Merry Xmas!

Every good modern backpacker carries their Palmpilot with them in order to access their friends and families’ addresses and to play Freecell in those idle moments while waiting for trains and buses.

The only problem is that when your batteries go flat you inconveniently lose all the data stored therein, which of course makes sending out Christmas Cards just that little bit more difficult! (That is my excuse this year and I’m sticking to it!)

So please consider this email as a surrogate Xmas Card:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In all seriousness though, I hope you all have a fantastic holiday celebration.

This email comes to you from Malaga in Spain. I am just passing through having spent a couple of weeks in Morocco and a couple of weeks prior to that driving around the
Southern bit of Spain (Andalucia)

Alhambra Palace Garden
Tomorrow I head back to the UK to spend Xmas with my sisters and their families. Then in the new year I am off to Paris initially and then Prague to see what happens from there.

The last few weeks have been terrific. I have succeeded in my goal of avoiding cold weather and Christmas hype.

Potted highlights:

  • Ronda in Spain. Ernest Hemmingway has a helpful hint for Europe based recipients of this email: “There is a place in Spain that is the ideal spot to watch a bullfight for the first time . . . I am referring to the town of Ronda, the perfect place to visit with a girlfriend or to spend a honeymoon” It’s a very romantic place. The only pity was that I hadn’t organised anyone to be romantic with while I was there :)
  • Fantastic Islamic architecture right through the region, but especially Granada and Cordoba
  • Spanish business hours. Basically the day consists of getting up at about 9.30, and starting work (or in my case sightseeing) at about 10.30 through till say 1.00 when you knock off for lunch until about 4.00 pm. Then another stint of work/sightseeing through till 8.00 pm after which you spend the rest of the day wandering around bars drinking very nice red wine and nibbling on snacks (Tapas) till it all gets too much!
  • Cabo de Gata. Very nice, non touristy beaches. Every beach has it’s own 17th century castle too! I’ve been carrying a tent around in my backpack for the past three months and it finally got some use
  • Morocco which was more about the fantastic people, souks (markets), culture and food than the architecture and history – which was surprisingly disappointing (apart from some awesome Roman ruins). If you want to see Moroccan architecture, then go to Spain!
  • (Lowlight) Trying to find a carpark in Seville

I am still alive and well and – no, I’m not bored yet!

Adios

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