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Travel Time, Again

Once again, it’s a travel day. Here we go…

  1. Drive from hotel to train station, drop off rental car
  2. Take train from Malaga train station to Madrid
  3. Take a bus from Terminal 1-3, to Terminal 4
  4. Take a train from Terminal 4, to Gates R, S, U
  5. Fly from Madrid to Cairo, Egypt
  6. Take a cab from airport to hotel

The Madrid airport is gorgeous!

Africa, here we come!

Smash Out Of Spain

Holy Guacamole! The women here in Benalmadena are gorgeous! From our hotel balcony…

…we saw tons of ladies flocking down the street to the harbor area below. Naturally, we just had to see what the the hubbub was about. Who would have guessed this small beach down would have so many potential wives!?

The parties go late into the night here. And by ‘late into the night’, I mean into the early morning. We didn’t get back to the hotel until 6am!

After a nap till noon we checked out of the hotel well rested, and smashed out of the city on the way to Malaga.

Getting Our Grub On

Blog posts have been kind of lagging as of late. Sorry to keep ya’ll waiting, it’s just that all this traveling has been pretty tiring, so today it was a day of relaxing on the beach in Benalmadena. We didn’t really do a whole lot more than just lounge around by the pool and the beach.

After a long day of doing nothing we needed some food. We stepped into a nearby market on the way back to the hotel and picked up some cheese, salami, and tomato & oregano flavored crackers to make a little snack. Here now is a sequence of how the snacking went down. Starring our resident professional eater… Mr. Moore.

Step 1: Assemble mini-sandwich and insert into mouth. Chew.

Step 2: Laugh hysterically, causing yourself to inhale cracker crumbs, thus heaving the previously chewed snack out of ones mouth and onto the salami packaging.

Step 3: Repeat Step 1.

Step 4. Enjoy the pre-chewed delicacy immensely.

When Jay is happy, everyone is happy.

Like this happy guy sipping on some happy soup in a “Happy Dog” bowl!

Holy Laundry Batman!

This is by far the most bizarre thing that has happened on the trip thus far, and quite possibly the greatest story ever…

After about 2-weeks of 85+ degree Spanish sun, all of our clothes had been soaked in sweat at least twice if not thrice, so we were long overdue for some laundry time.

I know, you’re probably thinking to yourself, is he really going to tell us a story about their laundry!? Yes. Yes I am. And you’ll see why in just a minute, but first let me set the story up…

Ok, first of all keep in mind that we are now deep in the heart of Spain. This is no longer touristy Barcelona or metropolitan Madrid where you can get by on little to no Espanol. Being the stupid American’s that we are, I have very little knowledge of the language, and Jay has managed to recall just a smidgen of the Mexican-flavored Spanish that he once knew. In addition, the streets here are about as narrow as a toothpick and street signs are just a fantasy they write about in children stories.

Okay, so now that you have an idea of what we are up against… back to our laundry.

We first ask the lady at the hotel front desk where we might find laundry. She points down the street and says something to the effect of “Alfalfa.” Neither of us had a cowlick, so we assumed she was referring to an area down the road a few blocks that we had seen the night prior. This should be easy we thought as we set out down the narrow road with a garbage bag full of stinky socks. Without too much difficulty we walked right into the Alfalfa district. We looked left. We looked right. We looked up side streets. We looked down alleyways. There wasn’t a laundromat or dry cleaners anywhere to be found.

So much for easy.

Now by this time it’s around noon, and the sun is high overhead with the temperature quickly approaching 89 degrees. The last time I checked, carrying a black Heafty garbage bag around in this weather isn’t one of the Surgeon Generals recommendations. I set it down on the curb while Jay tried to ask a local for some directions. The guy he found pointed us in another direction and jotted down a street name where we could find a Lavenderia.

Exhibit A:

So off we went again, this time on a hunt for Calle de Juan Antonio Cauestani. We walked and walked and walked, looking for what we thought was a supposed to be a street that came to a dead end. How far is one really supposed to keep walking when looking for a dead end!? That in and of itself seems like a dead end. We walked so far that by now they could have very easily paved over Jaun’s street and put up a new street in its place. So it was time for Plan C: Ask directions again.

I set the now sweaty sacks of stinky socks on the sidewalk and Jay popped his head into a jewelry store on the corner to ask for another set of directions. She had no clue where this Juan Antonio street was, but she did give us a green flyer and told us that if we knocked on a door across the street they would be able to take our laundry.

Exhibit B:

Mmmmkay. Just go knock on someone’s door and ask if they will do our laundry? Right. Hey, it’s Spain… anything is possible, let’s give it a go.

So we ring the doorbell on building #22. We can barely make out a single syllable through the old crackly intercom. We simply respond with “Hola.” It must have been the secret word, because someone upstairs buzzed us in!

