Cathedrals, Cities, Mountains and Olives

Working our way along the coast of southern Spain brought us to Rincon,  a location recommended by a delivery driver un the UK.  We were happy to stay here for the night to start with but the weather, the facilities and the price persuaded us to stay first one more night then two then eight.  We were on a good cycle route along the beach and the bus route in to the city of Malaga.  We were wary at first of visiting the big resort but finally plucked up the courage to venture in to town. 

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There is, however, much more to Malaga than the bustling holiday resort.  It has a very well preserved old city centre, cathedral and hilltop castle. 

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The cathedral is a little crowded by the surrounding buildings but still gives an impression of grandeur from the ground but is best seen from the castle. 

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Or better still from the inside. 

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The workmanship that went in to this building was an enormous undertaking especially when you consider that no one who started the project would ever be alive on its completion.

I loved all the wood carving around the choir stall and organ which wasn’t even done in the city of Malaga but was imported from elsewhere. Imagine the packing, loading, carting or donkeying that must have gone on for it to have arrived in one piece. 

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From the 10th Century castle at the top of the hill, the whole city is laid out like a map and with a good lens I could pick out many of the important city features.  The castle is famous for a rather obscure reason; it was the site of the first battle where both sides employed that new fangled gunpowder stuff, surprising there is so much of the castle remaining.   

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As we walked (Yes walked for about an hour up a steep path imagining all the time what it was like for armoured and armed soldiers trying to storm this particular castle in the midday sun!)  the Plaza De Toros  came more and more in to view. I stopped every quarter of an hour or so and took yet another picture of the bullring not knowing if i would get a better picture higher up but I did.

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A 9,000 seater stadium worthy of the Romans but events could be viewed for free at the resting place halfway up the hill.

 

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The castle itself is set on the top of a wooded hill with its own wildlife which have come to accept the daily influx of visitors eager to see the view from the top.  Among these were a few squirrels in the trees posing just long enough for a quick snap or two.

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After the long climb up and then down the castle hill, we rewarded ourselves with some light refreshment (A bucket of beer, some roast potatoes and ham.) in the city.

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Well, it was a very hot afternoon. 

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Very neat motorbike parking is essential here in Malaga so that everyone can be fitted in.

 

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A quick goodbye to some of the local inhabitants then we were off, heading east along the coast.  The old road still meanders along beneath cliff faces and above dry river beds (We never saw one river with water in it until we were nearly halfway back up Spain.) but has been superseded by the new motorway for most of the way. 

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The view from the old road is what still makes it worthwhile to travel that way even if it takes three times as long to do so.

 

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We moved further along the coast to Almerimar,  a thriving little seaside resort surrounding a marina full of very expensive looking yachts.  We parked along the quayside in order to get the morning view across the water.  We hadn’t realised that we had been here before until we saw the distinctive Harbour Master’s tower.

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Yes this is the early morning view from our bed complete withe the reflection of the cooker in the glass!

We have commitments believe it or not.  We must be back in the UK for several reasons.  We have to get the van M.O.T, we must get ourselves tested and prescribed by our doctor, we must get the van habitation test, we must visit the dentist,  get the van serviced and repaired but most of all to visit family and friends (if we are still welcome!!)   Therefore, we are heading north away from the med but not yet away from the sunshine.

 

The drive through the centre of Spain is mostly quite tedious with motorways, traffic, factories, desert and most of all OLIVE trees.  Now we love olives and cook with nothing but the extra virgin olive oil from these trees but….  there are several billion of them….in straight rows stretching to the horizon in every direction. 

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Wherever you look it is olives, olives, olives as far as you can see.  No wonder Spain is considered the world’s largest olive oil producer. 

We parked up for a night next to an olive oil extraction factory with a sort of outdoor exhibition of antique methods of extracting oil.  Some of which are self evident in their function but others baffled me.

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If anyone has any ideas what this machine did, write your answers on a self addressed envelope (no stamp necessary) and pop it in the post!

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From high up in city of Ubeda it is possible to see 18,414,657 individual olive trees. (more or less!)

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