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A few weeks back, Mabels mother and aunt came to visit which was great in itself,

but it also meant that we had caretakers for our dog, Walter! We couldn’t let that

opportunity pass us by, so it was time to get out of Totalàn and visit a place we

have been wanting to visit since we got to Spain: Sevilla! According to the locals,

the most beautiful city in the world, and a justified claim it is. The city is really

beautiful with a fantastic history, arcitechture, food, and all the other good stuff

Spain offers.

Fun facts about Sevilla:

In the early 1600’s it is believed to be the world’s 4th largest city after Napels,

Paris and Venice (population: approx 85,000)

Although not situated by the ocean, the river Guadalquivir leads to the sea,

and Sevilla was the home port to Columbus when he sailed to discover the

new world. It also became the main port for the next 100+ years for sailings

to America (in 1608 alone there were 283 sailings that departed to

the New World).

-Sevilla is located in inland Spain. It gets HOT!!

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The cathedral in Sevilla is pretty impressive. It is actually listed in the Guiness Book of records simply for being BIG! Don’t let the clouds fool you,

it was 37 degrees celcius and completely still..

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La Giralda Tower forms the highest point of the Cathedral, 94 meters high and finished in 1184.

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Inside the old Royal Tobacco factory, one of the biggest buildings in the western world, and where Carmen, from the opera with the same name, worked.

Now its a part of the Univesity of Sevilla.

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A really nice hotel where we didn’t stay..

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Mabel flying around in Sevilla

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Looking into someone’s open door, and you might see a gem of an inner courtyard. This was actually a restaurant, but the spanish houses are normally constructed

with an inner courtyard to create shadow, and some of them are simply amazing!

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Spanish guityar player. Sevilla is world famous for Flamenco!

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Eating lunch at the #1 place to eat according to tripadvisor, Vineria San Telmo. It might be the budget choice to the Michelin guide, but really good food!

Not easy eating melted cheese… So thats all we had time for in our 1.5 days Sevilla trip. It did make us wanna go back though..

A few weeks ago for my birthday we decided to go to the zoo in Fuengirola, which is about 40 minutes from here. Actually, to be more specific, it is a biopark which has replicated certain natural environments around the world where cool animals happens to live. They have a Madagascar Island, equatorial Africa, and southeast Asia, all replicated as acurate as possible. The zoo is fairly small in size and it is located  in the center of Fuengirola, but it is really cool and well-kept and has a lot of nice animals. Unfortunately the white tigers were not out the day we were there, and the lemurs were not as active because it was too cold for them (it was 20 degres celcius, seriously guys…)  but we did get a close encounter with some crocodilles and one of the monkeys put on quite a show for us; all in all the place is well worth a visit and a sure hit for kids!  http://www.bioparcfuengirola.es/

 

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Mabel matched the flamingos for the occasion!

ImageAnd trying to catch the attention of some other birds.

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Mini hippos!

 

ImageImageImageImageAssorted monkeys.. and thats a silverback gorilla behind the window, Im not talking about me..

 

ImageAnnoying the croc. Bet they get that a lot.. Image

 

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Lemurs!

 

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“What are you looking at?”

ImageMabel, we’re at the zoo, not a botanical garden..

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So, as Mabel has explained in an earlier post, our wild adventure in the recently

bought 1979 Triumph Spitfire didn’t turn our exactly as planned. The plan was

to drop our dog Walter off at my parents outside of Alicante and then start our

journey north to Norway via Switzerland to visit Mabel’s sister, Belinda and her

boyfriend Nikola. All in the name of a good adventure, and hopefully sell the

car with a profit.

Well, my dad bought the car so the adventurous plan had to be changed. I do

think the car looks good in my parents driveway though, and the fact that it

stays in the family is nice as well. Now I can enjoy it every time I visit them!

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The journey could have ended here, but since we already had arranged for babysitters for Walter, we figured we might as well go on vacation. So we found some cheap tickets to Zurich, and after a few extra days at my parents, we were off for a week to Alp Land!

Its quite funny, we flew into Basel, and the airport is situated just on the border of Switzerland, France and Germany. So when we came to pickup our rentalcar on the Swiss side we were instructed to go to France.. We got a bit long-faced, but after further instructions from the clerck: “up the stairs, to the right then down the escalator” it wasn’t so bad afterall. So off to Zurich we went!

