Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) (02/19/09)
TITLE: Memorable holiday
By Norma-Anne Hough
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Leaning over the men seated at the tables, smiling, flirting with each as they passed by. The lone guitarist sat strumming his instrument joining in their chorus.
Suddenly one of the senorita’s comes over to my husband and pulls him onto the dance floor. He obliges much to the crowds delight and then comes back muttering, “Why is it always me?”
Here we are in Spain. Our good friends, my sister, her husband and the girls have all come with us for a week in Spain. We are in holiday apartments on the Costa Del Sol. The resort is Dona Lola is situated just outside of Calahonda. It is very beautiful, with well-manicured lawns and tropical gardens. The resort is built around a 270ft swimming pool.
Spanish people are wonderful hosts. We have always found them very friendly and eager to help. This time is no exception.
We tend to steer away from the tourist traps and head out into the countryside, as it is there you get to know the people and understand their lives and cultures. On our first day, we drove along a back road to get to Ronda.
Graced with rolling hills, valleys, and farms, picturesque Ronda has all the charm of a small medieval town but the amenities and culture of a thriving city. Centuries-old bridges and arches span the 100m El Tajo gorge, connecting the old part of the town to the new.
Standing on the bridge and looking down into the gorges is quite amazing. Unfortunately, quite a few couple have committed suicide from this bridge, when there has been opposition to their courtships. Tourist shops surround the main square, but you can walk through these and find yourself in the older part of the town. There are plenty of historical buildings and museums. The oldest bullring is also in Rhonda.
We decide to split up and then to meet at a central point in time for lunch. As Dave and I have been there before we make our way to one of the famous viewpoints. There is a guitarist who plays there and his music is awesome. Finding ourselves a table we sit back and relax, drinking in the magnificent scenery, listening to the haunting music and watching the crowds go by.
After we have had a typical Spanish lunch, we make our way back to our resort. This time we follow the normal road and regret it, as there is so much traffic.
We spend the evening in one of the many tapa bars. September is always a good time to be in Spain as it is not too hot, but warm enough to wear short-sleeved tops. Most of the places in Marbella shut for siesta, and only open at 5pm. They then stay open until all hours.
The next day we took a drive to Fuengirola. It is a port about twenty kilometers away from Malaga. Every Wednesday they hold a flea market in the town. It is the event of the week. People come from near and far, to buy or to sell their wares. I have purchased some of the most beautiful Spanish Lace tablecloths from there, as very competitive prices. The atmosphere is electric. Bargaining is the order of the day. The men folk soon get bored and find their way to a nearby bar to watch sport, leaving us women to indulge in one of our favourite pastimes, shopping.
Our time on the Costa del Sol was filled with fun and laughter. We took an adventure trip into the mountains with a tour company. We were driven in 4X4’s along tiny narrow mountain tracks. We experienced a swim in a pool amongst the mountains. We were also taken to a goat farm where we were shown us how to use a sling. Those amongst us who wanted to milk a goat could, but the offer was declined.
Another day we visited one of the famous white villages in the mountains. We also did a trip to Gibraltar.
Spain is definitely one of my favourite European destinations; the people and their friendliness are what make the country.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost.
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