Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time warp!

Cardona - what a place! It's a tiny town, in the middle of nowhere, with a massive salt mine which puts it on the map. Oh, and there is an incredible Parador here as well!

Parador Cardona


View from the watch tower.


I'm loving the castles!

Wandering around the townsite was like taking a step back in time.... the narrow streets and old buildings are amazing, and the fact that it is all dominated by a giant castle makes it feel even more medieval!


Tomorrow it's on to Barcelona.... I can't wait!! Then Monday.... UGH.... it's time to go home.

Speaking of which, I am missing it just a little.... my home, my family, my friends.... and I look forward to seeing you all soon!!


El Toro - these giant metal bulls are EVERYWHERE!

Friday, February 24, 2012

North we go...

Teruel, Aragon - not too sure what it's all about, but that's where I am at the moment!

Bull fighting stadium in Teruel.

Yesterday evening, after the third round of golf in as many days, we said our good-byes to all the cool peeps we met while in Fuengirola. Suitcases were packed up, and bright and early this morning we hit the highway.

La Cala Golf Resort - Campo America Course

Glimpse of the snowy Sierra Nevadas.

It is now seven hours later, and we are chilling at the Parador Teruel, which in its other life was a Moorish palace. Tomorrow we are heading for Cardona, to do a bit of hiking before staying at the Parador there. Then.... Barcelona! I can hardly wait! I've heard such great things about the city and am looking forward to being there!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunshine - Twenty Days in Row!

Today will be round number six of golf this trip. Wow. I'm not sure how I feel about that, since I'm really NOT a golfer! Hee hee! However, I do get to be outside, in this most gorgeous, sunshiney place, so I shouldn't complain. My buddy on the other hand, loves the game, so this is all a double bonus for him - he's thoroughly enjoying himself AND he's provided with cheap entertainment (my lack of golf skills is a complete hoot to observe, I'm sure!). Oy.


El Finca

Tomorrow we are starting the drive back towards Barcelona, and we'll be making a couple of stops at Paradors along the way. Paradors are these cool old buildings of various history, which have been restored by the state and turned into hotels. If you ever travel here, I highly recommend checking some of them out! They're fun!

Alright, time to coffee-up and get ready for the day..... Hope all is well back home!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The fun continues....

The past couple of days have been totally fun! Well okay, not TOTALLY.... On Sunday, we golfed at what may have been the most evil course on the planet.

Looks can be deceiving! D'oh!!


It was greener than green, and it was in a stellar location, however it ripped me to shreds. I'm not kidding. It was the most frustrating round of golf I have ever shown up for. **SIGH** But I hung in there for the entire 18 - since I am in Spain after all - and what I got to do on Monday more than made up for the weekend's whack-f*ck debaucle. Mid-morning yesterday, after a quick coffee, we drove north of Marbella to a groovy place called Refugio Juanar, and from there we hiked up to the top of a neat little mountain called La Concha.

Gnarly terrain on the way up La Concha.

A slightly hazey view.

Approaching the summit.

View from the summit of La Concha.
Unfortunately the entire seaside valley below the ridge was hazey, so none of my pics can even begin to capture the true beauty of the vast views from the peak. And luckily we enjoyed a snack on the summit just before the afternoon clouds rolled in, which virtually whited everything out. In spite of this, the hike was fantastic, covering about 16km with 400m of elevation gain, over some incredible, varied terrain. Awesome!

Since my memory is really great but just short, I have agreed to go golfing again today. I'm in the local coffee shop at the moment, psyching myself up for it as a matter of fact! Hee hee! Oh, I'm sure it won't be all that bad... the sun is shining AGAIN (every day since I've been here!!), and I can certainly think of worse ways to spend a day.

I love all the castles! They're everywhere!

More of the neverending Mediterranean views!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

From Europe to Africa

Two continents.... three countries.... two days!! Yeah!! Thursday, we spent an absolutely fantastic day in Gibraltar, on 'The Rock'. The views were so incredibly beautiful, and my words and photos can't even begin to do them justice!

View from the top of The Rock!

Gorgeous weather in Gibraltar, GB
The area is home to a large group of Barbary Macacques, which are the only wild primate in all of Europe. They are the neatest little creatures, and they were everywhere.

Hangin' out in the sun.

A bit of overkill I think!
On Friday, we took the ferry from Tarifa over to Tangier, where we had a most fabulous day visiting the famous Moroccan city with a private guide. We were driven around the 'new' section, then we walked throughout the old part of town, including The Kasba. We stopped for lunch at a groovy restaurant, and we even went for.... get this.... a camel ride! Hee hee! How cheesy is that - but being that we were in full-on tourist mode, there was really no way around it!!

Africa - across the Straight of Gibraltar

Cape Spartel, Morocco

Camels! Guess what comes next....

Yep - we're tourists! But hey, when in Africa....


Inside the Caves of Hercules


Funky Moroccan restaurant!

Community oven in Old Town
Both Gibraltar and Tangier are a bit of a gong show... however, if you ever get the chance, you do need to see both of them! They are two radically different cultures, less than 20km apart, but each are spectacular in their own way.

Well, today was a sleep-in day, and I may perhaps do some souvenir shopping.... any requests?! Ha ha, just kidding.... You will all get what you get, and you'll like it!!


PS - My new favorite sign.... cracks me up....

How bad do you need to go??

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The scenery that never ends....

Happy Valentine's Day! Yep, they have it here too. Seems like any other normal day though - nothing special is happening. Aside from the fact that it was the first time since being here that I've seen any clouds!

Today was pretty low-key. We hopped in the Polo and drove north through the stunning countryside, past a trio of lakes, to a gorge called El Chorro.


At the gorge, there is an old walkway which winds along the sides of a giant limestone wall and into a canyon, and until the early 2000's the trail was open to the public. Apparently, the 'walkway' fell into disrepair, people were falling to their deaths, and it was shut down and can now only be accessed with a guide and proper gear.

Can you see the people?!

The area is beautiful, and it looks like a place that my rock-climbing friends should check out if they are ever in Southern Spain! I saw a few parties on the massive south facing walls, as well as several groups of climbers hanging out around the campsite.

El Chorro

Well, the forecast is calling for rain tomorrow.... so I'm not sure what will be up. Ahhh, well, it doesn't really matter though.... because I am here and not at work!! No complaints! Yeah!

Cheers everbody!