Malaga – Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol, means something like Cost of the sun, or Sun coast. Malaga has a population of about 600,000 and 6th largest in Spain. Artist Pablo Picasso and actor Antonio Banderas were both born in Malaga. We visited the Picasso museum but w was not impressed, in fact I’ve seen the work some of our art students do and they crap all over Picasso’s.

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This is the mail walking street of Malaga, lots of shops and tourists and the food is great and the beer cold.

walking street in Malaga

Another walking street in Malaga, very clean and inviting for shoppers.

750 Euro gountain pen

Just wanted to let you see what a 735 Euro (approx. 1200 $AU) looked like. There weren’t

many customers in that shop.

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Large city square near the waterfront.

A beach scene in Malaga

Beach scene with a km of the shopping center, it was very popular on that day

A major square in Malaga

Another large and this time empty city square.

Street art

Some street art near our hotel on the retaining walls on what used to be a river.

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This is a photo of a bridge in the old town of Ronda. Unfortunately we were unable to take the tour as its late return to Malaga meant missing our flight to Valencia. So something to do next time.

On to Valencia

 

 

 

Morocco to Spain via ferry

 

Marrakech Airport

Arrived in Marrakech 9 pm for a flight to Tangier at 22.45. Moments later a delay until 00.20 am, about 90 mins delay, no explanation. We arrived in Tangier about 2 am and in bed about 3 am

Tangier hotel at breakfast

This was the view from Tangier hotel at breakfast before 45 minute drive to Tangier Med to catch the ferry across the straits of Gibraltar to Spain.

Ferry across the straits of Gibraltar

The ferry took about 1.5 hours to cross the 13 km of the Mediterranean to the Spanish city of Algeciras but we lost an extra hour because of the time zone difference. Tangier Med is the largest port in Morocco.

Tangier Med Port

After the 90 minute crossing we berthed in Algeciras and nearby was British Territory of Gibraltar. It has an area of 6.7 square km and a population of about 30,000.

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After disembarking we got a ride to Malaga, the heart of the Costa del Sol. The journey was about 150km and there was development almost all the way.

Next stop Malaga

 

 

 

 

Marrakech (Marrakesh)

WE got to Marrakech on Thursday 20th June. It is a city of about 1 million residents and 99% are Muslims.

Riad in Marrakech

This was our Riad (hotel) in Marrakech. 3 story with a rooftop terrace , with TV and air-con. The pool was about 5m long and 1.5m deep.

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These are street scenes from the Medina. It was a Friday and good Muslims go to prayers and generally have the day off. As a result the Medina was almost empty of locals, except the stall holders and tourists. Narrow streets and lots of stalls selling almost everything.

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Right slap bang in the middle of the Medina was this green oasis, running water and plants, a real treat.

Street scene in Marrakech

Street scene from the Hotel TAZI.

View from Restaurant looking at busy intersention near mosque

Scene from restaurant near the mosque where we had a great meal.

The next day we were scheduled to fly to Tangierr to catch the ferry to Spain.

Onward to Marrakech

 

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Climbing into the Mid-Atlas mountains at a height of ~2000 m on a narrow sealed road with lunatic drivers-a bit scary with few guard rails, but specular views.

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Along the way we passed a village that the French built when they were in control,  to remind them of France and to escape the heat of summer and do a bit of skiing in Winter. You could have been anywhere in Europe.

mid atlas mountain hotel view

We reached our hotel at Bine el Ouidane for our stop for the night below a dam built in 1953. A quiet spot and not a shopping Centre or medina for miles.

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Finally we reached Marrakech. Population about 1 million, and they were all out shopping. Our riad was just inside the medina down a few narrow streets and laneways, and it was starting to get a bit warm, low to mid 30’s but the beers were cold.

Tomorrow another day in Marrakech and a flight to Tangier and then catch the ferry to Spain.

Casablanca & Fes

The trip from Lisbon to Casablanca took about an hour. The trip from airport to hotel took almost as long. Casablanca is another large city, population about 3.5 million. The traffic is absolute chaos to a westerner but the traffic seems to flow. 15 Australian $ would get you about 100 dirham and in the supermarket a very nice local beer, Casablanca, 330 ml costs 17 dirham. The same in a hotel etc costs 50 dirham. The food covers all taste but the Tagine seems to dominate, chicken lamb or beef. The current king Mohammed VI became king in 1999. A search on google will reveal he is the most corrupt monarch in the world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Hassan II Mosque is the largest in Morocco and the 3rd largest in Islam. The minaret is 210 metres tall and can hold 25,000 worshipers and opened in 1993.

