silence and scents, flora and fauna. I’m within sight of the Sierra Nevada and when the day is clear, I still pinch myself at times as I can’t always believe I really live in this amazing place. I lived for a while near Malaga too, so if you need directions to the Picasso museum when you next visit – just let me know!!
    As for your own lovely art – as I am surrounded by olive trees, I am particularly taken with your gorgeous picture and Snagz looks great in liberation.
    Great post!
    Axxx

  7. Lovely photos, you will have so many wonderful memories. I think, if possible, it would be better to visit most places off season. Your art work is very good.

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