Benalmadena (Thurs., Mar. 29, 2012)

Today we were finally able to get some much-needed sleep.  Due to the transportation strike, we had no scheduled tours.  Luckily, the weather was sunny and warm with little wind for most of the day until later afternoon, when the clouds began to drift in.

I, like many of the others in our group, spent most of the morning strolling up and down the lovely promenade which connects several cities along the beach in the Costa del Sol area and stretches on for miles.  Technically, our hotel was located in the city of Benalmadena–not in Torremolinos, where the brochure said it was going to be.  But Torremolinos is the adjoining city.

After plenty of walking and taking photos, I decided to go over to the Sea Life Aquarium near the marina, where I found Jennifer, Lori and Greg leaning up against the railing and eating ice cream cones.  They weren’t interested in the aquarium, so I paid the fare and went in, even though workers were remodeling the place and some of the exhibits were closed.  It wasn’t the best aquarium I’ve ever seen, by any means, but it was interesting.  I especially liked the rays and the sharks.  I took several photos.

Back on the promenade afterward, I took a couple of photos of a sea monster-like sand sculpture.  Unfortunately, I was then quickly rebuked by the presumed artist whom, at first, I had not noticed.  He proceeded to intimidate me into giving him a few Euros for allowing me to look and take the photos.  He even went so far as to inform me that he will “take American Express and Mastercard,” too.  After that, I was reluctant to turn around and follow the promenade back to the hotel for fear of seeing him again, so I walked on and then turned up the street.  Soon I found myself in a sort of seedy neighborhood.  I’m well-known for getting myself lost, as many of you are probably aware, so panic was starting to set in by the time I noticed some familiar-looking storefronts.  Soon I could see the Hotel Triton in the distance, and so everything was fine again.  I went up to my room to catch up on my blog for awhile until it was time for Bill and Brad to return from their golf excursion.

However, they had still not returned by around 7:15, so I went down to find some of the others sitting around and visiting in the bar area.  Marj, Brad’s wife, was there also and was waiting for him so that she, Brad and some others could walk over to an American burger restaurant at the marina.  (Most of us, by now, had become tired of the buffet meal offered at the hotel dining room, and some of us had branched out to nearby restaurants.  Jennifer, Lori and Greg had introduced several of us to a Tex Mex Steak House which was also located at the marina.  The place had great food but, interestingly, it was owned and run by some Finnish people!)

Sherry and Loren were there in the bar, so I asked Sherry several questions about her bronze sculpture business.  I had looked up her web site (check out Sherry’s web site for yourself–her work is fantastic!) and wanted to know more about the process.  So Sherry very animatedly told us all about her sculpture process.  I found out that the foundry she uses to cast her pieces is the one that’s just a block away from our shop–I drive by there every day!  She invited us to come over there some time and watch how they do it.

Finally, Bill and Brad returned via taxi (no buses were running).  Both admitted that they hadn’t done so well with their golf game because the course was very hilly and difficult.  But they did enjoy meeting and playing with a couple of other guys they had met there–one from Liverpool (Gary) and one from Stuttgart, Germany (Simon).

Our hotel, the Hotel Triton in Benalmadena

            A Montana Real Estate office in Spain??

                        On the promenade

A huge pinwheel sculpture in the round-about

I think this little ray wanted me to feed it.

Sand sculpture on the beach

A small group of strikers

Brad, Gary (from Liverpool) & Bill

Gary, Brad and Simon (from Stuttgart)