Another feature of the city – possibly a reflection of either the season or La Crisis – is the array of sad-looking shopkeepers, standing in doorways and scanning the horizon for the customers with whom you don't want to be fighting for space in the narrow streets during the high season. The other advantage of visiting Toledo outside summer is that menús del día are as low as 5 euros. Though I hate to think what you get for that. Especially as wine is included.
Impressively, Toledo has buses that run on natural gas. And an airport. Though no planes that I could discern. Castellón Dos?
Driving from Toledo to Malaga, you inevitably pass a 'club' called La Dulcinea. Quite soon after that you come upon another 2 or 3 'clubs'. Which prompted me to ask what the collective noun for brothels might be. I've come up with a few ideas – see tomorrow – but suggestions are welcome. There'll be a prize for the best, of course. Honest. Come on, Alfie. For those younger readers who've never been taught what a 'noun' is, it's “A word used as the name of a thing or person.” There you go. You're all set now.
And between Granada and Jaen you pass hillsides covered with properties that look as empty as those south west of Madrid. As someone has said, it's likely that some of these will never be sold.
Like every place in Spain, it seems, Nerja has its beggars. Of course, it's sometimes a tad difficult to tell them from the Brits. Some of whom clearly think it's OK to wear a back-to-front baseball cap despite their advanced age. Perhaps they're visiting Americans, the only people who could wrest the Worst Dressed accolade from the British.
Which reminds me . . . While looking for my sister in Malaga airport, I almost bumped into a guy who was clearly one of the 4 or 5 homeless/stateless men reported to live there. Like upmarket bagmen, as they have a trolley each. Quite eery. For a second, I felt I was in a movie.
This is the phone conversation I had with my sister at the airport:-
Hi. Have you arrived?
Yes, half an hour ago. Despite the fact you gave me the wrong time. I've just come back to the car to get my phone. Where are you?
In a café.
Where exactly? I've looked in them all.
It's outside, near the taxi rank.
Which floor are you on? Arrivals or Departures?
No idea. Hang on, I'll ask this man next to me to tell you.
[Excuse me. Can you talk to my brother and tell him exactly where we are? He speaks Spanish]
Hola, etc. etc.
OK. I know where you are now. See you in 5 minutes. [Thinking: If the guy could understand her request in English, why does she think it's relevant I speak Spanish?]
Finally . . . When Jacob Epstein was making a bust of the craggy British politician, Ernest Bevin, he was asked how he went about this challenge. He replied: “I take a lump of marble and then I chip off everything that doesn't look like him”.