June 24 2002
With Palace getting knocked out of the European Communities Trophy last month, Gordon Law recalls last pre-season's trip to the Costa del Sol where Palace played in the Marbella Cup...
At the end of the match, it was the perfect chance to get pictures with Bruce and Jordan. We met some Palace fans from London who live out in Spain and gave them a lift back into town.
On the way back to the car, we were blinded by the dust, which came from Jordan's Ferrari as he flashly sped off down the dirt track with his brother Dominic back to his villa.
That night we went out to Benalmadena and sunk a few beers in 24 hour Square, which is not strictly true as it shuts down at 7am.
I went for an 8am dip in the sea and after waking up on my return to the hotel, found I had caught a cold. I felt well rough. Great, there's nothing worse than being ill on holiday!
I had to take it easy that day (Thursday) and we had a quiet night on the town. We met some Palace fans from Croydon, who recognised my Palace shirt. They did not even know Palace were out here on tour.
On Friday, I felt a lot better and catching some more rays followed before we hit Fuengirola, a town not too far away by cab. Here it was a bit livelier and it became a heavy night.
As we had to hand back our car on an empty tank (unlike England, where it's usually a full tank), so we decided to use it up by driving down to Gibraltar on Saturday and this was pretty good.
It's such a bizarre place. It has English road signs, traffic lights, post boxes - even the local Bobbies had the English police uniform - a Safeway and Marks & Spencer and they took English money in the shops.
We surprisingly bumped into Neil the Eagle and Dave from Palace Echo and had a chat with them about their trip and the Palace game.
Unfortunately, we could not get access to the Rock to see the monkeys as it was too windy, but we rounded off a nice bit of sightseeing to stack up with some fags (£7.50 for 200 B&H!) and booze (Blue aftershock and JD £6 each).
After the long drive back home, we went back out to Figirola for the night.
We were determined to go out on our last night (Saturday) on a high and had a funny night. The three of us got split up in an interesting bar and I had run out of money and had to walk back to the hotel, which took 1.5 hours. My feet were in agony.
Guntri had walked back the whole journey too, half an hour before me, while Blakey turned up later with a Big Mac meal, having enough money for a cab home. Jammy bugger.
Our last day was the Sunday and Palace were due to play their second match that evening as we were flying home. It had originally been scheduled for the night before, but had been changed at the last minute. Some fans, like us had missed out. Cheers Palace!
At home we heard Palace, fielding Jovan Kirovski on trial, managed to beat a dirty Cacovec side 2-0 - goals from Freedman and Gray - to win the Marbella Cup. A full report of the game can be read here
A combination of clubbing, Palace, sun and a little culture thrown in made it a good week's holiday. The Costa del Sol is not as lively as Tenerife or Kavos, but worth a visit if Palace ever return again.
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