Tuesday, March 20th:
Wow, just got back a few days ago from a FANTASTIC vacation with mom, dad and Devon touring around southern Spain. It great seeing someplace new, driving around Spanish highways and hills, eating TONS of cheese, bread and olives, and enjoying as much wine and sangria as I possibly could.
Each day was a new adventure and what I loved most was just strolling the streets and taking it all in. Being slightly OCD, mom and I poured over our travel books each night, planning the day ahead. We'd announce the time of departure and dad and Devon would obligingly follow along. I just couldn't help myself taking over the local maps and guiding us up and down the narrow streets and plazas! Gibraltar was especially hard on our bodies, and for days, we'd wince and cringe at the sight of stairs (it didn't help that we were on the 5th floor of the hotel, either)!
We did SO MUCH and had such a great time, that's I'm going to do installments of our trip.
The first stop on our vacation was Paris, aka Charles de Gaulle airport. Nothing says "French" more than a baguette for breakfast!
Benalmadena: the seaside location of our hotel.
This also surprisingly turned out to be a hotspot for Brits on vacation, and we enjoyed our fair share of too-tiny tank tops, sunburns, socks and sandals and all the fry-ups (eggs, sausage, beans, and tomatoes for all you unsophisticated readers) we could eat! The boardwalk was also full of characters, and my personal favorites included a waiter sporting a curled mullet and the dozens of Africans selling us artwork of Masaai, sunglasses or watches. A real treat.
It's a little blurry, but nothing says business in the front and party in the back like a curly mullet!
Authentic artwork anyone?
This great people watching only added to the beautiful location. We had gorgeous weather everyday, a little bit chilly for my equator lifestyle, but sunny with blue skies. Our hotel was only a few minutes walk from the beach, and we visited the boardwalk and the restaurants quite frequently when at home.
First night's best find: late night pizza!
Gibraltar: we drove along the coast and even ventured onto the toll road to get to Gibraltar the next morning! I hadn't realized that Gibraltar is actually owned by the British, and we needed to show our passports and go through "border control" to enter. It too was a magical land of Brits and pubs.
The Rock of Gibraltar
Laundry that mom swears looks like a bull.
Our first stop was the famous Rock of Gibraltar. The town is a thriving port and from the top of the rock you can see the northern coast of Africa and Morocco. We wisely went up to the top via a gondola and as we arrived, we were quickly greeted by the local group of monkeys on the island. They are curious and almost got into my bag! At one point we even saw a baby climbing all over an unlucky tourist in a narrow passage known as the Monkey's Den. It was a little terrifying walking through, so mom made sure to wildly wave her arms over her head and yell as she passed. Very entertaining.
The views were great, and there were a number of other sites to see on our "walk" down. The first was a cave that had previously been used as a hospital during WWII and now hosts musical concerts.
The Queen Mum is coming!
Bathroom break anyone?
Next we made our way to the Moorish castle which was one of the first buildings erected on the island.
It took us awhile to meander our way back down, and our legs were feeling it for a few days afterwards! Before we headed out we stopped in the garden at the bottom of the rock.
What a great start to an amazing vacation!