Spain, Portugal and Morocco travel blog

Our last night in Madrid we went back to the same sidewalk restaurant as the previous night. As we ate dinner we watched the people rush by. In Sevilla they amble. Lots of people shop for shoes. After dinner, we walk back to Plaza Mayor.

Plaza del Sol is busy. One fountain is lit up with blue lights. Sheets of yellow looking like fire cascade down from the fountain's bowl. A Mariache band is tuning their instruments. Hawkers are selling their wares. Sidewalk restaurants are busy. Thereis a police presence.

But at Plaza Mayor? A few people stroll about. Sidewalk cafes have a few customers. All but the tiled building are dimly lit. No police are in sight. We find a pub called El Toro and go inside. It is reputed to have a lot of bullfight paraphernalia. There are 5 stuffed bulls' heads amid hanging Iberian hams, matador capes and hats, many pictures of bullfighting, and a complete matador costume. There are several customers in this small pub. We order a cervasa and a water. It comes with potato salad. We read the info and look at the pictures. One shows a bull almost clearing the barrier into the stands. Another shows a matador being gored. Not all matadors survive.

After we walk back. Some buildings are lit with an ever changing array of lights. Some with colored lights. Lots with white lights. Shops are open. Customers frequent them. It is after 10p when we cross Plaza del Sol on our way 'home'.

The next morning we are up early and on the road by 8a. We exit the parking garage and head to Calle Grand Via. Street lights are still on. We turn on to Calle Prado, go down to the train station, turn right....and enter a tunnel! We travel to the outskirts of Madrid underneath the city on a 4-lane highway! Super! In no time at all we are heading back south the way we came on A4. At Banos de Encina we take A44 to Granada and continue south to Motril.

We drive through pyramidal mountains, see neat rock formations and scenic canyons. Olive groves proliferate. The area is desert-like. We see prickly pear cactus. As we descend to Motril, greenhouses with net sides appear. They are everywhere. We climb up to E15, go around a mountain, through a tunnel, and as we go west to Nerja, little towns appear along the sea. By the time we enter Nerja the sun is shining. We park and stroll along the Balcon Europa, a short walk out to the sea--about a city block or so. One side is lined with restaurants and shops. The other is open to the sea with palm trees, beaches and rocks far below.

We find a hotel with underground parking, settle in, and go for a tapas. We talk to an English couple with their world-travelling daughter. We explore nearby streets. Later we choose a restaurant for dinner. It looks like a seaside restaurant but looks into--another restaurant?! But the food is good--and arrives quickly. Afterwards we explore some more. Back at our hotel, we sit outside for a nightcap. We talk to an English couple who have emigrated to Spain and live just outside Malaga. They are enjoying a 'chill-out' after a busy season. She manages and cleans for 9 apartments. He is retired.

As we have breakfast this a.m. we bump into them again.

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