Alhambra Fortress Reflection

The Alhambra in Granada.

We had a few tremendous experiences while touring around Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Andorra, and France. Enjoy the stories of our Spanish adventure.

My husband’s favorite day of the whole trip was the trip to Granada’s Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens. To begin, we admittedly, did not do much in the way of planning our excursions ahead of time. We went into the vacation with the idea of going with the flow and letting it unfold. When we arrived in Malaga we decided that we wanted to spend a day at the Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens. I pulled up the website and found out that no tickets were available for the entire week that we were in the area. We were quite surprised! We had no idea how popular the site would be. Ryan decided to go ask the information/ concierge desk at our hotel. Thankfully, they were able to get us tickets for a tour that would pick us up at our hotel and drop us back off. The tour guide, Paco, was quite entertaining and informative. As I said, this was Ryan’s favorite part and he took no fewer than about 200 pictures of the architecture and gardens. The symmetry and craftsmanship is fantastic. Every part of the structure is covered in intricate details.  I would encourage you to go, but book ahead of time. 😉

Alhambra Floral Wall Detail

A close-up of the intricately detailed walls throughout the Alhambra.

Alhambra Garden Fountain

A peaceful garden inside the Alhambra.

The next day we got up quite early again for a full day of touring around Tangier, Morocco. That day was a blast! We became fast friends with a couple of the people on our bus and had a lovely time touring around and having lunch with them. My first favorite part of the day was meeting and riding the camels. I spoke with the tour guide and the camel handlers to ask a little bit of how the camels are treated. Camels are not endangered in any way and the camels did appear to be well taken care of, and happy, so I decided to give riding a camel a shot. It was remarkably similar to riding a smooth gaited Paso Fino horse with more of a back and forth riding motion than an up and down riding motion. Lunch was on the docket next and it was a lovely lunch of red lentil soup, lamb kebabs, tagine chicken with couscous and veggies, a dessert pastry, and mint tea. The meal was delicious and the conversation lively as we got to know our fellow travelers better. Towards the end of our time on Tangier the group got dropped off in the Kasbah so we could have time to buy souvenirs and trinkets. Ryan and I decided to sit at a small cafe since we had already gotten the souvenirs that we wanted. The vendors swarmed us and our fellow tour group members. I got a lot of practice at giving people an evil look to keep them from harassing me.  LOL

Amy with Baby Camel.png

The baby camel was soooooo sweet!

When we left the coastal region near Malaga we headed up to a small town in the Pyrenees about 1.5 hours drive north of Barcelona.

We spent the first day in the area relaxing and going on a nature walk. We decided to stop into the local Tourism Office. The lady spoke excellent English and was incredibly nice at pointing out some trails on a map. As we were getting ready to leave she asked if we wanted to see the church across the street. We said sure, so she told us to wait for a minute while she got the key. Ryan and I looked at each other quite perplexed because we were not sure what she meant. She walks over to a cabinet and comes back with a skeleton key and instructed us to bring it back to her when we were finished. SWEET!!! We had never seen a key like that in real life!! We also got the chance to explore the church at our own pace. It was awesome. Feeling quite elated  when we were finished at the church, we decided to explore some of the surrounding town. We happened across a guided nature walk and took the path the stream and pond. We didn’t see any animals, but it was truly peaceful. Although, it is this nature walk which may have lead to my demise the next day.

Church Key Collage

Seriously, how awesome is that key!?!?!

On the second full day in the Catalan region we decided to explore Andorra. I woke up feeling like my head had been put into a vice, and I had a difficult time not scratching my itchy eyes. Apparently I was highly allergic to something in this area. I did a few quick internet searches about how to get medications in Spain and every response said to go into a pharmacy and just ask for it. Over breakfast I used the hotels WiFi to translate a few phrases from English into Catalan and saved them into a note on my phone. (Phrases like: I have seasonal allergies. My eyes are itchy. I have a headache. I need an antihistamine.) I was incredibly anxious about tackling this task, but trust me, no one wanted to be around me without the allergy meds, so not tackling it was not an option. Ryan and I walked into the pharmacy. There were two ladies behind the counter and only one of them was busy. I walked up to the counter, pulled up the note I had created earlier on my phone, and handed over my phone. The first lady read it, mimed for me to wait a minute, and said something to the second lady. The second lady read the note, mimed to ask me if I had post-nasal drip to which I shook my head yes, and she went into the back to get some medications. When she brought out the meds she told us the price. I heard 183€ and Ryan heard 883€. We both stared at each other stunned. I thought medications were supposed to be cheaper in Europe?!?!? She typed something into the cash register and showed us the receipt. We were incredibly relieved to see 8.30€ (which is around $9.50). Relief washed over both of us as we paid for the medications. We left grateful for the helpfulness of the pharmacist and relieved that I would get back to feeling normal again soon. The rest of the day was a beautifully sunny day spent exploring Andorra.

Dali sculpture in Andorra

Nobility of Time by Salavador Dali in the central plaza of Andorra’s capital city.

As you can see this trip had some bumps along the way, but ultimately was incredibly fun.

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