Blogs from Andalusia, Spain, Europe


Europe » Spain » Andalusia December 3rd 2023

SPAIN Nov 15th – Dec 2nd This trip will be remembered, by me anyway, for ‘The Time that the Parrots Came’!! They have been on the coast for quite a few years (noisy horrible things but quite pretty to look at!!) and I always hoped that they wouldn’t move inland. We have had one or two over the years but now there seems to be a small flock of about twenty parrots that have moved into a large tree the Plaza de la Legion. One can only hope that they disappear, as quickly as they have appeared, otherwise it will be a sad goodbye to all the small native birds, as the parrots have no predators. Parrots excepted, it was a quiet, if not busy couple of weeks. We rented Howards car again and was duly ... read more
Bertie and Uggy
The sky tower
Malaga Botanical Garden (2)

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Tarifa November 18th 2023

I've really enjoyed the last few days exploring the rural roads around Tarifa. I've passed through this area several times on my way to Morocco, but never spent much time here even though I know it's a migration hotspot. I knew that the main migration period would be over by the time I got here, but it's probably worth visiting Tarifa at any time of year. I got off to a great start on Monday. I headed east on the N-340 for several kilometres and then followed a little track to the top of a ridge. The plan was just to sit there and see what came my way. I quickly noticed dozens of vultures enjoying the thermals above the hills a good five kilometres away. But no sign of them coming any closer. In beautifully ... read more
Atlanticto the right. Mediterraneanto the left.
Plastic pollution.
Brown haze over the blue sea.

Europe » Spain » Andalusia November 15th 2023

Day one out of Cordoba was deliberately light on the pedalling front, to limit what could have been an 80km day, had we gone further east. We’d managed to fall asleep the night before despite our near neighbour in the apartment block singing his heart out to the transistor radio. A knock on his door after midnight stopped it (we’ve been told there are strict noise rules in such blocks in Spain). Misty and cool 5C at 8am was the weather pattern that followed us from Córdoba, to El Carpio and beyond. The 31km followed a good ten kilometres of cycle path, with an industrial N-road section after, and then a chance to peel off onto slightly quieter parallel (to the autovía) camino rurales. Coming into El Carpio before 2:30 was an outright record. We discovered ... read more
Church spire - El Carpio
El Carpio
El Carpio on way to Villa del Rio

Europe » Spain » Andalusia November 6th 2023

Camas was our two day base for seeing Sevilla and regrouping somewhat, after some one nighters to get there. Trundling along the one way cobbled streets, to find an exit onto something resembling a smooth surface, has become easier with time, and especially once you know there is no contra-flow pedalling here (we’ve been warned when done inadvertently, by a local) On our first morning, I discovered a fully paved green cycle way all the way to about 10km west of Camas, which starts with a 2km ascent and gave some wide if hazy views of the Sevilla region. I’m guessing some of the industry could have been adding to it. Italica, in Santiponce, was a Roman ruins site we visited very briefly in 2019 on our way to Jerez de la Frontera, and happened to ... read more
Carmona walls and gates
Way out, Carmona

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville October 31st 2023

Well rested, but sore from my fight with the wall and sight walk, our last day would also be our only full day of experiencing Seville. Before I begin, I failed to mention when we came back from dinner last night the hotel had left us a bottle of sparkling wine, I have no idea why, but it was a very nice touch, even if it was Italian and no Spanish. The alarm went off at six, thirty minutes of snooze time, and I was in the shower, I can barely lift my left arm above my neck, so the shower was an experience. My knee is quite purple, and my ring finger also managed to sustain an injury and is a bit swollen, Jerry is stuck with me now, since the wedding ring is not ... read more
Alcazar Court Yard
Pork In Tomatoes
Spanish Comfort Food

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville October 30th 2023

The long day yesterday, humidity and pretty much nonstop moving, finally caught up with us. I Jerry started feeling it a couple of days ago, but thought it was allergies, but know a light head cold got us both. Last night we already had modified what we were going to do today, but when we woke up, we scraped it all together. What we missed was our Cathedral tour, lunch at the central market, the bull ring, Iglesia Del Salvador (another small church) and the Flamenco Museum. What we have managed to do today so are; Jerry got the laundry to the laundry service down the street, we had breakfast (more on that in a bit) and slept. We are still planning on making our evening events a Flamenco Show and dinner. Breakfast was the standard ... read more
The Finale
The Cast

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Huelva October 29th 2023

A wee compilation of photos from two visits to Las Marismas de Odiel just outside Huelva. The first was with a few colleagues from the ringing programme at Doñana on Spain's National Day. The second was tbis week when I cycled there from Mazagon. The marshes are tidal and comprise mudflats, salt marsh and a commercial salt production operation. There is also a very nice visitor centre. ... read more
Kentish plover

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville October 29th 2023

This morning started at 4:30, thankfully the one good thing about technology is our phones automatically adjusted for daylight savings time, so we stayed on schedule. Our train for Seville left at 6:58 so we would have not time to have breakfast at the hotel. Again, they were kind enough to pack us a picnic breakfast for the train. It was much better than what we provided in Tarragona. The comparison would be the free lunch you get at grade school compared to the lunch your mom makes you to take to school. The hotel called us a taxi and we arrived at the train station in plenty of time, but for some reason it still seemed as if we were rushing to get on the train. It seems that our car is always the furthest ... read more
Jewish Quarter
In the Jewis Quarter
Casa Pilato

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada October 28th 2023

Today the entire day was devoted to the Alhambra, the last stand of the Morrish presence in Spain. The Moor were present on the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years, until Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in 1492 (same year Italian Christopher Columbus was sent off by the King and Queen to the New World, no comment on the merits of Senor Columbus. Also, to put things in the proper context of history elsewhere in Europe Isabella and Ferdinand were the parents of Katherine of Aragon the first wife of King Henry the VIII (she was divorced not beheaded). Before the history lesson begins, just a bit of the morning. We were up at 5:30, quick breakfast at 7:30 (decent breakfast, typical fare) then off to the Alhambra. It opens at 8:30, we were there at 8:15. ... read more
Nasrid Palace
Nasrid Palace
Nasrid Palance

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada October 27th 2023

That point in the trip had come, it simply was not possible to get up, have breakfast and hit our jam-packed day. Knowing that day would happen, it always does, we specifically designed a day about halfway through the trip that we would not mind if we did little or nothing on the itinerary. The original plan was close in sightseeing, including the cathedral, (Isabella and Fernando are buried there), lunch at the central market, then the bus up to the top of the Albaicin neighborhood with a walk down stopping at several sites along the way. Option 2 was lunch at the market, then the bus to the top with the walk down. We ended up with the third option, lunch at the market, a free museum and a bit of gift shopping. Then back ... read more
Cheese & Meat Board
Granada Cathedral

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