Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th were fairly quiet days. I went to Tesco’s to refill the fridge and we caught up on the washing and ironing. Both feeling quite tired and also feeling the cold compared to Spain.
On Thursday lunchtime I went to M&D’s for lunch with Ali, M and F. It was lovely to catch up with Ali. Her job is going well, but it is long hours and a steep learning curve. She is very hopeful of a full-time job with them next September. We also discussed going on holiday together next September which would be fun. I had cooked some scones/rock cakes which I shared with M&D.
Dad is pleased with his indoor rollator which was delivered that day. Mom cooked a nice salmon lunch, but is obviously having great trouble with her hands.
On Friday we went to the social club quiz with P, which was fun, but we didn’t do as well as usual.
On Saturday rather grey day. I cleaned the bathroom and toilets and we walked to the shops for some chicken from the butchers. I also bought some early Christmas cards from St Giles. Lunch was the bargain pizza from Tescos with additional toppings, and sharing the tuna with Velvet. I had a quick chat with Tony, Pam’s son. The house is going on the market next week for £320,000. I hope nice people buy it.
R cooked lemon pepper chicken for dinner which was lovely and we watched SCD, Have I got News for you (from Friday) and the Egghead final.
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.
We then surveyed the panoramic view as the mist had cleared and walked slowly down the hill, buying a handbag, and then looking at the views of the gorge and the bridge, which were amazing.
We boarded the coach for our two hour journey to Seville. Staying in the city centre hotel Don Paco, which had a lovely roof top pool and bar.
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.
At the end of the tour we chose to visit the Cathedral Y Giralda.
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 both really enjoyed this. We then went to the Iglesias del Salvador. Whilst it wa a smaller church it still had 14 highly decorated side chapels and lots of fine paintings and scultures.
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 paid extra to have a guided tour of the upper rooms which meant we saw the marvellous tiling and mouldings and other works of art.
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 the tour we went to a very small synagogue – surviving without a Jewish community. I also bought a pretty small silver ring.
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.
We both felt quite tired so ate a bar meal at the hotel.
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.