Sunday 28 June 2015

a midnight dip in the Med and more tales from Malaga

In Malaga on 23 June, the locals celebrate "La Noce de San Juan" by gathering on the beach as night falls, sharing food and drink with family and friends.  

Bonfires are lit and those with the skill, energy and nerve take turns to jump over the fire three times...supposedly to purify and cleanse the soul and burn away troubles - but these days more likely to show off acrobatic skills! 

Jumping the fire : La Noce de San Juan
At midnight, crowds of people walk into the sea to splash (or submerge) themselves in sea water - said to bring good luck and make you beautiful....

Then the fireworks begin! 

Going to La Noce de San Juan was a fantastic way to spend our last night in Spain, where we had been based in Malaga for a week in a wonderful apartment located in the neighbourhood of Huelin, off the tourist track, but close to the local market, the beach and with easy access to the historic centre in one direction and the airport in the other direction. I confess, we didn't jump the fire - but we did paddle in the sea and splash ourselves just for the fun of it!

The rest of the week was a lovely mixture of activity and relaxation....

....sightseeing in the historic heart of the city with its Roman amphitheatre, Alcazaba castle and gardens, monumental cathedral and maze of narrow streets....

The Alacazaba
Malaga Cathedral

...enjoying and photographing some of Malaga's modern sights - El Palmeral de las Sorpresas (a covered walkway along the harbourside, with palm gardens off); the Meuelle (port) walk, lined with shops, cafes and bars; the Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre....

El Palmera de las Sopresas

El Palmera de las Sopressas

Trade Fiar and Exhibition Centre

...taking in some culture at the Picasso Museum; the Centre for Contemporary Andalusian Art; the recently opened Pompidou Centre (the only one outside France) and the Automobile Museum, which also included art and fashion...

Picasso Museum

Pompidou Centre

Centre for Contemporary Andalusian Art

Museo de Automoviles 

...a day trip on the high speed train to Cordoba, where we were blown away by the Mesquita - both cathedral and mosque....

Cathedral at the Mesquita

Mosque at the Mesquita

...visits to the local markets where the range of fish, fruit, veg, cheeses, breads and other wonderful things to eat was mouth-watering..

...and enjoying strolls along the beach paseo most evenings, often stopping for a beer or mojito at a local bar and tasting the seafood at one of the many chiringuitos seafood beachfront restaurants...

Getting his toes wet...

Cooking sardines in boats BBQs at the chiringuyito

La Playa de la Misericordia

...or simply chilling out on the little roof terrace, watching the gulls, swifts, swallows and green parrots pass by overhead, and life going on in the street below..

It was hot and sunny every day - a bit too hot in Cordoba, where we melted as the temperature soared to 40C - so we paced ourselves accordingly.  We both noticed that Steve now gets puffed out more easily, so we ambled mostly and sat down for a breather whenever necessary.  Even so, I never thought we would be out and about in Spain for a week in June when only six months before the doctor thought Steve only had a small number of months to live.  How amazing is that?  

We are off again next week on another short adventure - part business, part pleasure...Just making the most of this unexpected period of borrowed time before Steve's next scan and follow up assessment later in July when he might have to make some tough decisions about further treatment/trials, or (perhaps worse still) find out that he doesn't have any options...Trying hard not to think about that, more focussing on the here and now....

.... Love to all our friends, especially the meso warriors around the world x

P.S. In case you are wondering, I haven't notice that we are now more beautiful than before our dip in the sea on La Noce de San Juan, but it makes us smile just remembering the experience - and anything that lights up our faces must be good!

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