While we spent some time relaxing comfortably in Marina del Este we explored around the nearby towns and rented a car for a day to Alhambra in Granada. Alhambra includes the Generalife Gardens and the Nasrid Palaces - all part of the almost city. it was the Moors administrative centre and their homes for centuries. This is a place I have wanted to see since I was about 8 years old and reading my Look and Learn weekly magazines. So I guess a bucket list item if such a thing existed then. We were completely blown away by the history, architecture and grounds – everything I was hoping for and more. My photography efforts do not do it justice. The building stone is a lovely soft pinky red and it glows beautifully. It was a cold day but only rained once when we were inside having lunch anyway but it kept a lot of tourists at home so the whole experience was much nicer than I think it might be in the height of the season when I imagine it would be had to get a photo without a hundred people in it. As it was an annoying couple in matching bright yellow rain coats kept getting in my way.
We looked for the pass called Suspiro del Moro where the last Moorish ruler looked back on his kingdom of some 700 years (while he was making his way into exile driven out by the Christians) and sighed. But could only find a BP petrol station called Suspiro del Moro BP! Apparently, the ruler’s Mother whipped him and said “now you cry like a woman over something you couldn’t defend as a man”!
Almunecar is a nearby beach suburb with an interesting fort (San Miguel) and we rode our scooters all round there. In the centre of town is surprisingly a monument to Laurie Lee (Cider with Rosie etc books) as it turns out that this is the Spanish town in the last book he wrote and he’s quite famous here.
The caves at Nerja were really good. Not all lit up with silly party lights like the Gibraltar ones and we were on our own in them with just one other couple and the guide so no noisy other tourists spoiling the effect. They were only discovered in the 60’s and have some very old cave drawings that were not able to be seen by the public. It seems that a nasty green slime starts to grow once artificial light is introduced so they don’t want them getting damaged.
We now are punching on along the coast to get to where we plan to leave the boat for Christmas while we are home. Next stop was Almerima, a very good marina with lots of places to scooter to.
We are now in Cartagena. It is quite my favourite town so far. Wide pedestrianised boulevards and may interesting old buildings of some grace and splendour. Lots of Roman ruins and Spanish Civil war history. We are very glad of the scooters – some of these marinas and waterfront areas are really quite extensive and we can zip around everywhere. We saw on the Aussie news that last weekend they trialled them as rentals in Brisbane. They are the exact same ones as ours. We have caught up with “Katarina” who me know from Trinidad this time last year so we’ve had a few meals and drinks with Tony and Gunilla. (English and Swedish/Aussie).
I am going to start a collection of bad boat names I think – how about these for starters……