The pictures to the right represent an interesting Christmas practice here in Spain. Since, they don't heat their houses there are no chimneys for Santa to come down. Therefore, they have these little Santas and the Three Kings (Three Kings day, 6 Jan) is as big or bigger than Christmas here in Spain) on ladders climbing on the balconys so that they can leave their gifts for the children. They have all sizes of Santas to buy to hang outside on your balony. The children get gifts on both of the holidays, so we are told.
As I said Thursday was a beautiful day. We traveled to Motril on the Autovista (Freeway) and then returned on the old coast road so that we could see some of the scenery. This picture is of a bridge for the Autovista and the road below is the old highway that winds its way down the coast. Sometimes we were driving right along the beach and sometimes we had to go through tunnels because the hills go right down to the coast. In Fuengirola where we live there are miles of sandy beaches. We saw lots of peach orchards and citrus orchards where as when we travel to the interior of Spain where it is drier there are miles and miles of olive groves. We were surprised that in the stores the olive oil is more expensive than other vegetable oils.
This picture is of an old castle in one of the towns we went through. It was interesting how it had been built on top of the rock outcropping and almost looked like a part of the rock itself. It took a while before you realized that there was a castle up there. You can see the buildings that have been built up the hill under the castle. Its even worse on the back side. One almost can't see the Castle any more.
This is an example of the coast line. This mountain comes right down to the water and there isn't any beach. In this case the road will go though a tunnel. Along the road we saw a lot of towers setting on the tops of ridges facing the Mediteranian. I don't know how old these towers are but they were built as watch towers to set up an early warning system if invaders were spotted off shore.
The area aroung Nejar and Motril is mostly small farms where they grow fruits and vegitables. They use almost every available inch of land. The mountain side were terraced almost to the top and what looked like lemon trees were planted on them. When we got down in the valley we saw large orchards of what looked like Peach trees to us.
They also had a large number of greenhouse where they grew vegetables. I guess the greenhouses allow them to grow crops year around. There were acres of these green houses plus lots of small farms around them. I could see potatoes growing plus other crops. This area has lots of peaches, and they juice their peaches and there is a lot of peach juice that they drink here called Melocoton. Off course they drink lots of orange juice, pineapple and grape and apple juice here in Spain.
It is still hard to believe that next week is Christmas, I guess after all these years of having white Christmas, it hard to feel that it Christmas now. They put their poinsettias right outside and it look very pretty. We do wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year or as they say in Spain "Feliz Navidad".