The directions to our rented farmhouse in Spain read, in part: Keep going up a steep hill, past the goat farms. I just knew I was going to like the house...
Sure enough, we had to wait for a large herd of goats to clear the road before we could continue up the ridiculously steep hill (tricky to do when you are driving a manual transmission rental car).
The kids were already making themselves at home at the farmhouse when we arrived. Maggie, Nate and Mary had flown into the southern port city of Málaga earlier in the day, had rendezvoused with Jack and his friend Kasia, rented a car, and driven the hour or so north on winding roads to the farmhouse. The house was located about 15 minutes from the small village of Villanueva de la Concepción and 30 minutes from the larger town of Antequera.
The house was perfect for us. It had been lovingly restored by the current owners Alan and Nancy and featured plenty of bedrooms with ensuite baths, a charming and well-equipped kitchen, a large and comfortable living room, and a beautiful terrace overlooking a swimming pool and olive orchard with a distant view of the Andalusian countryside. We spent most of our time at the house outside on the terrace. The rain in Spain never fell; we had beautiful blue-skied days for our entire trip.
Our general plan was to visit nearby towns or attractions during the days and come back to the house for evening tapas. One evening, our hosts came over to cook us an authentic paella, in celebration of Ed's birthday.
Over the course of the week, we explored the towns of Antequera, Córdoba, Málaga, Granada and Ronda. One day, Maggie and Nate took off mountain biking while the rest of us hiked El Torcal Nature Reserve at sunup.
Here are some photos of our week...
|Climbed to the top of the bell tower of Alcazar in Antequera|
|View of Antequera against The Lover's Rock mountain|
|Mary at The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba|
|Maggie and Nate at The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba|
|In Málaga, Kasia having her first ever root beer|
|Museo Picasso in Málaga|
|A walk on the beach in Málaga; toe dipping into the Mediterranean|
|Touring the Alahambra in Granada|
|After the tour: Alahambra in Granada|
|Early morning hikers. El Torcal|
|Up with the goats. El Torcal|
|Ed focusing on Mary and Jack. El Torcal|
|Such nice light for photos. El Torcal|
|Three redheads in Ronda|
|At Ronda with my baby girl|
|And my sweetheart|
The week flew by; but the memories will last forever.