Our holiday in Andalusia in October 2016. Flew into Malaga airport to temperatures in the high 20’s. A short transfer to the first hotel in Mijas. Then a lovely relaxing afternoon sitting on a warm terrace by the pool. I really hadn’t expected this and it was a perfect start to the holiday. In the early evening the coach took us up the hill to Mijas, with winding streets and a glorious view over the valley to the sea. I bought a spoon rest and two small bowls.
The next morning, after a nice buffet breakfast, we found our allocated place on the coach and drove to Ronda. It was very misty when we arrived and Becky walked us all down to the bridge over the gorge but we couldn’t see anything! R and I walked to the top of the town and visited the Cathedral church of Santa Maria Mayor which was highly decorated, and a taste of what was to come.
The guid recommended a few restaurants and we chose the ‘cheap and cheerful’ El Rincon del Tito, just around the corner. It had a nice outdoor seating area, a good menu, and although it was quite close to the road it had a nice atmosphere. I had garlic prawns and R had hake which came with chips and salad, plus the mandatory bread and olives. Plus a bottle of house wine. Gorgeous.
The following morning we had a coach tour of Seville with a local guide, Guillermo. This covered the ancient buildings plus the buildings of the expo in 1929 and the more recent expo in 1992. Absolutely stunning. He was also an expert on the local botany so we learned a lot about the trees and shrubs.
A marvellous experience with lots of ornate side chapels. A particular feature is the minaret tower which was converted to a Christian bell tower and is accessed by a series of 34 ramps made of bricks and leading to a panoramic view over Seville.
Afterwards we walked slowly back to our hotel. After a shower we had a drink in the hotel pool bar which had great views over the city. And then went to the same restaurant. We both had king prawns from the specials menu, which were unpeeled, large and about 8 each. Lovely with a bottle of wine.
On Saturday 22nd we awoke to very rainy weather. R went out and bought 2 umbrellas and after breakfast we ventured out to The Museo de Bellas Artes. This was a series of rooms around pretty gardens, with a focus on Spanish painters, all housed in a converted convent.
We then returned to the hotel and bought bread, ham, cheese, crisps and drinks for lunch. After a complete change of clothes due to the rain we ventured out again and went to Casa De Pilatos (Pilate’s House). This is an Andalusian palace dating to 1520.
We then walked back to the hotel in the rain, and after a shower went back to El Rincon, indoors this time, and both had salmon from the specials menu. Again excellent. After dinner we got talking to another couple. Very interesting people.
Sunday 23rd. A 6:30 breakfast as we were leaving Seville for Córdoba. The first hour was driving in the dark, but we saw a lovely sunrise but then it started to rain again. On arrival we met our guide and had ‘whisperers’ issued and then went round the Mosque-Cathedral (Mesquita). A vast area with great decorated columns which was once an enormous mosque but then had a Catholic cathedral built inside it, complete with all the gilding, statues and stained glass windows.
After a wander through the streets we found a nice bar and had beer and mixed paella which was lovely.
Returning to the coach via the old Roman bridge and then our journey to Granada looking at thousands of olive trees.
The hotel in Granada was very grand, with a painting over the bed and a strange glass door to the bathroom.
Reception was light and airy.
Monday 24th. After another lovely breakfast, with even more fruit we went a short coach ride to meet our guides at the Alhambra. It was raining again, but that didn’t spoil the marvellous walk through all the gardens and the many palaces with the gorgeous tiling and decorated walls and ceilings. 3 hours of walking and information! Quite amazing.
After the tour we planned to walk down into the main part of the city for lunch, but somehow got a bit lost. We found a nice looking bar in the student area and ordered beer and mixed tapas from a waitress that didn’t speak English. It was amazing – chicken skewers, pork, frittata, salami,… 6 different types and two of each! After that we found our way down into the centre and went to the Cathedral which had a good audio tour.
Walked back to the hotel and after showers and a drink in the bar we went to a restaurant around the corner and had some nice food.
Our final day was a 6:30 breakfast and a departure in the dark to the airport. All very smooth and back in the UK at lunchtime. Home for a nice cup of tea (much missed) and we did most of the washing. Velvet very pleased to see us.