Archive for Spain

Merry Xmas!

Every good modern backpacker carries their Palmpilot with them in order to access their friends and families’ addresses and to play Freecell in those idle moments while waiting for trains and buses.

The only problem is that when your batteries go flat you inconveniently lose all the data stored therein, which of course makes sending out Christmas Cards just that little bit more difficult! (That is my excuse this year and I’m sticking to it!)

So please consider this email as a surrogate Xmas Card:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In all seriousness though, I hope you all have a fantastic holiday celebration.

This email comes to you from Malaga in Spain. I am just passing through having spent a couple of weeks in Morocco and a couple of weeks prior to that driving around the
Southern bit of Spain (Andalucia)

Alhambra Palace Garden
Tomorrow I head back to the UK to spend Xmas with my sisters and their families. Then in the new year I am off to Paris initially and then Prague to see what happens from there.

The last few weeks have been terrific. I have succeeded in my goal of avoiding cold weather and Christmas hype.

Potted highlights:

  • Ronda in Spain. Ernest Hemmingway has a helpful hint for Europe based recipients of this email: “There is a place in Spain that is the ideal spot to watch a bullfight for the first time . . . I am referring to the town of Ronda, the perfect place to visit with a girlfriend or to spend a honeymoon” It’s a very romantic place. The only pity was that I hadn’t organised anyone to be romantic with while I was there :)
  • Fantastic Islamic architecture right through the region, but especially Granada and Cordoba
  • Spanish business hours. Basically the day consists of getting up at about 9.30, and starting work (or in my case sightseeing) at about 10.30 through till say 1.00 when you knock off for lunch until about 4.00 pm. Then another stint of work/sightseeing through till 8.00 pm after which you spend the rest of the day wandering around bars drinking very nice red wine and nibbling on snacks (Tapas) till it all gets too much!
  • Cabo de Gata. Very nice, non touristy beaches. Every beach has it’s own 17th century castle too! I’ve been carrying a tent around in my backpack for the past three months and it finally got some use
  • Morocco which was more about the fantastic people, souks (markets), culture and food than the architecture and history – which was surprisingly disappointing (apart from some awesome Roman ruins). If you want to see Moroccan architecture, then go to Spain!
  • (Lowlight) Trying to find a carpark in Seville

I am still alive and well and – no, I’m not bored yet!



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Letter from Spain

Judging from the number of complaints I received regarding the recent lack of news, it would seem that some of you must enjoy these updates. 

I have just arrived in Malaga on the South of Spain after having spent the last few weeks in the UK catching up with relatives as well as doing lots of the real touristy sightseeing things that one does; Winchester Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, HMS Victory etc.

As well as having a great time, I was very pleased that no-one decided to detonate any bombs while I was in London.

However, despite the benefits of free board and lodging, the UK is nevertheless bloody expensive and also at this time of the year, a little chilly.  One of the very few things that is actually cheap there is airfares, and so GBP27 later, here I am basking in the sunshine.  It's 22 degrees here and not a cloud in the sky.

The flight over on easyJet was very interesting.  I thought it was very strange that all my fellow passengers talked with "right foony accents like" and a surprising number had shaved their hair off. Also very odd that they had all decided to go on holiday without their wives and girlfriends.  Yes, that's right, just blokes on the plane.  The reason became a little clearer when I got here and saw the posters promoting the soccer match between Leeds and Malaga tomorrow night.  I'm tossing up between trying to get a ticket to the game and keeping a low profile tomorrow!

I not attempting too much today as my early start left me a little tatty, but in the next week or so I will be visiting Seville, Cordoba, Granada, and Gibraltar etc., and then catch the ferry across to Morocco.

I will keep you all posted as things progress.  I'm off to get a haircut now and then perhaps a siesta to build up my strength for tonight.

Still alive, still enjoying myself and no, I'm not bored yet.


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