Málaga, Mijas

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

I felt I’d seen most of the sights in Málaga after two days, so I took the commuter train to Fuengirola and then picked up a bus to Mijas, a “white village” up the mountain overlooking the sea. What I noticed most about it besides all the white buildings was that it was full of Brits who have holiday homes there.

1. Some of the weirdest figures/statues can be found in this junk shop in Fuengirola. I also saw a Dunne’s, which is an Irish department and grocery store… not sure why it’s in southern Spain too.
2-3. The town of Mijas on the slopes
4-6. A grotto cut into the rock, with more elaborate clothing and ceremonial accessories stored for the Virgin. Note the folded paper prayers stuck in the gaps in the stones.
7. The burro taxis were not operating by the time I arrived, which is just as well since I’m sure I would have been sad for the burros.

Málaga, wrapping up bike tour

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

Just a neat shot of the palms along the streets

In Constitution Square

Another vegetarian restaurant! More good food

I asked the tour leader what she recommended for an evening activity and made arrangements with the Polish couple to ride with them the next day to another city. Next up: the “white village” of Mijas

Málaga, beach on bike tour

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

1-3. Every bike tour should stop at the beach for a drink! We sat in the sun and had a sweet wine, Málaga Dulce. In that first picture they’re cooking seafood in the small yellow and white boat.
4. Hans Christian Andersen statue, with a duck in his bag (patito feo). He enjoyed his time spent in the city and now spends every day in the sun facing the sea.

Málaga, more bike tour

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

Picasso sits on a bench in Plaza de la Merced where he was born in 1881. (Antonio Banderas was born in this city too.)

Mosques become churches with a little paint

At the bullring. I was glad to hear they only have fights a couple times per year here… but many cities have bullrings. Meanwhile Catalonia has banned bullfighting just this year, though it may be less a statement of cruelty to animals than it is their wish to be separate from the rest of Spain.

An alley not far from Calle Larios

Málaga, bike tour

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

On the second day I decided to go on a bike tour, which was led by a native English speaker who moved to Málaga a few years back, and I was joined by a young couple from Poland who now live in Glasgow (plus the husband is half Algerian, I think, and his English had a lot of Scottish brogue to it!). We saw several of the same places I had toured the previous day, but this time I got a lot of back story and also found new sights to explore.

1. Calle Larios, where my hostel was located
2. statue near the hostel
3. on the bikes
4. The Alcazaba from the top of the building across the street
5. The Roman theater from across the street. It was only rediscovered in the 1950s
6-7. Holy Week (Semana Santa) celebrations in many cities in Andalusia (and other Hispanic-influenced parts of the world) are elaborate. The description of the marching people carrying these massive thrones down the streets made me want to visit during the religious holidays someday. I had seen huge doors the previous day, which turned out to house a couple thrones decorated with gold, silver, lace, and elaborate embroidered fabrics. The party we saw the night before was a fundraiser for these huge floats which are stored all around the city by the various groups who have cared for them for centuries (plus they are too big to keep in the churches). The woman who ran the bike tour knew the people who managed this building and they let us in to see the thrones up close.

An idea of the street processions:

Pink footie socks

This is a post about hygiene and personal space, if you ask me.
It’s about protecting relationships and appearances, if you ask David.

We let Walter sleep on the bed, but I’m very particular that it must be on top of the comforter. He stays between our feet. I do not allow dog hair in my sheets! But since David sleeps many hours later than I do, and he has no ability to keep the blankets in any sort of order (he does everything, even sleeping, with flair), and he tends to wrestle with Walter when he wakes up, sometimes I come home to find some dog hair on the bottom sheet near my pillow. This annoys me and grosses me out, but the best I can do is remind my messy sleeper to please pull up the covers and clean the sheets when I find dog hair on them. I am good about keeping the bed made but I can’t help what Mr.-Sleeps-Till-Noon does. (I’m tempted to train Walter not to get on the sheets because I think the success rate will be greater than training David.)

So yesterday I came home and found the covers in a tangle and decided the dog hair involved warranted washing the sheets. But when I pulled them back to take them off the bed: fuzzy pink footie sock-slippers way at the bottom of the bed! Except we don’t own any of those.

Now, another woman might assume her honey was having relations with a pink-socked woman while she was away at work. But I know David well enough to know he hates pink in a way that he would actually pick another person to have an affair with! The obvious answer came to both of us: the dogsitter.

