Monday, June 11, 2012

Spain - We Will Meet Again!

Spain,... Is awesome! We only have 2 days left in our Spanish portion of this trip and although we are looking forward to heading to France, we will be sad to leave Spain. Paul is thrilled that he has committed to return (though is trying not to rub it in)!
What is so great about Spain, you might wonder?  I've been trying to put my finger on it and have come up with a few characteristics that combined, make it special.

It is culturally rich and tourist friendly yet seemingly unspoiled by tourists.  Unlike the places we visited in Italy, Turkey or Sweden, there have been many times here in Spain where the host of our accommodation de dias or restauranteur has not spoken any (or muy, muy poco) English.  The beauty of it is that they continue to chatter away to you in Spanish as if you understand every word they're saying.  They don't appear annoyed that we haven't taken the time or extra effort to learn their language and fortunately we do manage to understand the odd word and that seems to be enough to get us through.
We understood enough Spanish to know that
'churros con chocolate' would be yummy!
It has beaches and sun to basque in which we discovered both in Barcelona and Alicante on the Costa Blanca.  We had 3 days in Alicante to swim in the pool, relax on the beach and play in the ocean.  After being in Australia where we were wearing stinger suits and swimming only in the netted areas off the shore in fear of getting stung by a jellyfish, I was completely taken by surprise by a rather small jellyfish that got me with a good sting!  I enjoyed the pool that afternoon.
View of the pool in hotel and beach in the distance.
There are mountains to climb and trails between villages to explore.  After such a successful hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Chloe found another hike outside of Seville.  We caught a bus to Fuenteheridos and with the help of some friendly locals who drew us maps on napkins or with a rock in the dirt (we had to ask 3 different people along the way) we made it to the next town of Galaroza and part way to Castano before turning around and heading back.  We rewarded ourselves with a cool drink and a surprising snack of fried cuttlefish.  (We couldn't read the menu or understand the waiter but we looked it up later and realized what we had ordered!)

And what country in Europe doesn't have a plethora of museums to explore, architecture to marvel at, narrow cobblestone streets to wind through and wide boulevards to wonder along?
Plaza d'Espana in Seville
Just round the corner from our hostel.
Calle de Constitution in Seville.
Wondering and shopping on the narrow
streets of Cordoba.

I hope also to be able to return to Spain one day.  Maybe the Camino de Santiago would be worth a try.    Interested?  

1 comment: