The real “Marrakech Express” isn’t on rails

So… continuing tonight’s (it’s almost 9 pm here) 60s theme, the quote of the trip so far (which really doesn’t amount to too much, since she’s one of the few people I’ve had an actual conversation with so far) comes from Rosalie, a chatty ol’ lady in her late 60s on holiday from Cork, Ireland.

When I mentioned that I was looking forward to taking “The Marrakech Express,” as we looked down from the ancient Alcazaba onto the even more ancient Roman theater ruins (photo below) she laughed and said, “There’s no “express”! That was just (the reefer) talking.” 

The 2,000 year old Roman Teatro, and, hidden by trees, the sprawling El Pimpi restaurant

And, in fact, it’s not an express train. Guess we know now what those smoke rings Graham Nash was blowing from the corner of his mouth consisted of. 

I still like the song, even though I decided it’s far easier and much quicker to fly on Air Arabia from Fes to Marrakech. I doubt I’ll see any 5-foot blue ladies on the flight, but I’ll get there almost six hours faster.

And then I’ll blow smoke rings from the corner of my-my-my-my-my-my-my mouth on the terraza or veranda or whatever they call it in Morocco. 

I land in Tangier Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, let’s let Graham have the last word, shall we?

The 60s come to Malaga

My legs hurt today after climbing the 1,500 meters up to the top of Castillo Gibralfaro yesterday to see the astounding views.

So after visiting the Picasso Museum and walking about the area for a couple hours before enjoying tapas on the Plaza, I found myself back in my rental applying Salonpas externally and a really nice Riojo Temperanillo internally.

Had enough of live streaming MSNBC this morning, so I was laying on the couch searching You Tube for music, and I came across this. A Spirit re-union in 1984.

Man, these guys weren’t phoning it in. Had me smiling and recalling a time too long gone.

Legs still hurt, but I didn’t mind so much.

Moving from on high to on the ground in Malaga

I just loved the AC Marriott Palacio Malaga for many reasons, not least of all the amazing views. Eighth floor balconys overlooking the water and the vibrant heart of a city tend to spoil you quickly. I lingered for an hour after check out Monday afternoon, savoring an appetizer and glass of wine on the Terraza as I stared out over the harbor.

So I was also prepared for a letdown as I moved to a HomeStay rental studio apartment about four blocks away, even as I was looking forward to being “on the ground.”

And as things turned out, I landed a pretty damn nice location. The studio apartment itself doesn’t appear to be anything special, but it’s not bad inside for the cost. It’s not fancy, but quite comfortable, with everything I needed for the next five days.

What’s absolutely great is its location.

As in less than a block from the very popular Plaza Merced and it’s many restaurants, grocery, and other attractions. Three blocks up Calle de la Victoria to a laundermat.

Ok, it’s not the 8th floor looking out at the Malaga Harbor, but over yonder is the entrance to Plaza Merced and a wealth of restaurants, the Picasso museum and other attractions.

And up the paved hill to the entrance of the historic Castillo de Gibralfaro, which offers views of the city rivaling the Palacio hotel.

I need only step across the road outside my rental and there looming across the boulevard below is a section of the nearly 1,000 year old Castillo de Gibralfaro.

Simply walk out the front door and thought the security gate, and you’re in the center of much of what makes Malaga special.

One side of the amazing Plaza Merced a block away from my rental. Nearly a dozen restaurants grace this side of the plaza, and another 15 to 20 ring the two other sides. Thousands of people stroll about or sit about eating and lounging every day. The yellow building with green shutters on the left houses the Picasso Foundation.

I could live here. I won’t, of course. But I really could. This place is worth learning Spanish for.


Flock of Seagulls

My iPhone camera doesn’t do it justice, but this gives a hint of the beautiful spectacle to be seen from the Terraza from time to time throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

Hundreds of seagulls soaring about on the currents. This shot not only doesn’t capture the detail well, it only shows about a third of the seagulls.

And you thought they were just a 60s art band.