The next day we set out for Meknes and along the way passed some 2000 year old Roman ruins at Volubilis and had lunch there. It was starting to get rather warm low to mid 30’s

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This is the wall around the medina of Meknes. A very specular imperial city with a population of about 620,000. We stayed in a very nice Riad and enjoyed the specular square.

Tanning pits in FesWe traveled to Fes and checked into our Riad and then did a tour of the city. This included a 3 hour walk through the bustling and crowded median which has thousands of street and alleys and included the Tanning pits, where we were given a piece of fresh mint to mask the terrible smell.

street scene in Fes Medina

Kay & our group walking in Fes MedinaA couple of shots of the walk through the Fes medina

Fish sellers shop in Fes medinaThis fish shop was in the Fes medina but we didn’t buy any. Note the shark head. We noted that there was a refrigerator in the back of the shop.

The medinas are amazing places, thousands of locals and thousands of tourists rubbing shoulders along the narrow streets and the thousands of shops and eating places.

We now move onto Marrakech

 

 

 

 

Lisbon Last Day

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Elevator in Lisbon CBD. Built in 1902 it takes about 15 at a time and costs about 8 Euros

On top of Lisbon Elevator

This is a shot from top of elevator at a height of approx. 50 metres.

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A streetcar named SKEN. just around the corner was a cable car station. The trip is about 200m and costs about 4 euros.

Huge steps and escolator not working

A street scene near the castle. It consists of 254 steps and it has an escalator alongside but only the top section was working. Another decent climb.

Tomorrow we fly to Casablanca Morocco.

Lisbon addendum

 

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On the way to Nazare we passed through Fatima where there were thousands of pilgrims attending some religious ceremony – went on and on.

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This is the beach town of Nazare on the calm side of the headland where the surf is really quite mils and the beach goes for kms and is about 100m wide. Nice sea food.

 

 

 

 

Lisbon

Got up at 3.30 am in Reykjavik and drove to airport. After much confusion caught Icelandair flight to Amsterdam. Didn’t have much time to change flights to Lisbon and our bags didn’t make the flight. We had to wait around for 36 hours for bags to catch up, which they have done. Will add images etc tomorrow, but nice to have clean knickers.

wally beside Michaela Cash and her tradies Ute

Last day in Iceland came across one of the “Tradies Utes” Michaela Cash wanted to save.

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Street scene just outside our Hotel in Lisbon. Weather was sunny and about mid 20’s

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One of the many Street stalls on Av Da Liberdade.

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Many of the products included those made out of cork.

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Jacaranda trees all over Lisbon streets.

Surfing at NazareWe went North to a beach resort at Nazare and caught a few waves.

 

 

Iceland final

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Lake Þórisvatn on the way back to Reykjavik to return car. It is about 85 Square Kilometers in area and has very clear glacial melt water and is very cold.

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Very clear water in Lake Þórisvatn

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The Alþingi ( parliament ( Icelandic) and anglicised as Althingi or Althing) is the national parliament of Iceland. It is the oldest parliament in the world. The Althing was founded in 930 at Þingvellir (” thing fields”), situated approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of what later became the country’s capital, Reykjavík. The valley is expanding at about 25mm per year.

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Apparently this is where the first Iceland parliament met. There were dozens of School groups there receiving lectures on their democratic government.

See you in Lisbon

 

Iceland – continued

Back in Reykjavik and leaving for Lisbon tomorrow. Another great day weather wise, blue sky all week although the north winds tend to be a bit cool. Saw some amazing natural phenomena listed below.

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Seljalandasfoss waterfall-60 m high and one of a group of 3.

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Next one was Skogafloss waterfall – 60 m high and 25m wide. Along side this waterfall is a stairway, 60 metres high and consisting of 384 steel steps and 36 gravel ones at the start all the way to the top, and further waterfalls. Kay and I did climb for the view.

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Next along the road was the Myrdalsjokull glacier, a large one but has retreated several hundred metres since 2000.

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Myrdalsjokull glacier at the face.

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Strokkur Geysir erupting in front of dozens of tourists, up to 70-100 metres every 5 minutes or so. Smell of Sulphur in the air.

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Gullfoss waterfall. One if not the most spectular and loudest waterfall in Iceland. Amazing amount of water going over the falls. Despite the sunshine very cold wind.

That’s it. Next stop Lisbon. See you then