On the road again! Tour bus takes the gals to the white villages

 

Today was a very busy day and it started early.  Kim and Dawn booked a tour to the white village of Ronda.   They had to get to their starting location, about a block from their condo, at 8:10.  They made it in time to head to a small cafe for a couple of Americanos to go.  Kim is missing her pot of coffee that she has every morning in Saskatoon….I think she is suffering from withdrawal.  Kim is thankful to know enough Spanish to order coffee ;).  Most people speak English here, but having some Spanish has been helpful….I think she is just having fun practicing.

And, they are off!  Coffees in hand on a big bus with lots of people.  Kim didn’t count, but she thinks there were about 30.  She was getting a bit frustrated, because the bus kept stopping to get more people for the tour, and this took over an hour.   I think she needs a chill pill 😉

Once everyone was on the bus, they headed up the mountains. The scenery was absolutely spectacular..lush greenery, steep hills, windy roads, and at the top it flattened out, and there were olive orchards everywhere.  Stunning!

Their first stop was a tiny white village called Serenil.  This was unique town where shops and homes are cut into the side and underneath cliffs.  There were a lot of swallows that nested here.   This was a very small village, and they spent about 1/2 hour here, wandering the streets, and taking pictures.  Kim walked into a unique deli and tried their Ibericos Chicharrones….fried pork.  The Spanish are known for their cured ham.

Back on the bus, they headed to their final destination, the white village of Ronda.  Ronda is one of the largest white towns and has a gorge straddling setting.  Kim and Dawn started off the tour with a local guide, who was great!  First stop was the bullfight ring.  Ronda is the birthplace of modern bullfighting and it is still in use today…once a year on September 1st.  Kim has mixed emotions about this place, but found the history interesting.

78B728AC-417E-47EC-8612-AFF1555AA589Next stop…they headed towards the gorge and the new bridge.  The ravine, called the El Tajo is 360 feet down and 200 feet wide.  The “new” bridge was built between 1751 and 1793….it’s a pretty scary height!

4FA0CF1D-BD51-44D2-A04A-C62B4DF49AFA

Their guide then took them to explore more of the old town of Ronda.  Narrow streets, the church of Santa Maria and the town hall were just some of the highlights ….and the spectacular vistas!

And of course the day wouldn’t be complete if they didn’t track down some tapas…Dawn used her amazing app that helped them find a restaurant with excellent trip advisor reviews, and recommended by Rick Steves.  It was called Bodega San Francisco. The gals got a little stressed here, because the food was a bit slow and they had a bus to catch!  But all ended well and this was a very cool spot!

That’s it for today!  They have another busy day set for tomorrow…bus leaves at 7 am folks and is headed for Cordoba!  Stay tuned…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 ❤️

76225CCF-3422-4A42-8375-B3281155DDFD

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

8F0A0759-FE7A-4FD8-A87B-A3562764E16D

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!

BDC8039D-1CFB-4AC2-A393-424F8F6370EE.jpeg

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!