Saturday, 21 November 2015

A Touch of Spa Therapy.

Re-acquainting myself with a 'Spa' experience.

Have you ever visited a Spa and all the treatments available? I was presented with the opportunity this week of a visit to a hotel Spa. This was a free visit as the holder of the winning ticket could not use the voucher. Perhaps they had seen me swimming in the pool. It is some years since I was a member of a hotel fitness centre with a pool.

Today was the day. Armed with flip-flops, bottle of water and some excitement mixed with trepidation I set off.  The first surprise was being given a swimming cap - so sweet (not) with the hotel's logo on the front -, a pair of ingeniously constructed flip-flops, a small bottle of water, and a huge towel. The largest I have ever seen.

After a short explanation I was left to my own devices. First things first, I went into the shower. A freezing cold shower I might add.
  1. Walking on a bed of pebbles in bare feet was agony but meant as a therapy for the feet.. The jets of water invigorating if a chilly shock.
  2. The pool was wonderful. A curtain of water flowing from a wide spout together with another further along were inviting. But the spout with four jets beating don into the pool was the one that I made a bee-line for. Allowing the warm jets to run up and down my back was bliss as it pounded the sore spots..
  3. The Jacuzzi was, well, a Jacuzzi. Bubbling away, it promised untold relaxation.
  4. Before going down  into the sauna and steam room area, I entered a door by the side of the Jacuzzi. What can this be? A circular room with small jets up the length and width of the walls. It wasn't a shower as such so I surmised that something should trigger off the jets. With trepidation, I ran my fingers over a static silver disc on the wall. Oh! The shock as freezing cold jets of water followed by hot ones attacked my lower legs. I waited with baited breath for the next onslaught as they stopped. Then . . .Oh! I gasped as a multitude of jets of water shot out to envelope my torso. Clinging on to the door handle for dear life and with steamed up spectacles, I sent up a prayer for deliverance. The relief when thee jets stopped was short lived as a deluge from above hit my head and almost drowned me. With steamed-up spectacles, I stumbled out when the jets had had their fun and headed for the cold shower again.
  5. Re-acquainting myself with a sauna was wonderful. I always did like a sauna and set the egg-timer off while I kept my eye on the clock so that I wouldn't go over my allotted hour. Again, another cold shower afterwards,
  6. There was another sauna-type room with a lower temperature but I didn't linger and decided not to bother with the steam room which was - well - very steamy.
Finishing off with yet another cold shower, I quickly changed and headed out all pummelled and jetted. So off now for a pedicure. Just to round off the pampering experience you understand. I don't think that I will avail myself of the chocolate massage on offer.

What a waste of good chocolate!

Rosalie xx

Monday, 9 November 2015

Malaga in the Sunshine.

Fish Market..

Malaga in the sunshine.

Malaga Cathedral.

First impressions many years ago.

Malaga is full of artistic and cultural experiences. My first impression of Malaga many years ago was not inspiring.  This was a short visit when taking the train from Fuengirola into the city. Since then there has been much development and a complete change of face. 

The beautiful city of Malaga has many faces.

Some years ago, when on a winter break in Nerja, (Costa del Sol), we had the opportunity to see the Christmas lights in Malaga. Apart from the stupendous light display and the life-sized Nativity scenes - with costumes made from real flowers - in the middle of roundabouts down the main street. From our seats in the coach we could see how modern the city had become. Huge wide pedestrianised boulevards were complemented with  modern shop fronts. We had the opportunity to stroll around in the bustling crowds of shoppers and soak up the atmosphere as lights twinkled from above, the pavements below, and shop windows. The harbour had been deepened to accommodate cruise liners and the subsequent improved city experience was part of this development.

I completely changed my impressions.

Malaga can be unexpectedly cold in November.  See:

Huddling into our coats, we sat in a sheltered spot near the Cathedral while we waited for the pick-up time.

But - Malaga in the sunshine is a complete contrast. The glorious buildings along the harbour glisten in the sunshine, while flags of many colours adorn the Town Hall. The city has many museums housed in ancient buildings. There is now a Ferris wheel (like the London Eye). Above all, there is the bustling sense of things good when strolling along the

wide, pedestrianised streets

Previously, due to the cold wind, we had only seen the back of the Cathedral as we sheltered from the cold. The front is a complete contrast. The beautiful pink and white stonework  has to be seen to be believed. In front, at the tables in the plaza, people gather to enjoy the food, drink and conversations with friends. A signpost tells you how far you have to travel to get home.

Another interesting place to visit is the Mercado - the central market - which is actually the fish market. Every stall is fish of all kinds.

At one end is a beautiful stained glass window in vibrant colours depicting elements of the fisherman's life.