Marbella Spain and the Rock
October 8, 2013
Today was laundry and dishes day, trying to navigate the Spanish markings on the washer and dishwasher. The dishwasher wasn’t a problem; we had that bad boy up and running in no time. The washer took a little more time but we finally had that running as well. The washer stopped and Annette took out the cloths but it kept beeping. She pressed a few buttons and the washer started washing all over again. Finally after that cycle ended, it was still beeping. We knew what button not to push but how do you stop the beeping. Annette finally found a secret position on the dial, stop. After that it was off to Marbella for some shopping and a tour of the Old Town with its’ narrow cobblestone streets and Moorish houses. The town is littered with restaurants offering tapas. There are lots of shops offering everything from fashion to pottery. Everything starts at the Plaza de Los Naranjos, (Orange Tree Square). From that point just set off wondering the streets and back allies. Christians conquered the city in 1485 and they had a heavy influence on the architecture. There is a heavy catholic influence, especially with the Virgin Mary. After lunch and our tour of the Old Town, we set out to do some grocery shopping and then headed back to the condo for a dip in the pool and wine at La Papillon. We had sandwiches and chips on the deck at the condo later in the evening, yes, we did have some wine. Liver check time! We also met some interesting ladies at the pool. They both suffered from a rare form of eye cancer, at childhood. One lady was form England, and they met online. They had just returned from Boston where they met with a doctor from Mass General. They both have Seeing Eye dogs and still have very limited sight in one eye. There is no cure at this point and the treatment can cause more damage to the good eye. Anyway, she was very interesting to talk with and we wish them the best in their travels and there battle with this disease. On that note, we shall sign off for the evening.
October 9, 2013
The Rock of Gibraltar, aka (The Rock). I wasn’t sure if we should take this side trip to the Rock, after reading some of the reviews. But to be fair, there were some reviews that contradicted the bad ones. After doing the Rock, I would say, both are true. Number one, I would park on the Spanish side and walk across. It’s only a 15 minute hike through customs and into the center square. Driving across like we did; can be a challenge. We wasted one hour getting through customs and finally finding a parking spot. Not to mention you have to cross a live runway and we happened to hit it just in time when a plane was landing. Not only did you wait for the landing, you also had to wait for plane to take off again. It is interesting to see and if the brakes fail, you’re in the drink. You have to watch where you park because some spots are only 30 minute and some are residents only. We found a parking lot that was almost empty, so you know the rates have to be high. And they were! The center of town runs off the main square and there is a walking street that stretches for at least half a mile. Both sides of the street are lined with restaurants and shops. We headed for the gondola that takes you to the top of the Rock. Just before we arrived at the top, the conductor announced that if you have any food please store it because the apes will come after it. Just as the gondola was stopping at the top, this ape jumps through the window and snatches a bag chips from some girl. Once you have seen one ape, you have seen them all. They become a nuisance after awhile. We toured the top, peeked into some caves and climbed to the top for some spectacular views. The hand dug caves were very interesting. There was lots of rubbish everywhere and it was not well maintained, in my opinion. The history is very fascinating. The Rock has been controlled by Arabs, Moors, Spanish and English, to name a few. The French did try once but surrender again and head back to France. Its worthwhile seeing and there is much history but I wouldn’t rush back. It’s also very expensive. They take Pounds and Euro’s and that can be confusing when you pay with Euro’s and they return the change in Pounds. We found that out when we left the parking lot and ended up with 15 dollars worth of Pounds after paying with Euro’s. Another option would be to take a hotel on the Rock and spend two days at a more leisurely pace. So that was our day on the Rock. We are not sure what tomorrow will bring, maybe another down day. Oh by the way, John Mockus had a great idea about the Nudist beach. Turn your fanny pack around to the front and hope for a pickpocket.
Annette and Bob