I last left you in Tangiers, a place of contrasts and mystery. https://suddenly70.ca/2019/12/16/more-spain-and-other-wonderful-locales-pt-2/ Why it has taken me so long to complete telling you about our Spanish adventure is because we have been on two wonderful trips, one to Savannah, Georgia, and most recently the Florida beaches of New Smyrna and Fernandina. I look forward to telling you about them in future blogs.
Meanwhile, the day after Tangiers we were to visit Malaga. I was particularly looking forward to that culturally rich provincial capital as the famed Picasso museum was located there, but I was also looking forward to seeing an old friend, who lives in Spain, and who was travelling from his home in the Costa del sol to meet Charles and I for lunch.
one of the galleries in the museum
Riki and artist friend
My friend, David Geary, and I met in opera school over 50 years ago. Wow that sure makes me sound old. Hmm. At any rate we sang together in my first opera there, an unusual and rarely performed work called Turk in Italy. Out of the blue, I got a friend request on Facebook from David, and I accepted. We caught up a bit online and planned our meeting in Spain. David sent me a picture of himself as he had changed considerably over the 50 years. Hadn’t we all. Of course if he googled my name, he would see lots of current pictures of me, so no problem there. I was ready to see him and get re-acquainted.
The visit to the famed museum was our first order of the day. I chose an excursion that would take us to Malaga with a stop to view some sights on the way. We toured the institution with an excellent private guide/docent, who explained how the works in the galleries were a reflection of Picasso’s everyday life, the history of his painting that included portraiture, still life, and the nude. The collection encompasses almost eight years of artistic activity. It was absorbing. We walked around certain areas closed off to the general public, the terrace specifically, and the ruins underneath the building, and then we sat in the charming garden.
terrace at the museum
The group went to a small tavern to taste olive oils and then Charles and I met David and found a café nearby where we could sit outside and enjoy the weather. We laughed a great deal at lunch and reminisced about the old opera days and I learned that he has lived a long time in Spain, is an expert Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, in many languages, including German and Spanish. We talked of old friends and did the opera geography thing. Charles looked a bit bored, but I had a ball. David has a very wry sense of humour. He also brought me a book that is written about him in Spanish with a picture of the two of us in it.
David and I as The Turk and Fiorilla over 50 years ago in opera school
David and I at lunch ( my hair needs fluffing) lol
After lunch we parted ways and promised to keep in touch. Facebook is very good for that. We found a bicycle taxi to take us back to the ship. This was great fun skimming over the sidewalks and rough roads in the open air while someone else did the work. Dinner, bar and bed after a long, but definitely exhilarating day.
Cartegena descriptions below
the fabulous horses and the patron of the ranch
dancing horse and lovely dancer (excuse the cones at the end)
Charles’ archeological visit but the horses won Riki’s heart
The port, Cartagena, was very pretty with many sailboats, and a bright blue sky as a backdrop. Charles and I chose different tours. (See above) He wanted to see the ruins of the Phoenicians, and I wanted to see Andalusian horses. I believe Charles enjoyed his tour, but I adored mine. The horses at the ranch were gorgeous, many mares with their new fouls, one only 3 days old, a grand white stallion, a Spanish Flamenco dancer with horses that danced as well, some tapas as we watched, and a chance to get up close to the animals. There was also a little barn dog who thought he was a horse and pranced around imitating the horses. I loved every minute.
Charles’ tour featured archeological sites, as Cartagena was once a Roman Colony in 54 BC. He walked through the old quarter, visited a Roman theatre, thermal baths, banquet rooms, and a religious area with a temple. This site is one of the largest in Spain, but I was happy with my horses.
different views of Ibiza
We met for lunch after our respective tours, and shared our experiences. I then had a Meniere’s attack which was mild, but certainly my appetite was reduced and I was tired. We had an early night and all was fine in the morning when we arrived in Ibiza where we had chosen to do our own wandering and not be part of a specific tour. It was another beautiful day and after our morning ritual of a cold swim and workout we headed up a hill toward ramparts and a cathedral. I lit a candle for Carrie, and the nuns waited for my little ritual before they closed the doors of the church. The town had some shops, a wonderful view, but really the Mediterranean towns are similar to one another. We returned to the ship and ordered some lunch by the pool. At night we dined with our new friends, and then danced on the deck under the stars. Not all bad.
walk up the ramparts and discovery of street musician
There was one more port called Cavalaire sur Mer, a very St. Tropez kind of place. We lazed around after a walk and some shopping and I reflected on the pool area filled with sun seekers. As I have mentioned, this is no longer my thing, and I marvel at all the time I spent in the sun in my younger years. Thank goodness I have oily skin and sun wrinkles seem to have been discouraged, not so much skin cancer. I have had quite a lot of removal of basal cells and the like. The sun feels so good, but unfortunately even with good sunblock, and I now use Anthelios 50 on my arms and face, it still can damage. Nice to get Vitamin D in the mornings when I swim, before the sun is up.
It is fun to watch the people at the pool. Most of the women of a certain age should not wear bikinis and walk around, I admire their lack of vanity, but it is more fun to look at beautiful bodies undressed than loose flabby ones. My bad.
Our final evening, we were invited to sit at a table with the violinist who was performing. I mentioned in my previous blog how much we disliked the lecturer on board, Martin Green. He was the most boringly, pompous speaker I have ever encountered. We tried two sessions, or conversations as they are called, and it was difficult to stay awake as he droned on. We could see lots of snoozers around us in the auditorium. In fact he really was no better than a Wikipedia entry, no charisma, no inside stories or jokes or interesting anecdotes. Now we made it pretty clear that we did not want to sit with him at dinner, as they had tried once to place him at our table. So it was indeed a big surprise, even though I checked ahead of time that he would not be joining us, and there he was. We were stuck. Poor Charles sat opposite him. I on the other hand was near the performer. Apparently he was just as boring at dinner as he was as a lecturer. All this was a pity as on every one of our previous voyages we have had marvelous guest speakers. He must have a good agent.
We went to the bar after dinner to hear the wonderful John Randall play some pop and jazz tunes, and I just started to sing along very very quietly to My Ship, a Kurt Weill tune I had recorded years ago; https://www.discogs.com/Riki-Turofsky-Sings-Kurt-Weill/release/3197066. I guess my soft singing was audible and turned out to be appreciated. It was kind of fun.
John and singer
Monte Carlo richesse
The next morning we arrived in the achingly beautiful port of Monte Carlo, with the massive, glorious yachts anchored in the harbour. We disembarked and took a cab to our favourite hotel, La Perouse. We met up with our British friends, Stewart and Barbara see: https://wordpress.com/post/suddenly70.ca/1037 , which tells about one of our trips with them. We found a lunch spot, then hung out around the pool, and later, ate dinner outside at the hotel restaurant, which was excellent.
old pictures at Plongeoir site
astounding setting for Le Plongeoir restaurant
Our second night we went to a spectacular restaurant called Le Plongeoir.The pictures will tell much about this unusual place hanging over the water like a diving board. There were few choices for dinner, and would you believe I had another Menieres attack, so my stomach was not very interested in food, however I managed some risotto. I understand that Stewart and Barb went there the next evening after we left for Toronto. It was a very fascinating venue.
images of Nice
We left our wonderful hotel with the amazing view from our balcony, and headed home filled with Mediterranean delights, mostly Spanish, but we were very happy indeed. Lucky us.
I look forward to writing about our next adventures. Please join me, and as I have said before, comments are always welcome.