An Andalucian Interlude

After returning from France at the end of August, it wasn’t long before we were off again, to Spain this time. Before that, we spent two nights in Faversham, and on the Saturday we went into the town to experience the Faversham Hop Festival. The place was very crowded, with large numbers of morris dancers, stalls selling beer and people wandering about festooned with hops.

Sandie gets into the spirit of the Hop Festival

Hell's morris dancers

The following day we caught a coach from Canterbury to Victoria and then on to Stansted airport, to get a flight to Malaga in order to visit Ian’s sister Maggi, who lives in a little village in the hill country of Andalucía. We picked up a hire car at the airport and drove about 100 miles inland, getting to her home late in the evening.

Maggi's village and the surrounding countryside

We stayed with Maggi just over a week, mostly in her home, enjoying the warm sunshine as a contrast to the weather back in the UK. We went about with her to some of the nearby towns and villages, as well as spending some time relaxing on her patio or by one of the pools she looks after in the village.

Lunch on the patio

One town we visited was Alcalá la Real, which has an impressive castle. We spent a couple of hours exploring this while Maggi was taking part in her weekly sewing group in the town.

Alcala castle

Another day we went to Jaen, one of the major cities of the area, and explored the town and took in the view from the castle there.

Jaen cathedral

View from Jaen castle

Over the weekend we all went together for a short tour, going first to Ronda and staying overnight. Ronda is extremely picturesque, with a famous high bridge which spans the deep gorge between the old town and the new. In the morning, before we left, a hot air balloon flew over the town, which added to the spectacle.

The bridge at Ronda

Balloon over Ronda gorge

The following day we drove down to Estepona, on the coast, and explored the promenade there, as well as spending some time on the beach. In the evening we walked round the old town and then had a pleasant meal at a beach restaurant. The following day we visited Marbella, with is quite smart and also has an attractive old town, before driving back to El Poleo, the village where Maggi lives.

Dinner on the beach at Estepona

Marbella old town

Altogether it was a very pleasant interlude, giving us a chance to meet up with Maggi as well as relax in the Andalucian sunshine.

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