Finally, some pictures! If you remember from my last post about Spain, we spent a day visiting schools and then saw a flamenco performance that night.
The next day, we took a tour of the old town of Marbella. Here are some of the highlights:
It is believed that this chapel, which sits on the main square, was once a mosque that was torn down once the Moors were driven out. The reasoning for this is that it does not line up squarely with the other buildings on the square and it seems to point in the direction of Mecca.
There are also loads of lovely little alleys to get lost in:
Here is a section of the old wall that protected the old town:
It is thought that is was built stones from old Roman buildings. Can you find the evidence?
We also visited the ruins of an old monastery that are being excavated:
They know it is a Christian site and not a Muslim one because they have found lots of bones. Muslims always carried their dead outside the town walls.
Finally, a picture or two of the rest of the old fortifications:
Then we met the mayor in the Town Hall, had (yet another) small lunch of tapas, and then we broke up for a couple of hours. First we did a little shopping - we came home with a couple of lovely flamenco fans - and then four of us headed down to the beach. The sand was scorching hot but the water was absolutely freezing! I couldn't get in past my knees, even though Stéph and his colleague managed to get all the way in. When I couldn't feel my feet, I suspected that perhaps the end of May is not quite the right time for swimming in the Mediterranean.
Once we'd had enough of gazing at the Rock of Gibraltar, we grabbed some ice cream and wandered back up the hill to our hotel. Once again reunited with the rest of the group, we made a brief visit to a local high school, had drinks in the apartment of our host and his wife, and went to the theatre, where we enjoyed a very special musical performed by some above-average high school aged actors (I feel I can can they were above average with some authority!).
Unfortunately, the long days with insufficient meals caught up with me after the show, and French Fry wasn't having any more nonsense and made his presence known (with me nearly being sick in the street!). Our Spanish hosts found a restaurant quickly where I could order a ginormous salad and side of the tastiest cheese bread I've ever had. I was quite embarrassed but I was actually thanked by some of the others, as we would have surely stood around watching our hosts meet and greet for an hour or more before we left the theatre. I don't think we were there long enough to adapt to eating à l'heure espagnole.
So anyway, yeah, that's how I spent my thirty-fifth birthday. Not bad, all told.