Page 5 of Amanda S Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville August 12th 2015

Stayed in Algeciras and took a day trip on the local bus to Gibraltar. Walked across the iconic airstrip at the frontier with the huge rock in front of us. Town was super-busy, hadn’t seen so many people for ages. Had a crazily expensive coffee in the main square then started our long walk up the rock. Had lunch in the botanical gardens, part of the way up. After entering the park walked round, then up and up via the Mediterranean steps, past lots of old canon posts to the top. It was a steep climb on a very hot day, unsurprisingly we didn’t meet anyone else on the walk. Great views from the top. Found the crowds again at the coffee shop from where we took the easier route down into town again. Most places ... read more
Seville Alcazar
Seville Alcazar
Seville cathedral, Christopher Columbus' memorial

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Málaga » Antequera August 6th 2015

Left the lovely mountain area and went down down, down back along narrow winding roads through Lanjaron (known for its spa waters) and on to the small city of Antequera. This was a lovely place to spend a couple of days, very few tourists, quiet with plenty to see and pretty too. More narrow windy streets with an Alcazabar at the top of the hill. We were glad that our hire car was very small as it was super tight maneuvering in and out of the parking at the hotel around the streets of downtown. Antequera was one of the first places to be re-conquered by the Christians in the 15th Century, maybe because of that there are a huge number of old and huge churches and convents in the down town area. The history stretches ... read more
Church of Carmen
El Torcal views

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Sierra Nevada August 3rd 2015

After a lovely relaxing, if hot, week with my parents in Calahonda on the Costa Del Sol, we hired a car and headed up to the High Alpujarras of the Sierra Nevada National Park. These seven small white towns were the last stronghold of the Moors in the 15thcentury and the houses in the villages are still in Berber style. We stayed in Capileira, the highest of the three in the Poqueira George. It’s a quaint place with steep streets that head down the gorge, the old style chimneys that have ‘sombreros’ on them and the farmland is terraced down into the very steep valley. It felt high at around 1,700m, as soon as the sun went down it felt pretty chilly. We very much enjoyed staying in the small village and did a good hike ... read more
Street shoowing a tinao
Mulhacen Peak
Mulhacen peak

Europe » Spain » Andalusia July 30th 2015

Having crossed the Med from Tangiers to Algeciras we hired a car and began our second holiday in Andalucia. Five days with a car took us around a variety of the White Towns and a day on the Costa de la Luz, south of Cadiz. Enjoyed being up in the hills visiting and staying in some small towns and villages. All seem to wind down steep cobbled streets with pretty whitewashed buildings, flowerpots and very tight corners to negotiate in a car. Small local bullrings, tapas for lunch and very quiet. Grazelma village had had its bull run through the town two days before we were visited and there were still big barriers to ensure the bulls only went down certain streets. Enjoyed some walks in the Parque Natural Sierra de Grazelma, along a river, down ... read more
Villaluenga del Rosario
Zahara de la Sierra
Ronda bullring

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Chefchaouen July 19th 2015

Arrived in the pretty mountain town of Chefchaouen after a 3 ½ hour bus journey from Fes. You know when you’re there as suddenly there is this blue painted town stretching up. Found another lovely little guest house where we were the only occupants. Beautiful town, most buildings are painted a sort of white wash blue, with blue front doors. After the relative quiet of the last couple of weeks we’re definitely back in tourist land. Every other shop is a gift shop. Took a lot of photos very quickly, it’s that kind of place. Early in the morning we walked out of town past the laundry area where the river is channeled and a there’s a purpose built washing area under shade with scrub boards and flowing water. When we walked up there were a ... read more
View from Spanish Mosque
Flower pots

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes July 17th 2015

Took the train for an hour from Meknes to Fes. Had a little trouble finding a hotel, finally saw a sign to Riad Louna/ We followed the signs round one corner after another along increasingly narrow alleyways, finally arriving at the front door. It was like entering a magic world through a nondescript door into this beautiful house. A courtyard with palm trees and orange trees a trickling fountain in the centre and 3 floors of rooms around this. We took one on the top floor, unfortunately the ‘en-suite’ was on the ground floor. Had tea and sweet things on the roof terrace then set off to wander the medina. It was initially quite a confusing maze but we got the pattern of the streets, two main ones and then you concentrate on landmarks each time ... read more
Medina early in the morning

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet July 14th 2015

I’m not sure that I could recommend to anyone to stay Meknes, it’s a town that seems to have grown but not developed. The pavements are filthy, the roads narrow and full of the fumes from the old vehicles everyone has. But having said all of that we’ve ended up having an enjoyable two days here. The reason for stopping here was to visit the Roman ruins 30km away at Voubilis. The ruins are in a beautiful rural setting, on a low hill just high enough above the surrounding countryside. There were a good number of well-preserved mosaics, an impressive grand arch and waterworks system. A few kilometers from here is the town of Moulay Idris. From a distance a pretty whitewashed town covering two hills and with a mausoleum to Moulay Idris in the centre. ... read more
Moulay Idris

Africa » Morocco » Souss-Massa-Draâ July 9th 2015

After the bustle of Marrakesh the whole of this road trip has been as if we were the only people in this part of Morocco. Partly due to Ramadan when many business only open a few hours and people spend the day quietly in their homes asleep during daylight and it’s the low season in this part too, so the peace and quiet was wonderful. At times of course frustrating when you forgot to stock up on food and water early in the morning or the previous evening, visiting closed museums, doors to guest houses firmly closed or if open no one around and then finally after calling “Bonjour!” in the open hotel a sleepy host is roused. But we would rather have had it like this it made it feel special and relaxing. In every ... read more
Walk up the river at Dades Gorge
Dades Gorge
Edge of the Sahara near Merzouga

Took a grande taxi to Setti Fatma in the Ourika valley, about an hour and a bit away from Marrakesh. Stayed at Au Borde De L’Eau guest house just outside the town, small cabins by the river run by a very friendly Belgian couple. The guest house is a haven away from the crowds who come on day trips from Marrakesh to enjoy the restaurants with chairs and tables in the river and the walk up to the waterfalls. We crossed the river in town and followed the route everyone else was taking up the side of the stream. The first part is through lots of Berber stalls selling trinkets and small in the river cafes. The whole walk was very crowded with young men out for a weekend jolly from the city. The following day ... read more
Berber village, Tadrat
View along Ourika Valley

Days have been a bit more relaxed, visited a number of museums, the highlight was the Koranic school and library building. It is very ornate with more lovely delicate stonework and tiles. Lots or rooms upstairs where the once 900 students were accommodated. Enjoyed sitting in squares, drinking mint tea and watching the world go by. Outside of the city walls we walked to the Jardin Majorellle that was designed in an art deco style in the 1920s. Yves San Laurent and Pierre Berge bought and restored it in the 1980s and their trust keeps it going. Although quite small it is beautifully laid out with colour and order carefully maintained. The paths are shiny red and there are strategically arranged pots in only one shade of blue, yellow or orange. The house/ art studio is ... read more
Jardin Majorelle

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