Blogs from Spain, Europe


Europe » Spain » Catalonia December 5th 2023

Almadraba is a section of the Benicasim beach coastline, near the northern end and before the Via Verde begins as part of the EV8. Typically Mediterranean, with a blue sea and promenade, the view out to the Mar Baleárico, in this case, was pretty clear. Ships sat off the port at Castello visible 15km away, dogs were being walked, and cyclists could move in separated paths to joggers, runners and promenaders. Disability access beaches and toilets, playgrounds for the 3-7 year olds, cafes / restaurants, and beachside showers and foot taps /washes at 100m intervals indicate it’s definitely been well thought out. And well populated, judging by the average age or hair colour of the cyclists, walkers, promenaders etc. The time of year (it’s off season), unoccupied summer accommodation (there’s a lot of places for sale/ ... read more
South of La Rapita

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 » Valencian Community November 25th 2023

The dry spell continued, to our good weather fortune, when leaving the heights of Chinchilla. Atop a rocky hill, it has a history of building into the rock ‘Cuevas’ and habitaciones. Most of the older homes cling to the steep sides of the Monte-Aragon, and small rammed earth abodes with white chimneys (Torreon de la antigua muralla) can be seen from the east side. Taking in some of this before check out, we left down a steep descent beside the autovía which was a relief from the ups we’d had lately. Green trees on part of the road side gave way to plains of browns and oranges, being ploughed and planned for the winter ahead. Bird spotting was put to the side for P2 at a few completely dry wetlands around Corral Rubio, with a brief ... read more
A long exit from Chinchilla to Almansa
Almansa area

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona November 21st 2023

Disembarked our ship in Barcelona and were rapidly transported to The Corner Hotel, a 4 star hotel in the middle of the city. Barcelona is basically a huge grid of one way boulevards with wide pavements so traffic flows easily. It is also easy to walk around .We walked to the Sagrada Famiglia, the famous Cathedral by Gaudi which is still unfinished. Sadly the only way to get in is by ordering tickets on line and despite both of us trying on different phones we could not succeed so could not visit this time. We weren't the only ones who were disappointed. What a stupid system! Later we ventured out to a local Tapas bar for dinner and then another little bar for a late night cap. Did a lot of walking! On day 2 we ... read more

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 » Region of Murcia » Cartagena November 7th 2023

July 19th - Another day, another destination to get us closer to Cartagena. This time we left Calpe at 9:40am – a treat to not have such an early start as we aren’t going that far today. We decided to stop at Villajoyosa as it looked like it had a good marina and it was in a good location for the remainder of our travels along the Spanish coast working our way west. We checked into Club Nautico Villajoyosa and found it was 53 euro per night ($57) and that included electricity and water. We weren’t sure if we’d want to stay another day, but decided to check. We asked at the marina about extending for a day and found out that they can only promise one day at a time so told us we’d have ... read more
Plenty of Rocky Shorelines With Lighthouses To Help
Look Closely and You Will See Three (3) Waterfalls
Passing by Benidorm, Spain With Modern Buildings

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 » Basque Country » San Sebastián November 6th 2023

Our last stop in Spain before turning back towards home via Paris and London. Is Donostia/San Sebastian. The US traveler would only know it as San Sebastian, the playground of the rich and famous. However, here it is referred to as Donostia/San Sebastian both Basque and Spanish. The Trip to Bilbao was the last journey on the Spanish Renfe, we are now using the Euskatren, a Basque Country commuter line. We were initially thinking it would be like NJ Transit, turns out it is very modern and fairly comfortable with bathrooms on the train. Yesterday, Jerry had mapped out our route from the Hotel to the Metro to the train station that the E1 leaves from. It was very easy. We walked about two blocks to the metro stop, took an elevator to the platform and ... read more
The View
The Beach and Old Town
Old Town Walk

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Bilbao November 5th 2023

Bilbao is on the Northern coast of Spain on the Bay of Biscayne, the same bay the much of western France is on. It is the largest city in the Basque Country with over 1 million residents. In the 19th century it was the industrial center of the Basque Region, then came Guggenheim. The museum was designed by Frank Gehry and puts the New York Guggenheim to shame. The architecture of the building itself is worth seeing. The museum opened in 1997 and now I don’t think of Bilbao without thinking Guggenheim. More on the museum later. Unfortunately for us, Sunday in Bilbao is not the day to visit. Most everything is closed, except the Guggenheim. It is a very sleepy city on Sunday. We did not make it to the old section Casco Viejo or ... read more
The Rising Sea
For you to determine
Women in Garden

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