Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Castle in Fuengirola (Fuen)

We loving called Fuengirola - Fuen - because some of us are not able to do verbal gymnastics. Anyway this castle was cool - I think the oldest we visited. You will notice the way the side walk goose necks up the hill - it was a very steep hill - and I thought the steepest we would encounter, silly me!!
As we approached I notices the walls had holes where the birds had nested, and the plants had grown! I cannot get plants to grow in the ground in my yard and here are orange trees sprouting out of a rock wall, go figure.
We have put in a bird feeder for my Grandma, they make a mess - I did wonder if that was part of the reason the wall seemed so pitted - bird doo doo everywhere!!

I cannot find the name of this castle - I will have to investigate further but it was built around 1000 a.d..
You have to pay to get into just about everything and this was no exception.

You walk into the doorway on the right and down a walkway -

And out you come this doorway with a large courtyard - below is straight ahead - we figured this was the kitchen area.The picture below is to the left of the door - it seemed to be rooms, maybe this is where the nobles lived? There are several steps to the upper walkway and some bigger platforms for the cannons and tower rooms.This was also along the back wall.
These seemed to be the soldiers quarters and the well. I would imagine a water source was really important.

This was up on the tallest bluff just off the beach - Great view of all surrounding area including the sea. I am amazed at the quality of the engineering (it is still standing after 1000 years) and the thought put into the defense (you will see more on that in the next post). I will continue this castle in the next post as I am trying to keep them to a shorter length. We took soooo many pictures and I am making this my travel journal so you will have to bear with me :0!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On to the South of Spain

Here is a view of our resort - Costa del Mar I think.

Our condo was right below the palm tree on the left.

After the Temple we packed up and left our hotel room to find 2 taxis to take us to the train station, luckily we knew the station better and where we should go - you will notice I said "should" -once again Ken's ability to speak Spanish was handy. We did get thru security and on the right track and had a really nice place to sit at a table. This trip was to be about 3 hours, good time to write in my travel journal and keep detailed notes on what we did, unfortunately I did not take in to account the Hamilton genes in most of us, so instead of being a good girl and journaling, we made friends with a couple from Argentina!! They were very interesting and we spent the whole ride chatting. So like us! We arrived in Malaga and switched from the really nice train to the commuter one - it took an hour to go about 25 km to Fuengirola. We grabbed 2 cabs and found the condo - it was so nice. The picture above is the walkway to the beach from our resort. The area is called the Costa del Sol - the water was so blue.

Here is our grocery and gas station - not too far but of course downhill - so everything you carry is uphill home.
This is the castle in Fuengirola - it was about 1 mile from us. We explored our resort and around the beach on Saturday - ate an early dinner and played cards!! The next morning we really hadn't planned too much so I did not set an alarm, Ken and I woke up about 11:15 am, I guess the jet lag, time difference and lots of walking finally caught up with us! We felt really bad holding up everyone until about 1/2 later my mom woke up!! Apparently we all needed some rest!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Ok - here is Jethro the Juggernaut - Dallin is stoked. We hunted for about a month and here is what we came up with, kinda an ugly brown but the engine is rebuilt, and it is a lot of steel around our precious boy! He has spent the last few days cleaning it up and then he and Ken will install the A/C and do a few more things.
We are getting excited for Sonja and Dave to move to Az. I don't envy the house hunting tho, I love to look at houses but deciding which one will serve the family best is a hard decision. I'm glad they are the ones deciding.
Back to Spain for the next post!! See ya.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why is it taking so long??

I am sorry it is taking so long to post new Spain adventures, My cute son Dallin is planning a very busy summer and I as the Mom am not really excited to be the taxi- Brenn planning her own very busy summer is not inclined, nor excited to share the Beast (her car) with her brother since she is planning a very busy summer - so we are combing craigslist and on the look out for a used vehicle cool enough for Dal that has A/C since we know how important that is here in Az. This search is taking up a lot of time, money and blogging initiative. Hopefully we will be successful!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Faster and Faster!!! The Madrid Temple

Great pictures!!

On Saturday we were planning to board the Ave Train for Malaga but before leaving we wanted to attend the Madrid Temple - How cool is it to be the one wearing the translation headphones? So on Friday night we used our weak wireless to try to find where in the city it was - we had the address but no directions. I tried Google earth, which although is really cool it is not the absolute best way to figure it out - Using the subway map and Google earth we thought we figured it out. We also tried to call the temple and that is when we found out that Spain was not easy to call on our free cell phone.
Anyway, we got up super early and grabbed the Metro to where I thought we should and sure enough only about 2 blocks away we found the temple. As you can see in the pictures it was just before sunrise. What a beautiful temple. We enjoyed a session and then visited the distribution center (I forgot my Book of Mormon and wanted to continue scripture study).
These Pictures are from the Engineer - we have several of these where either he could not believe they would build some road that way or was impressed. I am not sure which this was, I will try to get Ken to blog about it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Toledo two

Should I wax poetic about a train station? I thought it was such a beautiful building. We saw lots of detailed architecture, but this station (built in the early 1900's, so it was newer) Incorporated both the Moorish and Christian influences, notice both kinds of arches. The details inside were just as beautiful.
Here is the train we rode - my mom has the pictures of my first ride, appropriate don't you think?
Inside the station, the ceiling is carved wood and the teller gates to the right are no longer used but are so intricate they kept them in the station.
The stain glass was so colorful and the sun was shining thru them when we were waiting to go back the Madrid.
Here is my 2nd train ride!! Okay, this was a hooky tram that gave us a canned tour thru and around Toledo. It allowed for some amazing city shots we would not have gotten otherwise and gave some fun trivia.

