This holiday was almost a complete washout. Ironically, the matador (mi novio/boyfriend) and I chose to spend this navidad in his home turf, the Costa del Sol, however there was little sunshine to speak of and non-stop rainfall. All of Spain was drenched in rain and Andalucia, known for milder temps, was soaking wet and in some areas literally drowning in flash-floods. Mother Nature also tossed in gusty winds and hair-raising thunder just to drive myself and other vacationers over the edge. My hopes of FINALLY seeing Granada, the historically not-to-be missed Alhambra (a remnant and reminder of Spain’s Muslim occupation) and the charming pueblo of Ronda, the birthplace of bullfighting, ended up like the Titantic – sunk!
On the few days of sunshine (three out of 12) we took advantage of the agreeable weather conditions and ventured to Malaga to meander through the old town. I don’t mean this to offend, but I didn’t find it that interesting, which is why I suppose the novio never insisted we visited during previous trips to the area. Sorry Malaguenos.
We also toured the historic center and waterfront of Cadiz by night on our other rain-free day. Now this should be a stop on anyone’s itinerary when visiting El Sur as it is the oldest city inÂ Western Europe. All throughout the city you see Moorish minaretes (minarets) dotting the tops of buildings which I assume at one time were used to call its Muslim inhabitants to prayer and to guide ships safely to shore. Another peculiar sight that can easily be overlooked unless you are clued in are upturned canons cemented to the corners of buildings. Its odd but the rationale is solid- to avoid carts, carriages, other moving vehicles from crashing into buildings which basically jut out into the street with about one foot of clearance space from it and the actual road, antique canons at one point were used to protect vulnerable corners.
Last but not least we strolled Playa de la Caleta, the famed beach in 007: Die Another Day when Ms. Halle walks out of the ocean in her Ursula Andress-inspired bikini. In fact, many of the ”Cuba” city scenes from this movie were filmed on the streets of old town of Cadiz. As an American citizen this may be the closet I get to Havana.
We squeezed in what we could as quickly as we could because inevitably the clouds and rain returned. The matador and our tour guides, two primos of my novio’s said repeatedly that by daylight and in the summer its a gem of a place. I’ll be back without a doubt. Besides I still have to make it back to Ronda and Granada and while I am at, I might as well drop in on Sevilla too.
Here is to 2010 and more adventures en Espana!
To clear up any confusion ”novio” and ”the matador” are the same hombre.