Category Archives: Bereavement

Leaving Badajoz

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Monday 11th December

  

It had been exceptionally windy last night, with the first rain of our holiday lashing against the windows of our hotel at three in the morning. When we went for our early walk, leaves were strewn all across the roads and on top of cars.
This was our last day in Badajoz, and we began with a pleasant breakfast of café con leche y tostadas con jamón, queso y tomate. (My Spanish is slowly improving…)
Our son picked us up at midday and drove us a few miles over the border into Portugal where we said our goodbyes, and shared lots of hugs and kisses. We caught the coach to Lisbon, and arrived three hours later.

It has been a lovely vacation, sharing time with our younger son and his girlfriend. We had spectacular weather, and went to fabulous places. Tomorrow it will be back to England and the cold, grey, dismal conditions…… that is, if the plane can take off. The storm that has gone through has caused travel chaos, I believe. We met some fellow travelers in the reception, and they were supposed to fly back to Holland today, but their flights had been cancelled. Oh well, we shall see.

Thinking of you sweetie pie

Beloved Angel son

Always and forever

xxxxxx

So many leaves on the ground this morning


Beautiful blue sky behind the Catholic Church


The Guadiana River, Badajoz


Puente de la Universidad


Sunset over Lisbon

Leaving Málaga

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Sunday 10th December

    

As we slowly awoke this morning, we could hear intermittent clapping and cheering, and on looking out over the balcony, we saw many runners along the promenade. Using social media, I found out that the Málaga Marathon was taking place, right in front of our building, with over three thousand four hundred entrants. Such a beautiful morning to pound the pavements…. young, old, on bicycles, and in wheelchairs.

We checked out of the apartment at midday and went for a walk along the beach at El Palo, to the east of where we had been staying. The marathon runners were long gone, to be replaced by dog walkers, families and Sunday strollers. Stopping at an outdoor café, we had coffees, then the local speciality ~ espetos ~ or barbecued sardines, and calamari: so very good.

Then began our long drive north west, back to Badajoz. Our son took control of the driving, a long journey of over five hours…….And so, our little Spanish sojourn is soon to come to an end. We have had a fabulous time, with amazingly warm weather for December, visiting some terrific destinations, eating local delicacies, and spending quality time with our son and his girlfriend.

Not forgetting you, my darling.

Beloved Angel son.

xxxxxx

Some of the marathon runners in front of our apartment

The beach at El Palo

Sparkly waves

The boys found an outdoor gym

Better to sit and relax…

Or you could try and work out how to use the apparatus

Frankie Angel Bear waiting for lunch

Enjoying the warmth of the December sun


Espetos y limón

Frank liked calamari

Fish cooked on a boat shaped barbecue

Warm, even in the shade

Andalucía

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Saturday 9th December

    

This morning was spent at the Christmas market in Fuengirola ~ so much for sale, so many people…. we wandered around and around, but did not make any purchases. Son and girlfriend bought Christmas decorations and a few other bits and bobs, and Ana’s cousin Belén also found some treasures. You would have loved this ~ you always did like a good car boot sale, rummaging for books, videos or CD’s.

Lunch was at a fabulous, laid back beach bar in Marbella ~ Andy’s Bar…. beers, sardines, and local liquor were consumed under the warmth of the sun, with feet in the sand, eyes to the sky watching the many aeroplanes flying westwards.

Puerto Banús was next on the intinerary, where we watched the sun set, imbibing yet more beers and rum. The many splendid watercraft on show was enough to make one turn green with envy.

The final stop of the day was at an establishment named Buti Bamba with the biggest lomo bocadillos, (meat sandwiches). Too much to eat all in one go, so we ended up taking some home for breakfast.

A busy day, with lots to see; taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Andalucía, with the Sierra Blanca mountains on one side and the Mediterranean on the other. 

Blowing kisses to heaven, to you, my darling Angel son.

xxxxxx

Plaza de la Constitución, Fuengirola


Local fish cooking over a barbecue, Andy’s Beach Bar

Sardines

Belén, Ana y Luke

Local liquor, presented free, at the end of lunch


Luke y Ana

Andy’s Beach Bar, Cabopina, Marbella

Enjoying the winter sun

Ana y Luke

Cabopina

Posing at Puerto Banús

Five spreaders…..a neat yacht

Fabulous gin palace

Spectacular gin palace!

