Tag Archives: Costa del Sol

Sights of Spain.

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The last month has been pretty quiet in Estepona, with people awaiting the next celebration after El Dia de los Reyes Magos.  This, of course, means that shops and supermarkets are now lined with all things red and offers are prominent on boxes of truffles for ‘El Dia de San Valentin’.

These months are also key in preparation for the summer season before the holiday makers come flooding in from Spanish cities and England.  New water displays being built, railings and fountains are being painted and the ‘chiringuitos’ will open soon.

One day in the office, I saw a huge palm tree being put into the port.

Operation Palm Tree.

It made me think about how areas such as the Costa del Sol are built to look good.  The streets lined with palm trees are planned beforehand, all the areas are strategically made to look beautiful and I have watched the terrace where I now have lunch, being built from the foundations up.

My lunch spot on the terrace in the port, overlooking the boats and Gibraltar (unfortunately, out of shot)

A huge amount of effort is taken to keep places like Estepona  looking lovely, which is not really a surprise since tourism is so important here.

Another natural beauty.

But there is no doubting the beauty of the natural sights here.  The clarity of Gibraltar and the Atlas Mountains on a clear day in Estepona is enough to make the walk to work pleasant in the morning.

The following is, without a doubt, another of my favourite sights here.  Every morning, as I leave my flat in a rush to get to work, I always turn my head for a quick glance at the mountain.  Usually the sun is shining down on it from the blue ‘not-a-cloud-in-the’ sky.

Definitely makes me happy.

Estepona - so pretty.

 

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Salsa, the Show and Spain

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There are certain things that you have to do when in Spain, for example, eat tapas, watch a Spanish movie and try a Spanish dance.

Earlier this week, we ticked off ‘Spanish dance’ with a taste of salsa – the dance, not the condiment.  (This blog is a bit of a shout out to Miss Becca Reid – the salsa lady herself! 🙂 )

After weeks of saying we’d go, Emma, Rebekah and I made our way to a bar in Estepona, Mambo, popular for its frequent Latin nights.  Arriving at the English interpretation of 8pm, we were sat in the bar waiting for the teacher to arrive.  When Spanish 8pm (8.15) came, Franklin – the teacher arrived and eventually we became a Salsa class with one other girl and two Spanish men.

The warm up was a bit of merengue (pronc. meh-ren-gay and not to be confused with ‘meringue’), a quite simple warm up that saw us stepping, walking and moving our hips to the Spanish version of Gyptian’s ‘Hold You’.  (I tried to find this version to post here but it turns out there are MANY Spanish versions!)  We then went on to the main event learning our basic steps of Cuban Salsa.  Successfully achieving these steps, I felt a great sense of achievement… until I started getting them confused with the other steps we were then taught.

What I couldn’t get my head around was the ‘Dile que no’ (otherwise known as the ‘cross body’ and translated as the “Tell him no” – which I should have been good at given how men are in the south of Spain).  So, I left it to the man to lead me (otherwise known as ‘let the man move me around him’).  I finally did understand the Dile que no luckily, but my basic steps remain a little rusty.

Spanish bluntness meant that we were told exactly how much practice we needed before we left!  However, it was a good bit of fun, definitely brilliant exercise and amazing to be able to understand the teacher speaking in Spanish.  Excellent!

Another big event this week was the ‘Over 50s Show’ – I have been organising our stall for the company over the last couple of months.  An event led by an Irish magazine, it brings together a range of companies from Spain and the UK to come to the Costa del Sol to advertise their businesses to people over 50.

We tried to have "a bit of fun" by taking people's photos and putting them in front of an iconic Andalucian background. This is me in Sotogrande - we tried to encourage fun ones too but they didn't really kick off.

Our stall was opposite a bowling green team.  I think it’s fair to say that you’ve spent enough time at the Over 50s show when you begin to understand the game of bowls.  I did enjoy the food though – it’s quite the rarity to get your hands on some ‘hog roast, apple sauce and stuffing’ in Spain – trust me!

And finally I think a quick note about the weather is worth a mention.  We enjoyed a standard Costa del Sol winter weekend with a toasty 22 degrees.  Lovely (and yet I’m still excited to come home for Christmas)!

That’s all, folks 🙂