Another Mijas visit & hike

Nothing but blue skies here so we’re off to another visit to Mijas and surrounds.

In Mijas:

A row of donkeys & carts for hire.


Yummy leather goods I mentioned in an earlier post.
Yummy leather goods I mentioned in an earlier post.
Everyone dries their laundry in the ever-present breezes.
Car wash.

Our hike:  We chose some different trails in same area.    Dave noted these are some of the best hikes he’s been on – a combination of awesome scenery, a variety of terrain, and a little bit of a climbing challenge.  We’d see 2-4 other hikers on the trail.IMG_1951

Sorry I’m always showing you his backside!  We were pretty warm with the sun out, and were happy to see some light clouds come in.


Looks like Michigan to me! The pine is similar to jack pine.



Dave spotted the Rock of Gibraltar in the distant haze – center of the photo.


The trail crossed a road I would guess was for the Forest Service equivalent.  Right about here we caught some staggering wind from the north coming through a break in the hills.


We finished our hike quicker than expected, so decided to walk back to Fuengirola instead of taking the local bus.  Couldn’t have done it without Google maps, which took us on some true farm trails that we would not have found before we hit the outlying neighborhoods where street choices were more obvious.  It added 9.3 km to the hike , for a total time of 5 hours.  We earned our happy hour!

The above photo is looking back at Mijas.  Look closely and you can see that Forest Road about 2/3rds of the way up the hill, running pretty horizontal.  We hiked well above it.  My guess is we weren’t  quite halfway home when I took this photo.   Aurg – I had a sore knee the next day for all of the downhill.  Laura


In Malta and what we’ve seen of Spain, there are not underground gas lines to homes and businesses.  Instead, the delivery man has scheduled routes.   A good job for the physically inclined in carrying full tanks to doorsteps, and taking away the empties.

Aside: orange trees line the streets here, but a couple of samples reveal a tart (like a lemon!) variety.

IMG_1914If a home has gas, it’s typically used for stove, hot water and maybe heat in the northern areas.

IMG_1918Always being watched.  Bluest skies.

IMG_1495Making the corner in Malta, the driver made his presence known early one morning (!) by tooting his horn.  – Laura

La Cazuela de la Abuela

Spanish Translation: “my grandmother’s casserole”.

Dave’s translation:” Best Happy Hour EVER“.

How lucky are we to be in Fuengirola for the 4th annual La cazuela de la Abuela Competition. Eighty seven restaurants (of the 583 in town) chose to participate.

Getting started:  Pick up an entry form (passport) at the tourist bureau.  It contains: a map of the participating restaurants/cafes – named and numbered, a place for 5 restaurant stamps, a box to indicate your favorite, and your name and contact info.

Participating restaurants make a ‘winning’ casserole (stew, soup, whatever) and hope to win your vote.  Entries varied widely: chickpeas & chicken, yummy seafood stews, and Moroccan-spiced pork with roasted potatoes (above – our favorite!!)  are examples.

To play:  Put 2€ (about $2.35) in your pocket for each restaurant you’ll visit, and to the streets & alley ways of Fuengirola you go!

At the restaurant tell them you want to sample their casserole. They will ask you what you want to drink- beer, wine, coffee, soda…and start sampling.
IMG_1752After you’ve collected a stamp from 5 different restaurants (see above), record your favorite, and return the form to the tourist bureau. They will check it over before putting it in the ballot box, and letting you select a little prize.  (It was fun to watch entire families, kids and all, turning in their passports.)
Mmm - how many passports have we turned in?
Mmm – how many passports have we turned in?
Other participation prizes included t-shirts, aprons, beach towels, beach mats, and others I forget.  Oh, and don’t forget a new blank passport – no limit.
Yummy pork & rice.

The contest runs for 2 weeks, and March 5 (we’ll still be here in Fuengirola) names will be drawn for a boatload of prizes – seven day stay for 6 at a resort, a 42″TV (our luck we’ll win this!!), a 19″ TV , tablets, dinners etc.

OK – I’ll stop with the food…

Not sure if the winning restaurant gets anything other than bragging rights.

So, 2 visits a night was typical, but once we did 3. If we liked the looks of their tapas dishes on display, we might get one or two (another 2€ each) and call it a meal.