Beer, rum and cappuccino

Baalbak Restaurante

Just chillin’


A perfect spot to watch the sun go down

Baalbek

Puerto Banús

Street decorations

Bocadillos to end the evening…

Nerja

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Friday 8th December

   

Having made a picnic lunch for everyone, our son then drove us all eastwards towards Nerja, a journey of about fifty miles. Our first stop took us to Almuñécar, where we turned off the main highway, and travelled down a steep, windy road to a cove that had a great little beach bar.

Morning coffee, sitting in the warmth of the December sun, looking out over the sparkling sea, was just perfect. We ate our picnic lunch further down the beach, then lay out to soak up some vitamin D. Following a short nap, we explored the length of the beach, finding at one end a narrow route to a second cove, but we did not continue any further ~ a sign painted on the side of the rock face proclaimed “Playa Nudista”…… we were not ready to strip off, expose our bodies and go ‘au naturel’!

In fact, on the beach where we were sitting there were a number of naked people sunbathing or swimming.  It was a perfect spot to spend the warmest part of the day; not too crowded, great sandstone cliffs, clear sea and fabulous blue skies.

Later on we drove back into Nerja and explored the old town, stopping for a beer, and then to watch another spectacular sunset. 

Not sure what you would have made of the nudist beach, although I wouldn’t put it past you to throw off all your clothes and ‘make like a native’! When in Rome, and all that.

We do miss you sweetie, and talk about you all the time.

Love you so much.

Precious Angel son

xxxxxx

Morning coffees looking out over the sparkling sea

Many layered cliffs lining the edges of the beach

Aha! Playa Nudista….

A perfect spot to sit and listen to the waves

I could stay here all day…..

Such a pretty place

Dad puts his feet in the water ~ not too cold

Like a summer’s day

Time to move….

The beach bar

Amazing civil engineering, elevating the roads above the valleys

The view from Nerja

Luke and Ana

Lenticular clouds forming over the mountains

Luke and I

The sun going down

Fabulous colours in the clouds

Just perfect

Castillo Gibralfaro y la Alcazaba

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Thursday 7th December

  

Waking up to beautiful sunshine across the bay, we decided to spend the day in Málaga exploring the hilltop castle ruins and the Arabic style gardens.

Our first stop was the amazing Castillo de Gibralfaro, situated high on the hill, overlooking the city. We walked along the walls, up and down steps, in and out of courtyards and viewing areas. Looking inland were many white-walled, terracotta-roofed houses with the mountains in the distance. Towards the coast was the bull ring, municipal offices, cathedral, the marina, and the busy port. We stopped at the top for coffee and cake, then drove down back into the old town.

Again, parking seems to be problematic, so we ended up in an underground parking lot, not too far from a busy square filled with cafés, bars and street entertainers.

We made our way to the Alcazaba which is a medieval, Moorish castle set amidst spectacular gardens, with patios, pools and paths meandering up the hillside. Inside are splendid multifoil arches, columns, decorated ceilings and walls tiles.

Suitably amazed by the breathtaking views and architecture, it was time for a bite to eat. The old part of the city is a maze of roads, alleyways and walkways, many overlooked by wrought iron balconies and ochre coloured walls.

We had been recommended an eatery by the name of Los Gatos, and ordered a variety of different tapas and beers, perching on stools, sitting outside on the pavement. Our waiter kindly ended our meal with free glasses of Prosecco.

From here we continued our meanderings, taking in the relaxed, easy atmosphere. As the sun was beginning to go down, we decided to end the day watching the sunset at a beach bar, or chiringuito. More beers, coffee, a fabulous langoustine risotto, and buckets of hot coals set beneath the table, kept us warm as the temperature dropped.

Thinking of you.

Sweetheart Angel son.

With me always.

xxxxxx

This morning’s view

The castle walls

Your brother

Down a set of narrow, uneven steps

The view looking inland

The Pompidou Centre and marina

Frankie Angel Bear at the top of the Castillo

Yes, we found a Starbucks….

Balconies and blue skies

Street graffiti

The walk up to the Alcazaba

Ancient gateway

Orange trees line the entranceway

The Town Hall

Outdoor pool

Fabulous carved archways

Trefoil arches

Dad

Your brother and his girlfriend

Me

Silly billy 😜

Side entrance to the cathedral

Cathedral from the front

Beautiful colours

Narrow streets

Making our way to the beach bar

Your brother

Bucket of hot coals beneath the table

Golden glow on the horizon

Málaga

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Wednesday 6th December

  

This morning we joined our son’s girlfriend’s father for breakfast, and then went to her brother’s house to meet more family.