This is part of a wall left from the Romans!!!

Here is one of the two gates to the city - one is Christian and this one shows the Moorish arch.
Here is the Christian one - I cannot figure out how to turn the picture in this program so bend your head the the right and look.
Some the the materials were reused after the Romans left - they tended to use bigger stones instead of the smaller bricks used by the Moors.

On the tour this was pointed out as a combo of both arches - notice the larger stones around the entrance.
We were walking around trying to find a certain tourist attraction and my Uncle Jerry noticed the hold in the building.
When we used the zoom on the camera we realized it was mortar fire and bullet holes. Probably where the King holed up during a coup.
This was a unique structure right by the river and the Moorish gate of the city. We noticed the foundation is built with the roman stones and the upper part with the little bricks.
Toledo was the most beautiful and friendly city - they had the first Zara store we saw - Zara is the name of our puppy we got last year (compensation for no more babies!). The streets are very narrow and they specialize in the black and gold jewelry we saw all over Spain. When we came out of the cathedral on the the plaza we were approached by a gentleman rounding up people to come the a converted convent and watch the artisans make the jewelry by hand. He built it up so much, both the artists and the convent - Ken wanted to see this convent and of course anything shiny and jewelry sounds great to me. So off we go while Dad and Jerry found and sat at a restaurant. So the convent looks like a warehouse - I don't know what kind of nuns use fork-lift but there you are - and the artisans turned out to be 2 guys sitting in the only heated room churning out trinkets by the 10 or 20 pieces. Then of course the persuasive gentleman takes you to the showroom and then with lots of attention sells you stuff!!! He was amazing with all these people he is pressuring into buying stuff - not cheap stuff - He kept track of those he brought in and kept up the pressure the whole time!!

So being susceptible to pressure this is what we bought. It was the least expensive thing I liked - I really liked the plates they had but at 200 euro ($300) I passed.
All in all we loved Toledo - it was one of the highlights of our trip.
We returned to Madrid and went to find dinner - always hard for us - and Dad and Jerry wanted to go to Burger King - a very short walk from our Hotel but I am in Spain, I don't eat Burger King at home let alone in Spain. So Ken, Mom, Linda and I went up the street and found (even closer to our hotel) A cute restaurant - they of course were not serving dinner yet as it was only 7:30pm so we had tapas - great sandwiches and a salad - but the lady we met was from Wisconsin and had lived in Madrid for 20 years - she was very interesting to talk to and she brought out for dessert the best apple pie I have ever had - we asked if it had something special in it but she said it was good ole American Apple Pie - guess we did not get as far from Burger King as I thought - but it was sooo good!!
One last thought - My mother in law told me to keep a journal every night of my trip - and I intended to - but we were so tired each night and I thought I would have plenty of time on the train but alas that was not the case (I will explain later) and I deeply regret not at least scribbling down something! I should have listened (I know she is amazing and knows the best stuff!) if I had this blog would be going much faster.
I keep looking at my other blogs for new stuff and I love to see updates every one's families and get frustrated to see the same ones and then I realize it has been a week since I detailed my trip - not that I think everyone is waiting on baited breath to see our travel log - but it is nice to see new things if you take the time to log on.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Toledo - Ole!

We got up on Friday morning and rode the Metro to the train station, I have never ridden a train so I was excited and we had tickets on the bullet train called the Ave train. We, being either smarter or dumber than the average bear, decided to get to the station a little early so we could figure out our tickets. We bought a rail pass on the Internet (they came with an international cell phone and 30 minutes of time, more about that later!) with 4 days of travel and made reservations also for the other days we were traveling but not for Toledo, so we found it was cheaper to buy a new ticket than to use the rail pass and pay for the reservation. It was such a good thing Ken speaks Spanish, we were in trouble anyway but at least he could get us the info we needed!!
The Train was fun, we arrived at a beautiful train station and caught a bus up to the town, everything in Spain is UPHILL!, so off we go.
These are some of the buildings in the town, the square one was the Royal Palace, it is said that El Cid was the first governor.

This Cathedral was really beautiful, so huge and amazing in detail. It was started in 1221 and has some amazing art, including paintings by El Greco and other Spanish Masters. In the ceiling is a painting and sculpture mixture called the Transparente, it includes a window that is Incorporated into the painting. The 3d effect was so cool - some of the people were painted and some were statues. Directly opposite was a wall of rows of statues of saints. As I said the detail is incredible.
The stain glass windows were big and really old, hard to make out exactly what they represented.

Also a big room with paintings of all the Cardinals or Prelates - the pictures started at 68 AD and went to 1968. The art was overwhelming, I felt like I saw too much to remember it all. I am glad we bought a bunch of books, the history is interesting and they have pictures we were not allowed to take.

We were not allowed to take pictures inside but once we came outside to the cloisters I took a few.

This is me and Don Quoite (sp).

This tram was kind of tacky but gave us great views of the city.

Ken likes all guns - here is one that won't fit in the gun closet (if it ever gets built).

Toledo was one of my favorites. If you go to Spain this is a do not miss. Charming town, skinny streets and lots of history. I will do another post on Toledo because we spent a whole day and I have lots of more pictures!!!