Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Sisters sightseeing Andalucia. Like to visit our new home?

Up in the skies over Fuengirola and Benalmadena.

As mentioned in our January blog we were expecting a faraway guest from our native Finland. Mrs. M is the sister of Mrs T and her family lives in the southeastern part of the country so we meet seldom. It is therefore most appropriate to take ample time to show parts of Andalucia to her. This blog show some pictures from the mountainside including Grazalema as well as the seaside including Marbella. We also promised to return to Jerez de la Frontera very soon after our first visit and now was the chance (also to experience our first ever Formula 1 testing episode). We also visited nearby mountain villages.

Istán main market and its outlets.

The Ermita and sisters in Mijas.

Benalmádena Pueblo overlooking the Mediterranean.

Marbella harbor 

"Thelma  and Louis" in Marbella.

We had not visited the beautiful white mountain village of Istán for some time and the day we went there was very warm and sunny. Having walked the narrow streets of the village and indicated key attractions to Mrs. M we sat down in the main square for a drink and followed the crowds go past. From Istán we followed the "curly road" to Marbella by the seaside where we had an Italian dinner at Carpaccio's (to be warmly recommended for its good food and service). The harbor was rather quiet but we did spot several unique cars, like the Cobra above that would have suited Thelma and Louis themselves. 

Later in the week we left for Jerez de la Frontera where we had been in December and promised ourselves to return soon again. We stayed for three days and reserved the first afternoon for the shops in the old town, the second for a visit to the Moorish Alcazar and one bodega. The rule is to visit several Bodegas to get a good understanding of the offerings of the sherry district. Last time we visited Tio Pepe that has a very nice visitor centre and programs for every day.  Having checked the internet we found a recommendation to visit the Lustau bodega if there is time for only one visit. They were said to offer more personalized visits. We checked again with the hotel and they kindly offered to book us a visit the following day. The bodega is in the city centre and the guide that received us was highly experienced in the products and could lead us a good way to understand the different sherry types. I believe there was some nine different brands to taste and food to go with them. A light Manzanilla and a heavy Pedro Ximenez stuck best in our minds. 

Grazalema mountains towards Jerez.

A low temperature of three degrees surprised "Thelma and Louis".

We then passed Arcos de la Frontera up on the high ridge.
An old pharmacy in the Alcazar.

Alcazar fire place / kitchen.

A well in the garden of the Alcazar.

Sherry tasting at Lustau bodega.

The third an final day was reserved for Jerez Circuito de Velocidad that still hosts testing venues for the Formula 1 cars. A new competitive year is about to start. We had not experienced any kind of Formula 1 Circus in the past so this was something new. The very long queues at the only open gate was a surprise but did not kill our eagerness for this event and we stayed long enough to see Fernando Alonso pass us in his car. 

The Ladies at the Jerez Circuito de Velocidad.

This was NOT Alonso but someone else taking a short cut.

Next we plan to visit the Garden of the Conception near Málaga, a botanical garden dating back to the 19th century and town of Écija south of Cordoba. But before finalizing this post a few shots over our new home in southern Sweden where we will now move on 1st April this year. We look forward to opening a new BLOG with a view over Skåne; its nature, castles and traditions.

A villa for writing our Skåne Blog. Courtesy Fastighetsbyrån Sophie Andersson.
With its garden. Courtesy Fastighetsbyrån Sophie Andersson.

Thank you for your continued interest in our Andalucian blog and in wanting to share our experience. The below blossom can be found in the Benalmadena Mariposario.

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