Just before midday our son began a long, but very scenic driving route, to Málaga. We stopped for lunch in Sevilla, eating tapas and drinking coffee: polpo y calamares….. octopus and squid ~ the best.

We arrived in Málaga just as the sun was setting, with a perfect view from our holiday apartment. After a quick wash and brush up, we were back in the car, looking for somewhere to eat….. but nowhere to park. The traffic was unbelievable, and no parking spots to be had. Málaga Centro was gridlocked.

Round and round we go, eventually finding a place to park​, one block from the harbour front. Pizza and beers were the order of the day, followed by a long walk around the marina and through the Christmas markets.

You really should be here with us. You would have enjoyed wandering around, with so much to see.

Love you so much my Angel.

Precious son.

Moon and back.

xxxxxx

Leaving Badajoz this morning


Beautiful wispy skies


Our arrival in Málaga


Sunset looking across the bay


The lights at night in Málaga


Looking across to the port, and the Noria de Málaga


Pretty yachts in the marina


Centro Pompidou Málaga ~ contemporary art museum

One thousand days

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Tuesday 5th December

   

One thousand days and empty nights

As though someone turned out the lights

We didn’t know it was close to the end

We really thought you were on the mend

    

No longer we’ll hear the sound of laughter

You didn’t have that ‘Happy ever after’

Emptiness is all that remains

Since you broke free from those mortal chains

     

I tried so hard to save you that night

But you slipped away without a fight

Our darling boy in heaven above

We are sending to you so much love

  

xxxxxx

The view over Badajoz from the castle walls

The old castle gate

Plaza Alta

Beautiful mosaics on the sides of the buildings

Pillars, arches, balconies….

Gardens of the Alcazaba

Pomegranate tree

Cobbled walkway

Such a beautiful day

Lemon tree

Orange tree

Your brother talking to some schoolchildren

Inside the museum

Ancient golden amulet

Fabulous mosaics in the museum

Narrow passageway to Rincón Nazarí

The entrance

Interior patio

Fabulous carved arches and pillars

Moorish themed tea, coffee and cocktail lounge

Frankie Angel Bear and a hubbly bubbly pipe

A cosy corner in Rincón Nazarí

Edificio La Giralda

Beautiful tiles depicting Badajoz

Plaza San Francisco at night ~ a Christmas market

Badajoz

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Monday 4th December

    

Your brother and his girlfriend have lived in Badajoz for three and a half years. We spent the day wandering around the city, practicing our Spanish; ordering breakfast, morning coffee, afternoon beers and dinner.

I think you would have enjoyed it here. A chilly start, but the brightest blue sky all day long. Many palm trees and orange trees lined the avenues and the shops were decorated for the festive season. A large department store had a whole floor of toys, books, electronics and videos. You could have spent all your pocket money here.

Early evening, and we went to check up on your brother ~ he owns an Academy, teaching English to Spanish children and adults. We are there when a class of four year olds are about to begin ~ my, were they noisy! You used to love looking after the youngsters in the nursery where you had a placement, so I’m sure you could have joined in with the lessons too.

We miss you so very much my darling.

Love you to the moon and back.

xxxxxx

The moon at sunrise

Parque Castelar

Palms

Very tall palm trees

Parque Castelar

Beautifully​ coloured leaves on the maple trees, against a perfect blue sky

Lighted trees around the fountains

Avenida de Cristóbal Colon

Decorations of oranges?

Calle Santa Domingo

Flying away

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Sunday 3rd December

    

04:10 alarm awakens

05:30 car parked

06:00 bags dropped

07:20 gate opens

08:10 take off

10:15 land Lisbon

10:40 catch taxi

10:55 coach station

12:00 coach leaves

13:30 stop Evora

14:25 stop Estremoz

14:40 Borba

14:50 stop Terragem

15:10 arrive Elvas

15:30 chicken dinner

17:00 sunset Elvas

17:50 River Guadiana

18:00 moon rise

19:30 hotel Badajoz

   

And we do so wish you were with us

Love you my Angel

xxxxxx

Lisbon aqueduct

Statue of Christ the King at Almada, overlooking Lisbon

Row upon row of vines

Views from the coach: blue skies, olive groves and cork trees 

Cows grazing on very dry earth

Aqueduct at Elvas

Sunset at the top of Elvas old town

Castle at Elvas

Looking over the old town of Elvas

Elvas rooftops

River Guadiana after sunset ~ Badajoz, Spain

Puente de la Universidad

The entrance to the old city of Badajoz

Full moon over the old castle at Badajoz

View from hotel in Badajoz