A Travellerspoint blog

August 2011

Sevilla

sunny 45 °C

One of the first things you notice about Sevilla is the smell. The citrus trees line most streets and when we were here most had plenty of fruit giving off a sweet orange/lime fragrance. The second thing you notice about Sevilla in Summer is the heat. P1050508

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Man it is hot! It can easily reach 45degrees and does so most days. This city has got the siesta down to a fine art. Nearly everything close for at least three hours during the hottest part of the day so a sleep under air con or a fan is mandatory. P1050423

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The only people stupid enough to be out are tourists who look like they've been in a game of hidey-go -seek and lost everyone, slowly peering around corners to find empty streets. P1050425

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The city seems to have a stretch and yawn about six pm and life returns to its streets filling the place with music from Tapas bars and buskers. At first it is very easy to get lost in the maze that seems to be common with Spanish cities. There is no such thing as a grid pattern so suddenly finding yourself being twisted and turned where you honestly feel that you may actually run into your own back is a real possibility. After a period where you get lost and found a few times the streets slowly start to become known and familiar and suddenly you can take them on like a local. The kids that grow up in these narrow streets must have fantastic games of tiggy(tag). We were fortunate enough to have a week in Sevilla and wandering the streets and parks during early morning and evening was a real pleasure. Again the buskers seem to be professional musicians and sitting on the steps of the famous Sevilla Cathedral with a crowd of at least one hundred listening to musicians is a memory that will last for a long time. P1050464

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The streets seem to be completely safe and the real action doesn't really start until midnight.
Pat and I had a couple of nice afternoons whiling away time in a tapas bar. The beer was ice cold and was cheaper than water and the tapas were sensational. "dos cervezas por favor, dos tapas por favor" keep saying this all afternoon until you can't pronounce it anymore without giggling and then you know its time to walk back to the hotel in 45 degree heat, get lost in this bloody maze and fall into bed about 5pm for a nana nap. What a great afternoon. AndiamoP1050444

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Posted by mike1967 12:12 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Algeciras/Gibraltar

sunny 38 °C

What started out as best laid plans ended up as a bit of a holy stuff up... literally. We had booked accommodation and bus tickets down the coast to Algeciras where it was going to be a small hop across the water to Morocco. P1050411

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We were then planning a couple of weeks down there but at the last moment we were told it was going to be Ramadan for a month while we would be there. Normally something like that wouldn't bother us but the facts soon added up to a decision that ultimately made us turn around. We were advised by a very reliable source ( Moroccan barman at Nerja) that most of the shops and bars/coffee houses and restaurants would be closed during sunlight hours and since it doesn't get dark until 10pm, life can be pretty dreary for a normally otherwise vibrant place. I know purists might say we have taken the weak option but we said at the start we were touring for a good time and not seeing a country at its best may have tainted our spirits for another visit... so next time it is. Our first impressions of Algeciras were not that flattering. the only thing that made it better for us was the hotel we stayed in had the best shower in the world and we had a great view of Gibraltar off the patio. P1050409

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The trip wasn't wasted as we wanted to see the rock anyway.

Gibraltar was probably what I was expecting in regards to a British outpost. The buildings and streets are similar to old England but naturally with a Spanish tilt. The locals look Spanish but speak a pidgeon English that is apparently all their own. The tourism industry seems to be the thing that keeps them going with 200 cruise liners coming to shore every year and the day we visited it felt like every one of them was there that day.P1050385

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Funny thing, found myself whinging like mad as soon as i stepped foot on the place...Can't figure out why? For me the best thing about Gibraltar was the views from the top of the rock and the monkeys. P1050387

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Individual monkeys are well known to staff and although not vicious they look the part. All in all not a bad day but it was too hot, too many people, bag was too heavy etc etc etc.... AndiamoP1050391

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Posted by mike1967 11:26 Archived in Gibraltar Comments (1)

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