We now find ourselves standing in an open air foyer with closed doors in front of us, a stair case to the left of us, and a gate leading out to a patio on the right. The door we just walked through is behind us. We stare at each other blankly and shrug. There isn’t a sole in sight. No signs on any doors, and it certainly doesn’t look like a laundromat. About a minute later from the other side of the locked gate, an elderly lady in a robe hobbles out with a cane in each hand. She stares at us with a confused look on her face. We stare back with what I’m sure must have been an even more confused look. Jay somehow manages to utter the word “Lavenderia” as I flash the green paper at her. Without saying a word, she disappears again off behind the gate just as slowly as she first appeared.


A bell rings twice.


More silence.


Should we leave, we think?

Just as we are about to give up, another younger lady in nun attire emerges from behind the same gate.



I guess we’re in the right place after all!

She opens the gate and we pass the plastic sack to her. She starts categorizing the garments and tallying up the cost. She hands us a copy of the receipt and tells us it will be ready tomorrow by 4:30. We thank her and head back the way we came.

Exhibit C:

Wow. What the heck just happened!?

By now we’ve figured out that we were standing in the entry way to a convent. That totally explains the “Hermanas” (translation: sisters) on the green flyer that the lady at the jewelry store handed to Jay. That’s right, nuns, yes NUNS, are washing our dirty underwear! Who’s the one sinning here? Us or them? It just feels so wrong.

Fast forward to tomorrow….

With a train to catch at 5pm, a 4:30 laundry pickup is going to be cutting it real close. Way too close considering we have to pack those clothes into our bags and then find a cab. Not gonna cut it, so we show up a bit early, and ring the bell for the covenant.

A minute passes, no answer.

We discuss that it’s quite possible the 4:30 pickup time was not due to washing/drying time, but instead because of some religious practices unbeknownst to us. Just as we are about to give up on an early pickup, The younger nun answers the door with a grin, and quickly ushers us inside. Now standing back in that same foyer, she hands Jay a key…

…and instructs us to unlock the door in front of us and to wait. Meanwhile she scurries off quickly behind the gate.

My oh my, this keeps getting more and more strange.

So now we are in a little holding area….

Sitting. Waiting. Clueless.

Still waiting. Still clueless.

We think our earlier assumption was correct in that a religious ceremony of some sort was underway and we were not to be seen in the foyer, so she hid us from view in what felt like a closet. Only it had religious paintings on the walls…

…doilies on the table, chairs, and yet another gate spanning one wall. A minute later we see her quickly walking with two bags of clean laundry in hand. She unlocks this new gate and hands us the bags.

We pay her for the services rendered (expensive but the story is worth so much more) and kindly ask her name and for a photograph. She was more than happy to oblige…

And even gave Jay a traditional Spanish farewell kiss (cheek to cheek)! Don’t worry Carme, we won’t tell God. It’s our little secret! 😉

And for those wondering, yes they do great Laundry! Holy, yet no holes! And no socks lost! It’s truly a miracle! Our boxers are blessed and we made our train on time! The man upstairs must laughing his holy ass off!

Toreros And Alcázar

Despite the scorching heat outside, we decided we should leave our air-conditional hotel haven and see some more sights in Sevilla. We started off the day with a guided tour of Plaza De Toros, which is the largest bull fighting arena in Sevilla.

The bad news is that the bullfighting season is over so there was no chance of seeing a tauromachia. The good news is that the bullfighting season is over, so we didn’t have to witness an animal get killed.

Our tour was given in both Spanish and English and started out in the middle of the arena with front row seats…

… of the bullring.

After learning about the different entrances to the ring (including the infirmary) the tour guide led us down below, to the museum that housed lots of old promo posters…

…matador costumes, stuffed bull heads (of course)…

…and other various artifacts related to bulls and the “sport” of killing these bulls.

After the tour ended at the horse stalls…

…it was time for a little fun while I tried on a magenta and gold capote…

…before running for my life from the horned creatures mounted on the wall.

Trust me, they are scarier than they look. Haven’t you ever read Jumanji?

Anyways, after a short siesta (aka work break) at a restaurant across the river.

We walked back towards the cathedral to check out The Alcázar of Seville. This once Moorish fort was now a royal palace of Sevilla.

The entire palace covers a lot of land and surrounded on all sides with walls about 3 stories high. Inside the walls are some large rooms…

…with large tapestries…

…and some cool wooden chandeliers…

Past the Patio de las Doncellas…

…are the large gardens of the palace.

Complete with it’s own maze made of bushes! I’ve always wanted to try and get lost in one of these.

It was just too easy however. Or maybe I’m just that good. Either way, now I can at least say I’ve done it.

And of course what would a park in Spain be without some fountains?

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