Freesteel Blog » Scrapbook pics from Spanish tour

Scrapbook pics from Spanish tour

Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 4:53 pm Written by:

Earlier I published the bus and train itinerary. Now for some pics.

We failed to get any pics on the train. The french TGV is just a boring train that goes fast. I had looked forward to having a blow-out luxury lunch in the restaurant car, believing it was going to be like the Orient Express, but it’s just a crappy microwave plastic dinner sort of place. Luckily we’d stocked up on bread and cheese in Paris.

Captions below the pictures.

Here is a scrap 3D printer plastic grinder in the Makespace Madrid which I’d invited myself into, and they cheered me up a lot. DoESLiverpool needs to keep an eye on this project. I should go back and see them again.

We saw the 500 year old original Hieronymus Bosch painting in the museum, and learnt about the website from the guy at the hostel, which made all the transport organizing on the fly possible.

This is in the Alhambra in Granada, which Becka got tickets for, in spite of the 3 month waiting list, by refreshing the website quite a few times during the night till a pair came up.

Here’s a view out to the Sierra Nevadas, which were still snowy.

Our best night out experience was at this point in Granada when we looking for a bar (often we fail), and a Spaniard smoking outside a door badgered us to go in. We had a couple of beers, he asked about Brexit (I explained it’s even stupider than it looks, but would make sense if you read the Daily Mail all your life), and then he sent over two glasses of the local red wine and a cheese board.

We caught the bus to Cordoba, had lunch at a health spa and visited the Mosque of Cordoba. We couldn’t stay, as every hostel was booked out, and caught the train onwards to Seville.

I should have photoed each of the bunk rooms we stayed in (some of which had too little headroom), but didn’t.

You can get a ticket up the top of the mushrooms in the centre of Seville for a walk around, which gives you a free drink afterwards (we were too early, and I was tired, so Becka took them and got herself the two drinks later on).

This a fancy park a bit of a walk out from town. It’s sunny!

I’d begged for a traditional chocolate churro for breakfast, instead of being made to eat healthy cheap breakfasts in the hostels. But after this enormous serving (which Becka didn’t have any of), I didn’t need a churro again.

We also did a day trip through Cadiz, before catching a late bus to Tarifa. This is from the top of one of the towers (the one with the camera obscura). We also dropped by a small roman amphitheater (there are 170 of these listed in Europe).

I had a rest while Becka ran to the end of the point and found an exhibition by the European Circle of Former Deported and Interned Jehovah’s Witnesses.

We took up residence in an AirBNB owned by an aging surfing dude from Widnes for 5 nights, including four days at the tarifa surfski. I was pretty much wiped out by the end of each day.

These are the epic surfskis. It was cold on the water.

Getting in and out of the surf-zone in the breakers was pretty scary. This is where you don’t want any surfing to happen.

Here instead is where some actual controlled surfing is happening, out on the little waves going downwind.

One of the days got quite late and dark, because there was a third guy in our session who was from Sweden, half our age, worked in the army and actually had his own surfski at home. So he needed a couple of lessons without us noobs around to get something done.

It’s not allowed to sit with your legs in the boat when you are not paddling, because the boats are unstable. So you had to sit on the side with your legs out and your hands only touching the paddle when you took a rest (or risk getting shouted at).

It was carnival week in Tarifa. Here is a party of Kims and Trumps doing their nuclear bomb song.

As a special treat on the last day in Tarifa, Becka came on a dive with me. Her ear still hasn’t recovered two weeks later. Uh-oh.

Our most expensive hotel was in La Linea, the gateway to Gibraltar. Becka selected it because of the unlimited breakfast.

We did a very long walk to the far end of Gibraltar, back round the east side, up an unmarked road, climbed over a fence, went through a building site (fortunately it was Sunday), and found our way onto the precipitous Mediterranean Steps.

Then there was an encounter with the monkeys. One of them jumped onto Becka’s backpack and started to unzip the top pocket. It bared its teeth at me when I approached, so Becka had to shake it off herself without any help from me before it stole our passports.

Our last Spanish train went from Malaga to Barcelona, so we spent the last two nights in Malaga, which has a trashy reputation. After hours of walking, we failed to find a bar we felt we wanted to go into, but did come across this 3D printing shop. If they were open I’d have checked if they’ve sorted out how to recycle the scraps.

As well as failing to find a bar, we almost didn’t buy this can of Alhambra beer because it didn’t have a price tag on it in the shop. I walked back a block when I realized how ridiculous we were being. It was only Euro1.20. Party time on the last night.

Malaga has a Roman theatre and a mini-Alhambra, which I think is more charming than the one in Granada. We also went to the fancy modern art museum as well as the one for Picasso (which was pretty crowded).

As well as a chocolate churro, I also needed a Sangria before I left Spain. We got this at a pavement cafe outside the market. I don’t care if it’s unsophisticated, I’m going to make some more of this when we have our first hot day in the garden back home this year.

It was snowing in Barcelona when we left for the train station, and the train to Lyon was delayed. But, because this is Europe where missing a train isn’t considered an excuse to make more money, the train conductor phoned ahead so we didn’t have a problem with our tickets at Lyon or Lille.

(Surfski trip was inspired by this post from sasha’s blog.)

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