Spain: Cathedrals, Tapas, and Picasso?

Howdy folks!  Kim and Dawn had a bit of a lazy day on Monday.  They hopped on the bus around noon and headed to the city of Malaga, with an attraction map in hand!  There took the bus for about an hour and got off at the main terminal.   They headed to the tourism office, picked up another map and headed out to explore.

Firs stop was the Malaga Cathedral….they did an audio tour, climbed up to the rooftop and toured the bishops palace next door.  The cathedral is so big, Kim couldn’t get it all in the picture!

As they wandered down the streets, they saw a lot of street performers…they really enjoyed listening to them, and taking photos of course.   The streets are amazing…all marble

Next stop was their first tapas bar.  Someone from Kim’s intrepid tour recommended it, so they set out using google maps and found it! They had some wine and tapas…a very busy place, they had to sit outside where the table was very high!

Next, they jumped in a cab and went to the Picasso museum.  Kim enjoyed this, because it was unexpected.  They had a lot of his works here….starting with his pieces that seemed more “real” to the ones that Kim was more familiar with…you know, extra eyes and ears ;).  She tried to take a photo inside the museum, but was quickly stopped….so there is no evidence of her visit….but she was there!

there was more to explore, but Kim and Dawn decided to call it a day and took a taxi down to the Marina, where they had a drink and a snack.  Time to head home, and rest up for tomorrow!

 

Besos y abrazos….that’s Spanish for kisses and hugs!  Teddy ❤️

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Hola Espana! Moving on to southern Spain :)

Howdy folks!  Well, Kim is now on the second half of her epic girl’s vacation.  She flew to Malaga, Spaîn yesterday and is staying on the Mediterranean coast.  It’s a bit busy resort, but it is a great central location for day trips, and they have a lot planned!

Kim and Bern said goodbye in Marrakech….Bern flew back to Calgary.  They had an awesome time in Morocco, and it was bittersweet to move on.

Kim has now connected with her friend Dawn, and their first stop…supper near their resort.  Wine and seafood paella :). Welcome to Spain!

They took it easy this morning…needed a bit of recovery from their travels. Picked up some food at the supermarket for breakfasts, went for a walk on the boardwalk and met up with a tour agent to get themselves set for the week….stay tuned…it will be very busy, but amazing.

Nathalie, their travel lady gave them some great ideas for today….so they took her advice, jumped on a bus and headed to a nearby town of Mijas.  The bus was very easy to navigate and cheap!

Mijas is a whitewashed village, with beautiful vistas overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and lots of photo opportunities.   Kim and Dawn stopped by the tourism office and followed a historical map to check out the town.

This self guided tour took them to many interesting spots, including an old church and a miniature museum, where art was produced in the heads ôf nails, and grains of rice.. Kim was amazed and couldn’t believe the intricacy and the patience it took…she said she couldn’t do it 😉

You know how life is great when you stumble upon things…..well that’s just how Kim felt when she found the Happiness Laboratory…homemade artisanal chocolate…and when a Pop up donut stand showed up…..people came from everywhere to wait in line….sweet tooth?

 

Well, Dawn and Kim figured it was time for lunch and they found a great spot with a great view…..and of course they said it wouldn’t be Spain if they didn’t have the Sangria!

This town is a photographers dream, Kim said, and they took a lot of photos….here are a few of her favourites…

Well, that was a busy day 1, wasn’t it?  They plan to spend some time in Malaga tomorrow..exploring the town and maybe finding some tapas :). Stay tuned!

Us kids are enjoying time wîth John and visiting our friends in the dog park.  We have lots of people taking care of us!

later peeps!  Have an awesome day!  Hug your friends and family, they are the best!

❤️teddy

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So long to Morocco…last food tour

Well folks….Kim had to have one last tour before she flies to Spain tomorrow.  Tonight she met up with a group from Urban Adventures (they are part of the Intrepid family) for a food tour of Marrakech.

Kim wasn’t too sure about going on this tour, because it took place in the same square she was at with her intrepid group…Djemaa el Fna.   There are lots of people here, and Kim said you have to pay attention, because you can be pickpocketed.   But, she braved it and arranged for a ride from the driver at the hotel who was awesome!  And…one of the people from her intrepid group was also on the tour, so all was good.

They met up with their guide Omar in front of cafe France and toured the Medina, stopping to sample along the way.

First stop…watching how bread is made the old fashioned way..

 

Next up…Moroccan donuts and Moroccan pancakes stuffed with tomato, peppers, and parsley

 

Moroccan soup…filled with lentils and chick peas, and a pastry were next!

 

Olive tasting anyone?  Kim said they have the best olives here:)

 

Tangier was next….at a restaurant whose chef was previously chef to the king.  This is a local dish of Marrakech.  It is a slow roasted meat, made in a tangier pot.  It is cooked in Hamman coals for hours.  It is called “daughter of the ashes”.  Delicious!

 

And last but not least….Moroccan pastries and a different kind of tea 🙂

 

Well folks, that’s all for Morocco. Kim is safe and sound in her hotel, all packed and ready to head out early to the airport tomorrow….on her way to Spain to meet her friend Dawn….the adventures continue.

 

have a pawsome day, and make every day an adventure!

