Saturday, June 01, 2024

marbella

5th of May: after much anticpation but not enough preparation, we were off to Spain!

the flight was at 6am from Belfast International Airport, and I did something crazy-ish: drove to the airport, dropped shruti off with the bags, then drove about a mile away to a spot I scoped out on Google maps to be legal to park, unfolded my cycle from the boot, and cycled to the airport! chained my cycle next to another one, and we were off on an uneventful but tiring flight to malaga. landed at 9am, took the bus to Marbella (and literally missed one bus by a minute!), dropped our bags at the Airbnb (Marbella is very hilly!) and then headed out to grab a bite at a street side cafe. walked around a little more, made a dinner reservation at a highly rated tapas place, headed back to the bnb, checked in, and took a quick nap. was so sleepy though, we couldn't bring ourselves to wake up for the dinner reservation at 7pm, but thankfully they allowed us to move it to 9pm and we were ready and fresh by then. after the relaxed dinner, we walked around a bit and clicked photos before heading to our Airbnb. super start to our vacation! 


the next day, we set off for a "local" breakfast place. we had a late start, and it was quite busy by the time we arrived - we would have liked ot sit outdoors but those tables were highly sought after and we concluded it's better to sit indoors without the view instead. we tried what was to become our favourite hot drink of the vacation: "bombon" (coffee with condensed milk). went perfectly with churros!


breakfast was a little hit-and-miss though - the waiters didn't speak english, and our order didn't exactly arrive the way we asked, but we aren't fussy so it was fine.

we walked around town, clicked plenty of photos, shruti shopped a bit (just one dress, to be fair), we made our dinner reservation, headed back to base, and then after a brief nap, we headed down to the waterfront. we walked the "golden mile" (which was actually about 4 miles) of seafront from marbella to puerto banus. it was super hot and we needed plenty of rest breaks on the way, but we made it, and the seafront walk was very well worth it! we had drinks inside pienapples (very expensive, but worth it!) booked the ferry back, had an ice cream while we waited for it, and finally enjoyed the sunset cruise back!



and finally, we had just enough time to shower, change and grab dinner - roast suckling! it was really, really good!

tuesday was our last whole day in Marbella - we headed to the local breakfast place again in the hope of getting an outside table, but the queue was longer than ever! bombon and churros again, and the waiters even remembered us from yesterday!
we then walked around and checked out the local "municipal market" - amazing produce, including seafood - and best of all, a cafe serving more local food! second breakfast/brunch downed, walked around a bit, and got back to our room for a bit of a siesta. we were trying to decide what to do for dinner, and shruti mentioned that we are right next door to a two michelin star restaurant. literally 5 doors down on our street. and they had tables available - nobody had booked a table for that night! shruti wasn't entirely convinced (it was a lot of money!), but to me, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity - one that begged to be taken. after about half an hour of indecision, we reserved our table for 7pm.

the dinner was exquisite and deserves a blog post of its own (after my 40th birthday dinner's blog post - my first michelin starred restaurant experience, just under a year ago!). after dinner, we were well and truly satisfied (and me, also a little tipsy as I had chosen to go with the wine pairing - I really went all out that night!).

back in the bnb, we hastily packed, after I made sure i uploaded each of my photos with the right title. i didn't want any record of that exquisite meal to be lost to the sands of time!

next morning, we headed back to the local cafe for bombon, churros and a sandwich, then checked out and dragged the bags back to the bus station - uphill this time, so even more exhausting! we missed a bus thanks to it being full, but it was already running late, so we were on the next bus to malaga at noon. exactly 3 days in marbella!

all nighter

every few months, I end up staying up till sunrise. usually a Friday night, usually because I lost track of time and by the time I realised it's too late I figure I might as well stay up and pull through the weekend.

not this time though. it was jetlag. 

turns out my plan of getting enough of sleep on the flight and avoiding coffee and alcohol failed - miserably. two days of being unable to stay awake during the or fall asleep at night later, I'm out of ideas.

that's the weird thing about staying up all night for me: I usually hope it's going to fix my sleep cycle, but it never does. this time, I promise I'm going to do everything to reset it - exercise, get plenty of sunlight, not nap before bedtime... and sleep at bedtime! 

today is a lovely day to be up early - clear, sunny and warm. I'm also going to be a ride leader for one of the longest routes I've led if memory serves me right. and when I'm back, I plan to mow the lawn too. if my brain is still functioning after that, there's brakes that are overdue for replacement and a rechargeable torch that I might be able to fix.

also, there's something nice about a cup of tea while the first birds turn up for breakfast - sparrows and starlings in the backyard and a young magpie in the front. also, the neighbour's cat was hunting insects at 6am. fun times for everyone!

anyway - I have an hour before it's time to leave. time for a shave! 

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