Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 8

I wouldn’t say I had the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, but I did manage to doze for good chunks of the night.  I got up at about 06:30am, to views of Spain.  Trying to move about in that small space without disturbing Grant was challenging to say the least…  [Picture the scene, stage whisper:  oops, sorry babe, just fell over the ladder; oh dear, sat on top of you by mistake, was just opening the bathroom door….Fun!]  Grant woke up, not long after I did (wink, wink) and we had a quick shower (independently!) in the funny little shower cubicle and then went to the dining car for a continental breakfast.

We arrived in Madrid just before 10am and were met by our friendly tour guide, Oscar.  We had a fantastic whirl-wind tour of the beautiful city of Madrid.   It was so much greener than I had imagined – lots of parks, gardens and trees and flowering oleander bushes (my favourite!) everywhere, beautiful!  A couple of highlights for me were: the huge bull-fighting ring (I hate, despise and abhor the idea of bull-fighting, but the building was very pretty), the exceptionally beautiful park we stopped at that had a lovely lake in the middle of it, complete with row boats, the 4 sets of city gates, the area with lots of little restaurants in caverns (dating back to the middle ages – including the oldest restaurant in the world!) and the No.1 attraction, the San Miguel market!  Oh my soul, I could have spent hours in the market… the foods on offer!  Absolutely amazing!

Oscar (a gem of a tour guide!) dropped us off at the Atocha station in time for us to catch our afternoon train to Malaga. 

This was a lovely modern train that went at a pants-wettingly high speed, fortunately we were provided with ear-phones, so I got to watch a good movie (Charlie St Cloud) to take my mind off it.  The countryside was really beautiful, lots and lots of olive trees with villas and villages here and there, the odd castle too.

We got to Malaga (quite ugly!) and then got a transfer to our timeshare resort in Mijas-Costa.  The resort is huge, it is in fact a few resorts all joined together, with a “villagey” feel to it.  It feels really safe, we slept with our windows open, no burglar guards! Very liberating!  The girls wander here, there and everywhere, all alone…. quite amazing to the South African in me!  There are various restaurants, pools, a little supermarket, a gym etc etc.  A little “train” runs continuously around the place and you can hop-on and hop-off at various points.  Our unit is nothing fancy, but very nice – 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, open-plan lounge dining-room and a lovely big verandah with loungers and a table and chairs, with views over the med.  Dad hit the jackpot and got a unit in another part of the complex with air-con and a dish-washer, which ours doesn’t have… swine! 

The resort offer a bus into nearby Fuengirola, Marbella and Puerto Banus during the week, as well as entertainment eg. Flamenco dancing one night, some guy singing 80s music another night etc etc  It’s obviously very touristy, but hey, we’re tourists, so we plan on doing the tourist thing!

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