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Me enjoying a healthy swiss lunch. Bratwurst and bread. It was seriously good..

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It was really nice to see Belinda and Nikola again, and after a few days in Zurich we went for a roadtrip to Montreaux. Montreaux was originally planned as our last stop with the Spitfire before reaching Zurich, so it was nice that we got to see it. Montreaux is a really picturesque mountain village by Lake Geneva and is most famous for its Jazz festival, being the home to Queen’s Freddie Mercury, and off course being the background of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” when someone burned down the city’s Casino in 1971 (“We all came down to Montreaux on the Lake Geneva shoreline….”) So off course with such a strong rock legacy I had to see it for myself and it was well worth a visit..

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Nikola’s parents run a hotel in the Alps, so after a few days back in Zurich we went up to the mountain resort of Sils Maria for a few days which is about 10 km from St. Moritz. The place was just closed for the winter season and the alps were beautiful now in the Spring. The air doesn’t get much fresher than up there..

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After returning to Zurich once again for a few days we spent our last night in Basel closer to the airport since the plane back departed in the middle of the night. Or 6am which is the same.. Basel was well worth the visit as well.

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When we finally returned home this was the view from our house greeting us. Welcome back to Costa del Sol..Image

Today its 25 degrees in the shade though and it seems like summer is here to stay!!

Vino Mio, a restaurant in Malaga famous for its good food, the lively atmosphere and the FLAMENCO! We went there with Birgers parents Sonja and John Birger. And surely, the food was really something! I had the Cous-Cous, and have to say that is actually one of the best ones I have tasted. Birger ordered meat- no surprise there, and loved it. Sonja and John Birger chose the duck and that was the most impressive of all- huge and so deliciously crispy and full of flavour! Go there!

Then there was the entertainment- a handsome man and his protegee playing the guitar, a young firefull lady dancing. She trampled her feet so hard I thought the floor would break! The crowd went crasy when she started picking out people from the tabels to dance with her, everyone wanted to show their best Matador. Of course, there was no way the young girl could ignore the handsomest man in the reastaurant- Birger! He turned out to be a natural, and the crowd cheered! I sat ready with my camera of course, making sure not to miss a single frame. Yeah…no. I have no pictures of this glorious moment. Sorry. I wonder if Birger is sorry. But he did want me to get one of those flamenco dresses.

The friday of easter we went to Malaga with Birgers parents to enjoy a meal and have a look at the processiones. They are told to be spectacular here, and we have to agree. The whole Old Town was closed off and and it seemed that the whole 500.000 of Malagas habitants was out in the streets. The most dedicated arrive early, bring a chair and hold down the best posisitions. I belive that will be somewhere close to a bar/restaurant with a toilet and some kind of kiosk- this is not a day for dieting! The processions have big floats with the virgin Maria and Jesus on the cross, men and women are dressed in dark robes with dark hoods that cover their faces and holding huge candels.The sounds are drums beating and also big orchestras playing. Quite dramatic scenes for someone from Norway where signs of religion are usually limited to a discret cross around the neck.

This is a big event and the whole region is buzzing, but don`t take my word for it-book your easter trip for next year now!

Easter have come and gone and its time for a little look back. We have had a few bookings, a coupple from the Alicante area stayed two nights and the lovely girls from Holland stayed thre nights before they enbarked on their adventure to Morocco. Birger was their designated driver while here as they did not have a car. During the easter time there was both election and a huelva general (general strike) in Andalucia!

The Semana Santa celebration is the biggest event of the year and is of course well covered up in the small villages like ours too. The days leading up to the procces processions I got to know the meaning of what the rest of the world consider the slow living in Spain (manaña, manaña). I had to find out for a potensial customer what day the actual procession would be, as they would only stay for that particular day. Easier said than done. I heard from some locals that friday was the most likely. But as there was some uncertainties,Birger and I went where the information is virtually “straight from the horses mouth”- the local grocery store. But the ladies (at least four of them, some on chairs inside the store) was not sure!? They did not seem to ponder over this, but we decided to go to the Ayuntamiento (city hall), surly they would know. No. The lady kept saying “creo” (I think its…)- not a good sign, she called a colleague, but she also just creo`d. At the assumed day, there was still no signs of a procession. But, as the clock passed nine we saw the villagers run past our house in their best clothes- I guess that is how you know.

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