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All aboard the train! Marrakech

Well folks, Teddy here! Kim and Bern are winding down their intrepid trip in the metropolitan city of Marrakech. They have seen lots of places on their 15 day tour with intrepid and are having a hard time picking their top 10 highlights….more on this later.

In Marrakech, they had mainly free time, and were given lots of ideas for options. The first night they went for dinner at Djamal el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world, filled with spice markets, musicians, food and acrobats.

So on day 1 Kim went out with a couple of other gals and headed out for a hot air balloon ride…..something on her bucket list for sure. She said it was a lot of fun. Very peaceful, with views of the countryside and the Atlas Mountains in the background. It was a great way to spend the morning.

Kim met up with Bern and they were off to their next activity…a Hamman and Massage at the Five Elements Spa. Now this was a very interesting bonding experience….lol. Kim was with three other gals on her tour, including Bern. She told me that you should google Hamman….wink wink…..when in Morocco 😉

That night the group had their farewell dinner in the hotel. The meal was great, the parting bittersweet. Some of the group are moving on to more travels, and some are heading home. Everyone reflected on what a great time they had together and the memories they made.

The best takeaway was their guide’s favorite saying “life is meant to be enjoyed”

Oh yeah….and one last local activity. They headed to a shisha bar….hookah anyone? Kim said one was licorice and one was apple. She didn’t try it, but enjoyed the experience!

Tonight she has a final food tour in Marrakech and tomorrow morning she is off to Spain!

Later folks! I’m starting to warm up to John….only took a few weeks! He’s okay, but when is Kim coming home?

Essaouira…..continued :)

Last night in Essaouira the group split up and went to different restaurants. We wandered back to the same place we went the night before. We enjoyed the amazing view, and had another great meal. The terrace looked over the ocean. After dinner, we found a small little bar that had great live music, so we stopped and enjoyed a mojito.

The next morning was free time, and we went on an optional excursion….horse riding on the beach. We had a great guide, and her dog joined the four of us for our morning ride.

Next stop…Marrakech……

Essaouira….beautiful coastal town

We spent two nights an Essaouira, a beautiful coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean. This is an old fishing town with sandstone walkways, whitewashed houses, bright blue sky and surrounded by beaches and dunes.

The first morning, we met with a local guide in the lobby of our hotel, which was located in the Medina. It was raining during the tour, but we still enjoyed getting to know more about the history this town and spent some time checking out the Medina. Wood products and silver are the local artisan crafts here. Season 3 of game of thrones was also filmed here, and we toured the spots where the filming happened.

The weather cleared up in the afternoon and we took time to explore the Medina, and bargain at the shops. I purchased a few small things, including a Moroccan teapot…to make mint tea back home.

This town is a photographers dream….beautiful old buildings, old doors, and lots of cats 🙂

Lunch was another amazing local experience. We went to the fish market, bought a bucket of fish, took it to a local grilling spot….where the cooked it for us and served it with bread, and olives. One of the highlights of our trip!

Morocco : Snow capped mountains to the Atlantic Ocean

The scenery never fails to amaze me. This is a country so diverse….you can ride camels in the desert, and then be in the snow capped Atlas Mountains….red rocks in the foreground, and snow capped peaks in the background.

We drove over the spectacular Tizi n’ Tichka Pass (2250 metres above sea level), and headed to The town of Imil where we stored our main luggage. Our day packs were carried up the steep incline to our homestay by our trusty mule.

Our one hour trek took us to our home stay at the traditional mountain village of Amoud. It was chilly here tonight, but they lit a fire in the common area to keep us warm. The home stay was modest, and cozy. Gals shared one room, guys shared another. We all played our new favorite international game of Uno….brings out the competitive nature in us….each “country” playing for bragging rights! Everyone gets along so well, it’s been amazing travelling with them. Many in our group are solo travellers, and everyday someone says they can’t believe how well we all get along and how lucky we are. We all have a great, teasing sense of humor and bonded quickly. Blessed😀

The next day was to start with a four hour hike, but the forecast was for snow and it was going to be wet. Instead, three of the group went on a short hike, came back for us, and then we did a 2 hour hike through the mountain village and back to the town below where we stored our bags.

The views from the home stay terrace were spectacular!

On the way back down, I had my own adventure….stopping to take photos, I got behind and lost my group…whoops! The village pathways are so windy and narrow, I couldn’t find my way until a couple of locals helped me out. They had one of the boys take me through the village to find my peeps. First group we found….wrong one…. so, we went a different direction, and we found them! I have a feeling this wasn’t the first time he helped a lost soul :). I gave him 50 dirhams…about $6 Canadian, which is quite a bit for here, and he was pretty excited. I figured it was worth it! He did a great job, and I wasn’t worried at all….just adds to the experience!

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We made our way to town and headed to Essaouira which will be our home base for two nights. Along the way we stopped at a winery as well as an argon Oil cooperative. Argon oil is a plant oil from the argan tree endemic to Morocco. It is used in cooking oil, cosmetics, and also honey…..some honey is coming back with me 🙂

We have now checked into our riad in the Medina of Essaouira. We had a wonderful seafood dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A beautiful spot.

We are enjoying every minute of our time here….we have a few more days, and while it will be nice to move on….to Spain for me, and home for others, it will be bitter sweet. But, in the interim, we have some exploring to do in Essaouira and Marrakech.