 Dave notes “Where else can you get a drink and appetizer-sized dish for $2.35?!” – Laura (cheers)

Vintage Motorcycles

IMG_1433 IMG_1825 IMG_1875Laura really likes shopping at the vintage shops so I thought I should follow suit and do some vintage shopping of my own.   I’m not sure if these will fit in my suitcase but I think I will try.  I owned a Norton 850 Commando for many years so the Norton would be a good choice but I think the Moto Guzzi would draw more attention and I suspect is a more rare bike.  Scooters are the most prevalent bikes here in Spain but there were a significant number of old motorcycles on the road in Malta.   — Dave


A 25 minute bus ride from Fuengirola brings us to Mijas, a village we knew nothing about other than there were frequent buses to it.  Turns out it’s a very quaint hill village with lot of tourist shops, including stores selling some beautiful buttery leather goods – coats, purses, satchels.  I had to avert my eyes!!

IMG_1866View from above Mijas where we started a hike up further into the hills

IMG_1847Everyone got the flower pot memo.  Blue,


Or red.  Your choice.

IMG_1877Very tidy (and color coordinated) people.

IMG_1878A Picasso sighting.

IMG_1880As we were leaving,  two tourist buses unloaded.   A delightful day trip. – Laura

Hike above Mijas

The tourist bureau had a great map of hikes in the hills above Mijas, so off we went.  Three hours round trip, nothing too strenuous.  Hope to return & do a longer one.  Dave is most happy with his new hiking shoes.


IMG_1857 IMG_1864Several marble quarries along the route.

IMG_1862That’s Fuengirola and the sea in the distance.

IMG_1861Lovely lines. – Laura

More Malaga sights

These huge water scenes are painted on the sidewall of a dry canal.  The next photo gives the size perspective.

IMG_1768See the individuals walking on the sidewalk just above the fishing boat.  There’s also a street between the wall and the white windowed building.

IMG_1771Don’t have 1 too many and wander by this fella!

Another locks bridge.


IMG_1799IMG_1800Saving the facade.

IMG_1769Scooter row.  We haven’t found our names on another mail box – yet.  – Laura

Visiting passion

I visited the Glass and Crystal Museum of Malaga and got the unexpected.   I didn’t read about the details of the museum in advance, just wandered into it, a 2 story house off a narrow street.  The ticket taker noted that “the English speaking tour has just started”,  so I added myself to a group of 6 Brits.  I didn’t realize that you could ONLY view the museum with a guide – it was a home.  Lucky timing!  Back to the tour: Mmmmm,   I said to myself.  This doesn’t sound like English.  I let my eyes wander around the room, half paying attention.  Mmmmm, to myself again.  There are SOME English words coming from this man.  Edging closer to the guide, I found that if I concentrated and watched him speak, I could make out about 75% of what he was saying.  He didn’t have a heavy accent, and he had total control of the language, he just talked quickly and didn’t enunciate fully.   What I learned in that hour plus tour was that this man, Gonzalo Fernandez-Pietro,  is the owner of the collection and the home.  It sounded like he came from some old money, has family all over Europe, and several homes (London, Paris, etc).  He  called himself a historian, but having to be a businessman to support the hobby he started as a child.  I’d guess he is in his early 60’s, being that he’s a  self-proclaimed hippy,  and his passion for collecting top quality glass obvious.  The stories he told, connecting the glass to times and people, his knowledge of glass making techniques and history, and his sharp sense of humor brought the collection to life.  If allowed to wander the home without a guide, one would have  seen some beautiful glass, but learned nothing.   His talk left me wanting to learn more about glass – he repeatedly told of the mysteries that glass hold.  It also left me examining my own life, and how there is certainly room for more passion in it.

IMG_1780I took many photos, but am only posting this one.  Looking up through  the courtyard ceiling Gonzalo noted that he, the dog, really ran the house.  He didn’t miss a move.

To have a peek into the museum, this link gives a nice overview.  If you have 12 minutes, this YouTube  glides you through the collection and home on some wonderful period music.  I hope it’s enjoyable viewing and you feel Gonzalo’s passion even without having seen the collection. – Laura