Is anyone else as grossed out by this as I am? She sleeps in our bed and we didn’t know and slept in it too!

I could go on about how this probably came about and her general habits and all that, but the point is EWW don’t sleep in someone else’s used sheets! I’m sure Walter thinks it’s great. David is afraid it will be too awkward to tell her not to sleep there and she might be upset and not dogsit for us anymore. So he wants to be all passive-aggressive and just plan on washing the sheets when we get home from our trips!

Plus, when we give her the socks back (she always leaves something here), won’t she assume it’s ok to sleep in our bed since we didn’t say anything?

Am I crazy?

A pic of the new pup in the armchair

The Real American Heroes

We went to trivia night run by the Lions Club at a local hotel this week and picked a GI Joe motto as our team name. I’m not sure where our friend Kathleen saw the signs but she invited us and our table of four (Kathleen, her sister, David, me) didn’t come in last but sure didn’t win! It was more fun than I expected. We were the youngest participants for sure! They were raising funds for local charities through the entrance fees and raffle tickets. It lasted over three hours! We also got a map of the defibrillators in town to keep in our wallets…

The MC was a dry-humor English guy and he sang Happy Birthday to people when they came out of the bathroom (because it really was the first lady’s birthday; “happy birthday to Sue, she is in the loo”). There was an entire round with questions related to lions.

Things we knew or guessed:
How long is elephant gestation? (I don’t know why I had this stored in my brain)
What was Beethoven’s disability?
Who designed St. Peter’s in Rome?
Who flew too close to the sun?
Year the US civil war began (no other table got it right!)
How many times Armagh won the All Ireland senior championships (I don’t remember now if it was about hurling or football, but we guessed the number, except I think David was reading lips at another table)
Largest cell in a human body
A LOT of questions about songs, from Bonnie Tyler to Tony Bennett to Phantom of the Opera to Eurovision

Things we got wrong:
Neil Diamond being the writer of a Monkees song (I put down Mickey Dolenz but actually had second thoughts about Neil thanks to my brother)
What team some famous soccer player played for (I crossed out Man United but it was right)
What town Gilbert O’Sullivan is from
Most of the names of streets associated with pictures of buildings in Kinsale
What year the Republic of Ireland became the republic (they multiple choiced it, so I guess not everyone here knows?)
Bono’s real name

The big prize was a hamper, which is what they call a prize basket, but it always makes me think of dirty laundry. We even get a Christmas hamper at work with a turkey AND a ham voucher. I’m curious what the mentioned vegetarian option is… and why they mailed a company-headed letter to everyone’s home to ask which butchers they want to use instead of just asking us at work!

“Why did I need coffee now?”

So most of you will be familiar with this, but I’m guessing some of my relatives are out of the loop. Time to catch up!

First watch this clip, Witness describes robbery attempt, from the news in Kansas. She’s a character.

…Which means someone autotuned it and it went viral. Now time to watch the hilarious musical version! (Ignore the stupid stuff at the very end.)

I don’t know why it makes me laugh so much. But is she better than the Bed Intruder?

NaBloPoMo participants: cool prize offer here!

Málaga, Chicagoans eating veg

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

Concerned that I might not translate something properly and end up with a plate full of dead animals, and being someone who gets a huge kick out of vegetarian restaurants, I checked online before I left for possible dining options. What a great move–the food afforded me a chance to try new dishes without the worry of my bad Spanish questions getting in the way. I started with sangria and just ordered whatever else sounded interesting!

Some American women at the next table seemed to be having trouble describing a dish to the server, so I tried to help with my phrase book. Pretty soon they had invited me to dine with them and we had a lovely late dinner discussing what brought us to that part of the world. They were from Chicago and were in Spain to manage some property left by a relative who had died. I don’t remember their names, but I think the mother had grown up in Europe somewhere (Poland?) and had an accent, and the daughter was an artist. They were at the vegetarian restaurant because they had been ill from the food in Spain and had even been in the hospital, and a doctor had recommended they not eat animal products for awhile to see if they’d recover more comfortably.

It’s not like me to hang out with strangers, but it was fun to do it this time. We also managed to mingle with some locals on the way back to our hotels. They were having a celebration to raise money for their Semana Santa thrones/floats (more on that in a later post), and now I think I’m in a whole lot of other people’s pictures!

The bats or birds were plentiful above the cathedral on the way back to our rooms.