Wednesday, August 15, 2012



So once again it'd been yonks since I have posted, but at least I have interesting stuff to write about. I'm going to be better at this.
Spent all of July travelling, 10 days in Spain, then the rest in Sweden and Norway. Fantastic!!!
Lets start with Spain, shall we.
                                                      Old terraces

Rob's mum Sallie, has a time share thingy and had enough points or whatever you get when you have one of these, to book a place in Spain for a week. Seemed liked a great idea so the family got into it, and we met up.

On the Mediterranean

The rest of the gang spent the couple of weeks before hand doing other trips around Europe before going to Spain. Rob and I flew in that day. We landed in Barcelona Saturday 28th July, Sallie was flying in later that day so we stayed around to pick her up and drive down together.  Thinking we would need something to keep us entertained and awake, a Gaudi designed complex, Colonia Guell looked pretty cool so we tried to find it. We started well and then got totally lost in the burbs of Barcelona. After driving around and around, getting hot, bothered and snippy, we found a green park with a big tree to relax under and have a well needed nap.  Of course when it was time to go back to the airport we saw signs to the bloody place everywhere...

It took 5 hours to drive down to Albir, the little town on the coast. The autopistas toll roads are great. Not cheap but you can really hoon on them. We got there around 10pm, finally found the place and Laura and family were there with food and sangria.
I love my in laws, we live in the same town so meeting in Spain was hardly a reunion. more of a longer invite to dinner. The kids are great, at 11 and 14 they haven't quite reached the grumpy teenager stage yet, and any moments they did have were few and far between. I'm 5'6 and the midget in the family.

                                                     The family

The next day was decreed a day of rest. It was about a 10 minute down the hill to the beach and main part of town. The beach is all pebbles and the Mediterranean Sea a perfect coolness. Albir, is still very touristy, but has none of the highrises and congestion as the bigger towns of Alicante and Benidorm.
After a swim and a jetlaggy siesta we went back into town to watch the Euro Soccer Final between Spain and Italy. Found a cafe with a outside table and TV and watched the fun. I really don't care much for sport but it's hard not to get into the spirit of the moment. There were many cheers as Spain trounced Italy 4-0. The crowd went wild. Flags, cars driving around and around honking, fireworks in the streets and general high spirits. I imagine being in a similar place in Italy the mood would not have been so jubilant.

                                                     Espana for the win

The next day we headed up into the mountains. Everywhere is terraced with stone walls. Many of them look old and not maintained anymore. It would have been a huge job to build them by hand and I imagine It's not very economical to use many of them anymore.  A lot of them still have olive, almond and other trees growing on them.
Castles a top lonely peaks seem to be everywhere as well. Even driving down from Barcelona you can see the outline of keeps and walls, and you just want to get up there and explore. A lot of them must not be restored and ever visited, and it would so cool to get to them. We tried, we really did. The two roads that we worked out were possible defeated our little rental cars. Next time I'm renting a Jeep.
 We did get to see 8000 years old cave/rock paintings at ........They were beautiful and right next to a huge cave which must have been used by the local peoples for 1000's of years. I love the sense of history and being connected when you see art like that, makes them more real and probably not all that much different from us today.
                                           Cave and view from the rock art

8000 year old macro schematic art

We did manage to storm a castell de Guadaleste, not quite the dramatic isolation but still pretty cool to check out.
                                                       Castel de Guadaleste

Culture aside the next day as we spent a wild and soggy time at Aqualandia Water park, Benidorm. Good fun once I stopped gibbering. We all have a blast.

                                                      Water park o Fun

More to come and plently of pic at my Flickr