November 11, 2015
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Copyright 2016 Douglas Landback
I hate to play favorites, but this photo is the one. It just makes me smile.
Almería has a beautiful beach that stretches for several miles along the Med. (I know because I walked it.) But somehow, among those many square miles of sand, the Sunday morning yoga group managed to seize this older gentleman’s prized spot.
He came armed with his beach chair, umbrella and sporty cap. But he wasn’t prepared for this.
He looks defeated. Women win again.
Speaking of women, I really owe this shot to my friend, Sabine. She was the ship’s “destination consultant” who I met through Lynn and Larry Lehr, the ship’s husband and wife future cruise consultant team. Sabine is Austrian, with a marvelous accent and sparkling eyes. Of the many ports we visited, I could always rely on her for insights that would enhance my experience.
Unlike the onboard “excursion team” whose job is to sell tours and assorted sightseeing adventures, you could count on Sabine if you wanted to know where you could find a nice restaurant in Lisbon for listening to Fado (a traditional Portuguese folk music) or whether there were any boat charters available in Mallorca. She always knew the turf. She always had answers.
One of my earliest discoveries on my journey was that port cities in predominantly Catholic countries are dead on Sundays. Combine that with a lackluster selection of organized tours for this historically significant, but otherwise boring little town (200,000 residents) with Moorish roots (the Arabic name Al-Mari’yah means Watchtower) in southern Spain, and it was obvious that I needed to go find my own fun.
So, as I was coming down the gangway, I saw Sabine standing on the dock. I asked her where I should go…what should I do…with my precious eight hours in Almeria.
“Do you like the beach?”
After a short walk, I was came across a beautiful beach community, with colorful cafes and condos, a meandering promenade that hugged the sand and sparkling blue water, and a few topless women who did little to enhance the view. (Mooo…) This was where Almeria came to play on Sundays and I was lucky to be part of it.
Of the many self-guided explorations I did on my trip, this one ended up being truly unforgettable, thanks to a little man with a beach chair and umbrella, a Sunday morning yoga group, and my friend, Sabine.