Tag Archives: cat

Back to Madrid

Back to Madrid

It was time to pack up our things and leave our newly acquired home… time to get back to reality, back to work, back home…

We bid adios to the neighborhood gato and the flowering sweet almond…

Cat and almond tree

“Hasta luego, gatito!”

We locked everything up and drove back to Madrid. We arrived in the evening and checked into the Hotel Clement Barajas.

View from our room at the Hotel Clement Barajas

Looking out the window from our room at the Hotel Clement Barajas

Hotel Clement Barajas view

Barajas

Barrio Barajas

The Alcazaba

The Alcazaba

Spur of the moment sightseeing is awesome as far as I’m concerned, so I was excited to see what this Alcazaba was all about. We drove through Almeria, not really knowing where we were going. Luckily the Alcazaba is on a hill, so we knew which direction we should be heading in, and there were some signs here and there to guide us. We finally reached the Alcazaba and parked along a narrow road, thinking that we could just walk up the road to get to the fortress.

The Alcazaba

The Alcazaba

When Curt parked the car, and we got out, I notice a HUGE amount of dog/cat poop along the side of the road. Geez! It was crazy. Talk about landmines… this fortress didn’t need walls, the poo could keep people out!

The road was steep on the way up, and there were some crazy daredevils on motorized scooters zipping along; and a man walking two dogs, one of which was just skin and bones, but other than that we didn’t see any tourists coming to visit this huge fortress and we thought that was a little odd. No matter, we just kept hoofing it up the hill. All of a sudden, Curt thought he might have left the car unlocked, so we went back down and this time decided to drive the car up to the top. When we reached the top of the hill, there were some stairs to what seemed to be one of the towers.

Alcazaba stairs

 

Alcazaba tower

The views from up here were beautiful, and we hadn’t even gone up the stairs yet! We were really interested to find out what would be at the top. (**insert ominous foreshadowing music here… again**)

View of Almeria port

View of the port of Almeria

Okay, so we climbed up the stairs and found that they led to… nowhere. I mean, pretty much nowhere, because they just led to the backside of the fortress where it seems that young people probably hang out and drink or smoke. There were lots of cigarette butts and broken beer and wine bottles, but other than that it was not an entrance to the rest of the fortress. We head back down the stairs, and back down the narrow road…

Down the stairs at the Alcazaba

“Nothing to see here, folks…”

Alcazaba road

Along the road we met up with a one-eyed cat. He looked pretty hardscrabble.

One-eyed cat Almeria

“You’d be cranky too if you had to walk through all these stinky ‘land mines’ !”

When we got to the bottom of the hill, we realized that we had driven right past the main entrance. (oops) We parked the car along the side of the road again, and made our way to the ticket office.

Alcazaba entrance

The actual entrance

At the ticket counter, the man asked where we were from. When we said “Los Estados Unidos” he said, “Oh, then it’s free.” Not ones to question ‘free,’ we went on in. I’m not sure what the fee is if you are not from the U.S.

We knew nothing about the Alcazaba before visiting it, but you can read all about it here. It was a beautiful fortress with a lot of history.

Alcazaba archway

Beautiful arches

Alcazaba gardens

Gardens

Alcazaba Looking out

“Who goes there??”

Alcazaba

Steep sides!

Alcazaba

Irrigation

Irrigation system

Archeological remains are still being excavated in one portion. In this area you can walk through what were once baths, pools, and palace rooms.

Ongoing excavations at La Alcazaba

Ongoing excavations at La Alcazaba

It was in this part of the Alcazaba that we met up with Los Gatos de La Alcazaba! Okay, so I have no idea if they have such a name, but if not, they should. There were cats everywhere. Sunning themselves on the walls, sleeping in planters, napping on windowsills…

Alcazaba cats

Alcazaba cat

Sleeping Alcazaba cat

Fuzzy Alcazaba cat

sleepy Alcazaba cat

Alcazaba Cat

Many Alcazaba cats

How many can you spot in this picture?

After walking through this area, we got to the third enclosure which was the Christian castle. The backside of this was where we had been when we first went up the narrow road and up those stairs. Seeing things from inside was much more interesting!

Alcazaba

Alcazaba Christian Castle

Alcazaba Christian castle

Alcazaba

Alcazaba view

Alcazaba cannons

cannons

Cannon

The view was really pretty from the highest vantage point. You could see over the port of Almeria: all the houses, buildings, and ships.

view fromt he Alcazaba

The view from the Alcazaba

We left La Alcazaba. I was glad that we stopped here and had a look at this fortress. It was a good way to spend the last part of the day. We made our way back through Almeria and drove to Arboleas.

Almeria

Almeria

Almeria to Aroleas

On the road again…

 

 

Shopping in Almeria

Shopping in Almeria

It was still early in the day when we got done at the Foreigner’s Office, so Lucas recommended that we browse through the shopping mall (since we were parked in its parking lot) and then do some sightseeing along the shore of Almeria Playa.

We had a great time walking around the mall because it was fun to see the things that were in the shops compared to what we see here in the US. There was one store with a cat theme. A true haven for Crazy Cat Ladies everywhere! You can check out A Loja de Gato Preta and see what I mean. Lots of cat items: dishes, textiles, decorations… you name it!

A Loja de Gato Preta

A Loja de Gato Preta

Sophie

Sophie, erés tu?

One of the main stores in this mall was Alcampo which is a lot like a SuperTarget or Walmart Superstore. It had pretty much anything you might want. We were thrilled to death because we came across an oscillating space heater and a portable CD player/radio. Warmth and entertainment were two things we could use back at the house! We were like kids in a candy shop; ooohing and ahhhing at everything. We couldn’t believe how many paella pans there were to choose from!

Paella pans at Alcampo

Wow! What a selection!

In addition to home goods and electronics, Alcampo sells clothes and has a large grocery section.

Alcampo Don Limpio

Hey! We recognize Don Limpio! That’s none other than Mr. Clean!

Alcampo tuna2

People in Spain must really eat a LOT of tuna! Do you see how big the cans are??

Alcampo Jamon

Now that’s a whole lotta ham!

Alcampo jamon iberico

Notice the price!! (It looks like Curt is about to grab a ham and run out the emergency exit.)

Alcampo also has a big fish counter with lots of activity and lots of interesting seafood.

Alcampo fish market

Alcampo fish market2

Alcampo fish

A face only a mother could love…

Alcampo more fish

Alcampo shrimp

Alcampo shellfish

After our big shopping excursion (we bought a few other items for a picnic lunch, as well) we checked out and Curt returned the shopping cart. I love how in Europe you put a coin in to get a cart and only get your money back when you return the cart. I wish they did that at home in regular stores (and not just at the airport when you get luggage carts) because I bet there would be a lot fewer carts rolling around crashing into people’s cars in the shopping center parking lots!

Alcampo cart return

We went back out to the car and ate a picnic lunch before heading over to the beach.

The Five Little Casas

The Five Little Casas

This first little casa was tooo bland…

Grandpa's house

…but it had awesome views of almond groves!

 

The second little casa was tooo small…

…but again this one had a great view!

…and a playful gatita…

…and another handsome gato!

 

This third little cave casa had an awkward layout…

… and standing up in the shower would be impossible!

 

The fourth little casa was what brought us to this area, but it needed work…

… and apparently more work…

…and yet again, we LOVED the views…

We did make a low-ball offer which the owner did not accept. So that little casa was not meant to be.

 

BUT the fifth little casa was big…

… and renovated…

and had amazing outside space!

This fifth casa seemed just right! Maybe our house hunt was over…