Monthly Archives: September 2016

Spain – Sept 25 – Day 12 – a day at leisure in Marbella

How did this happen – how can this possibly be our last day in Spain?

We had the day at leisure to do some last minute shopping, exploring or relaxing at the beach.

On our last night we enjoyed a delicious Farewell Dinner at El Gran Gatsby restaurant in the port with good friends.


We are sad to bid our escort Victoria farewell, she was awesome, nothing was too much to ask of her. It is going to be difficult to get back to reality,  hopefully we will all share more travel adventures together in the future.


Spain – Sept 24 – Day 11 – Malaga and Nerja

This morning we enjoyed a sightseeing tour of Malaga including a visit to the Alcazaba, a Moorish palace-fortress dating from the 11th century


and the new Picasso Museum with pieces on loan from the family. Our guide Julien gave us a whole new perspective and understanding of Picasso’s work.




This afternoon we drove further along the coast to the pretty village of Nerja where we had a guided tour of the caves; it was a lot of climbing up and down stairs to view this spectacular sight, but so worth it.


we strolled along the Balcon de Europa (Balcony of Europe), a palm-shaded promenade jutting out into the Mediterranean with a fantastic view.


We returned to Marbella late in the afternoon and some of us went down to the beach to dip toes in the Mediterranean Sea, dance salsa and watch the sun set, while others went shopping.


We enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner at our lovely hotel, everyone is looking forward to our free day tomorrow. .

Spain – Sept 23 – Day 10 – Cordoba to Ronda to Marbella

After an early breakfast we left Cordoba for the journey south into wind turbine and olive country as we headed down to the sea.


On our way we stopped in the 9th century white village of Ronda for a most informative demonstration and tasting at the local co-op.


We explored the town on foot with our local guide Pepe; its maze of narrow streets is surrounded by massive fortress walls.


We enjoyed the walking in spite of the heat and were rewarded with refreshing drinks


We arrived in Marbella at the lovely Hotel NH Marbella this afternoon, our home for the next three nights.



After a long day we were happy to have a delicious buffet dinner in our hotel



Spain – Sept 22 – Day 9 – exploring Seville

Today’s adventure was a beautiful drive to Seville, past many more olive trees and solar farms.


Our local guide Ignacio introduced Seville’s flamboyant, charismatic personality in a walking tour this morning, after spending time in the Plaza Espana built for the 1929 World Fair.


Followed by Seville’s striking Cathedral, the third largest in the world.


A few brave souls climbed up and enjoyed the view from the top of the belfry of the Giralda.


The afternoon was free for a delicious tapas lunch and explore the tiny squares of the Santa Cruz quarter.


We return to Cordoba in the late afternoon. After some leisure time we walked from the hotel to La Almudaina restaurant (15/20 minutes walk) for a delicious dinner. We are becoming very accustomed to the wonderful Spanish wines.


Spain – Sept 21 – Day 8 – a day in Granada

Today’s excursion was to the beautiful town of Granada driving through the olive treed countryside to get there. We spent the day with our extremely knowledgeable, cute local guide Daniel visiting the famed Alhambra Palace, one of the most splendid sights in Europe.


And Generalife Gardens


At the end of the morning tour we had an enjoyable late lunch at Paco Martin restaurant


Followed by a walking tour of the city visiting the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel,  an elaborate Gothic mausoleum in the centre of the city.


Most of us were pretty tired after the combination of so much walking and the heat.

We returned to Cordoba around 9pm, having Spanish dinnertime tapas on the outdoor hotel rooftop terrace overlooking the old city…..a wonderful end to a wonderful day.


Spain – Sept 20 – Day 7 – heading south to Andalusia

Today’s journey took us south to Andalusia for our three night stay in Cordoba at the lovely Hotel Hesperia.  We met Victoria, our delightful escort and Luis our great driver, they will be with us until we leave Spain. The weather has been absolutely perfect, hot and sunny. We had an early morning start for the drive to Cordoba, a delightful small town to explore on foot. We stopped on the way to visit our friend Don Quixote de la Mancha.


After we checked in we had a couple of hours free time,  some of us took advantage of the refreshing pool and fantastic view from the roof deck.


This afternoon we crossed the bridge


to meet our local guide Maria who took us for a visit of the old  town including the magnificent Mezquita, a 16th century cathedral built into a lustrous 8th century mosque.


We then had free time to explore and shop


We wore an array of colours


We were met by Miss Spain!


Rome Extension – Day 11 – The Vatican, Sistine Chapel and More

Early this morning, we joined another group tour to the Vatican. We visited the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. The afternoon was free for us to enjoy Rome’s fashions, cafes and galleries.  We had a nice drink on our rooftop terrace and then headed off to Cornucopia for our last dinner together.  Some of us went to take one last look at the Trevi Fountain and eat our last gelato.

On our way into the Vatican Museum

On our way into the Vatican Museum

The ceilings inside of the museum

The ceilings inside of the museum

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter’s Square

Our last drink on the rooftop terrace of Hotel 47

Our last drink on the rooftop terrace of Hotel 47

Our last supper together at Cornicopia

Our last supper together at Cornicopia

The Trevi Fountain at night

The Trevi Fountain at night

The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain



Rome Extension – Day 10 – Exploring Rome

We had the morning at leisure to do some exploring on our own. This afternoon, we joined a group tour to explore the sites of Ancient Rome. We enjoyed a panoramic tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Piazza Venezia.


In front of the Coloseum

In front of the Colosseum


Maryann and Carol in front of the Colosseum

inside the Colosseum

inside the Colosseum

The arch of Constantine outside of the Colosseum

The arch of Constantine outside of the Colosseum

Some of us having dinner in Rome at Osteria del Circo

Some of us having dinner in Rome at Osteria del Circo

An amazing dinner at Osteria del Circo

An amazing dinner at Osteria del Circo



Spain – Sept 19 – Day 6 – excursion to Toledo

Today we traveled by coach to the medieval city of Toledo which we thoroughly enjoyed.


The old town is a treasure chest of churches, museums, synagogues and mosques set in a labyrinth of narrow streets, plazas and interior courtyards.



We spent the day here, visiting the Cathedral


the Sinagoga del Transito


and the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz.


There was even a little time for marzipan shopping!


As well as admiring crafts


We finished with lunch Spanish style – starting at 2pm!


Leaving Toledo we admired the spectacular view across the river Tagus


Everyone is happy to have free time for the rest of the afternoon and evening to relax and shop.

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Spain – Sept 18 – Day 5 – exploring Madrid

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel we continued our exploration of the city today.


We started at the Plaza Mayor just a short walk from the hotel.

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Followed by a coach tour which included the Reina Sofia Museum where we saw a treasure-trove of contemporary and modern art including Picasso’s famous “Guernica”.

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After free time for lunch which the ladies enjoyed at the fabulous Harina Bakery


Some of the ladies continued with a walking tour of the city,  it was a hot and sunny day.


the Royal Palace

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and the San Miguel market.


This evening we enjoyed a live performance while we ate delectable Tapas and drank fine Spanish wines at Los Galayos restaurant, a short walk from our hotel.