|Visit to Almeria|
The nearest major place to Almerimar is Almeria. We hired a car (for a couple of days) and drove into town. It was a relatively short hop once I had got use to right hand drive again.
Almeria holds the position of being on the South Eastern tip of Spain and has been an important lookout across into the Mediterranean Sea. A strategic point for Spain over it's long history. The Moorish culture has had a big influence and hence it's impressive citadel castle which is 2nd only to the Alhambra Palace in Granada. The port has become important with a lot of development due to the massive agricultural industry in the area - all those plastic greenhouses.
Yet again, driving in it was obvious that this was another well kept Spanish city with plenty of gardens and water features. And again, lots of people out tending to them as well.
Lots of beautiful fountains and water features in this city.
Fountains are always good for nice loving pictures...........
The first stop was the usual Tourist Information Office. Always good for city maps and the Do's and Don't.... So, in usual Marky style, up went the left arm and calls of "Keep up, follow me........!!!!" (For anyone that has travelled with me on holiday or a long weekend city break - you are probably curled up in deep depression at hearing those tones again.....) At this point Charlie reminded me that it was already 28 degrees and that he is only a 9yr old kid with little legs.
Cathy - "Here we go Charlie - the left arm has gone up again !!!!??
Charlie - "Don't worry Mum, I'll give him the look, that will slow him down."
We walked straight to the historic area which included the fort, the cathedral and many other old buildings. See below for a taster;
Main external entrance to Almeria Cathedral.
Inside the cathedral at the main alter
A typical small square.
Interestingly, many of the trees had been cut on the inside to be hollow - a feature of the city.
For those of you following the blog, you'll know that it is tradition now for me to climb somewhere high and get some pictures across the city. This trip was no exception. At this point Cathy and Charlie looked at me and said "You're going to climb that aren't you??" So they sat down and said "We'll wait for you here then...." Off climbing I went;
Statue at the top of the hill (Cerro de San Cristobal).
Part of the old city fort.
Looking across at the city fort (La Alcazaba) from the top of the hill.
View looking south over the commercial port.
By the time I'd got down, it was time for food - Charlie was dying of hunger......again. So it was off to a bar/cafe and then back to the car and back to Watermark IV. Having the car was great. It very boringly enabled us to stop off for food/drinks and more at a big supermarket. Carrying the heavy stuff is always a problem with small weak carrier bags.
Well, the day ended the normal way with the 3 of us on the beach as the sun went down. Charlie and I went snorkelling - not much to see - but we were in the water together while Cathy sat on the beach, watched and shouted instructions.
I was so pleased when Mark suggested hiring a car, a good time to be getting out of the marina and seeing a bit more of inland Spain. Before we set off i briefed Charlie about the need to be quiet and not to jig around in the car behind Marky as there was a probability of stress due to the fact that a) he hadn't driven a car for a couple of months b) it wasn't automatic c) it wasn't a Merc and d) the obvious navigational problems of driving on the wrong side of the road..After a few minutes of our journey we could relax. I know this is difficult to believe for all you blog readers that have known Marky for a number of years but he REALLY has become a relaxed human being and nothing seems to be able to change this.( well we haven't anchored off yet so maybe i have spoken to soon ).
We had a lovely day out in Alemeria taking in the culture . Charlie was fascinated by the walls which once surrounded the city and the general history which became a talking point at every corner of where we walked. Its great that he is so interested and just what i want for him to be able to have a broader education rather than just the national curriculum. However ,after about 4 hours he then went into the ..."when are we going swimming" . Short half day trips gets the best out of my boy which suits us all. We are in a routine of doing Maths and English ever day but only for about half an hour. To be honest he is learning so much every day i'm not going to beat him up for not writing a story. The only thing we are bashing him for is his time tables. A regular daily song can be heard from our boat.... 1 2 is 2 , 2 2's are 4 etc etc...
Stayed tuned for Charlie's big blog entry and the trip into the desert and "Mini Hollywood".