Monday, 18 September 2017

May, 2017 - ROAD TRIP TO GRANADA, SPAIN - POST 1 OF 2

We drive to Granada, with Mike and Colin, two sailors we met at the Almiremar Marina.  It was about a 2 hour drive, through the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Very beautiful.

Granada is the most visited site in Spain, with between 2 and 3 million visitors each year in the City of 260,000 inhabitants.  Once you are there it is easy to see why.

The main attraction is the Alhambra, the Moor palace complex at the top of the mountain.  There were no tickets available online, as they are sold out weeks in advance.  At the hotel we learned that 500 tickets are sold each morning at the site a on a first come basis, starting at 08:00.  We got up early and were able to snag a couple for ourselves.

We arrive on the day of an annual pilgrimage.  Those not willing/able to walk can ride on purpose built tractor pulled trailers.  My kind of pilgrimage.




Street vendors sell all kinds of spices and seasonings.


Surprise, surprise there is a cathedral.










We check out the market.




The town hall and tourist info center.  The pomegranate is a symbol of the city.


One of a beautiful set of knockers at city hall.

A religious procession stops traffic.




Traditional head gear.





We climb up the steep creek valley to a church yard with a great sunset view of the Alhambra.



Up...

...and up.

Great view from the top.

May, 2017 - ALMIREMAR, SPAIN

Long motor sail to Almiremar Marina, Spain.  This is a popular marina with cruisers as it is a safe and reasonably priced place to leave your boat for an extended time.

It is basically a resort town, with nice beaches, over 1,000 yacht births, hotels, condos and golf courses.

We meet two English sailors (Mike and Colin) at the tourist info office.  They were delivering a boat to Greece.  We agreed to share the cost of a rental car to do a trip to Granada, a world heritage city nearby.  We booked a car and rooms at the same hotel for the next day.

Marina Almiremar



May, 2017 - CALETA DE VELEZ, SPAIN

We motored and sailed in light winds to Caleta de Velez.  Saw lots of fishing boats, but only two sailboats all day.

Staff helped us Med-tie to the dock.  It is fairly easy when you have help and you know what to expect.  We re-purposed our boarding stairs and fender board as a boarding ramp.

This is a small town, with not much to do, so we enjoyed a quiet day of reading, laundry and a trip to the local Aldi for groceries.





May, 2017 - DAY TRIP TO MALAGA, SPAIN


We took the bus to Malaga.  Stopped in to the Immigration Office at the port to see if I could get a stamp to document our return to Europe.  As in La Linea and Gibraltar they advised I did not need one.

Toured a Moorish castle and fort and two Picasso museums.  (No pictures allowed in the museums.)  Very steep climb to the fort, but we were rewarded with great views from the top.

Got back to the boat to find I had left my backpack in one of the Picasso museum lockers.  Sigh!  We had to take the bus back in rush hour to retrieve it.  Did not get back until 22:00.  It was a long day!

The City and port.













The Roman Amphitheater.

 





The Moor Castle.












The Fort and views from the climb to the top.











Monday, 3 July 2017

May, 2017 - BENALMADENA, SPAIN

We enjoy a downwind sail, using foresail only to Benalmadena.  The marina staff very very slow to arrive at our dock.  After we made several passes, we received help from our dock neighbors to do our first Med tie.  We can only do it "bow first" due to our full keel (poor control in reverse), canoe stern and wind steering off the back.  This means we have to drop to the dock off the bowsprit.







May, 2017 - FUENGIROLA ANCHORAGE

We say goodby to the "Rock" and enjoy a good sail to Marbella Yacht Harbor.  It was a very tight harbor, with no room to maneuver and a cross wind of about 15 knots.  Any increase in the wind would make it impossible to leave.  Also, it would be our first Med tie.  We decide to go to the nearby anchorage at Fuengirola.

East side of the Rock.


Sunday, 2 July 2017

May, 2017 - TRAIN TRIP TO RONDA, SPAIN

We take a train/bus trip to the historic town of Ronda.  This was by no means a fast train, but was a pleasant trip through the mountains.  The old town is built on a high plateau above the valley, cut off from the rest of the plateau by a DEEP and narrow river valley.  The only access was via a VERY high bridge.  It was considered impregnable, but was taken when the attackers cut the defenders access to the river, the only water supply.

Railway poster for Ronda.





Nosebleed inspiring view of the drop to the valley floor #1...
...#2


The bull fighting ring.

Orson Wells visited...

...as did Hemingway.


The famous bridge.






The church from the "new" side of town.


Town hall square.

Colorful souvenir shop.