A Travellerspoint blog

Spain

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)

Spain

Madrid

sunny 35 °C

The first thing that hit us when we landed in Madrid was the lovely heat. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the heat felt like home. We had been in dreary weather for almost a month and really needed the sun to give us a boost. It worked almost instantly. Spirits in the camp were high as we jumped the bus for the city centre.
Once we were in the city we had to walk about a kilometre to the hotel up Gran Via, the main street through Madrid. We liked this city immediately. The architecture is interesting and the buildings are very ornate and clean. Small balconies seem to be on most buildings giving it a real French feel. We arrived at about two pm and although there were plenty of people around it seemed most Spaniards were on Siesta. Madrid was full of tourists mostly shopping. It was great to be back in shorts and thongs. After dropping our bags off we decided on a little siesta ourselves and eventually headed out for dinner around nine. Madrid was just starting to come to life and by about eleven the place was teeming with people walking, eating, drinking, busking, and selling. The Tapas bars were jam packed and the streets and squares were filled with people. Madrid is an amazing city at night.
Not far from our hotel was a group of boulevards all heading to a square. These boulevards hold everything from shops to restaurants, prostitutes and probably the best buskers I have ever seen. The busking standard is tremendous with full bands playing, or acts that you would see in a circus. There are clowns and magic acts, strong men with chains and the best puppet acts I’ve ever seen performed on the street. They seem well supported with most of the acts getting money but it has to be the cheapest entertainment going and its on every night of the week.

There is a massive park in the middle of the city which is a great place to get away from the hussle and bussle of city life. It is full of beautiful shaded areas and paths that encircle a massive pond with row boats. Again the park has buskers so the sounds of music seem to be everywhere in this city. We had a nice afternoon before siesta and dinner at about ten! Still can’t get used to it being light at ten o’clock at night. We’ve slipped into the lifestyle too easily. I saw a sign offering early bird breakfast from 10:30am until 12:30pm. Outrageous. But then again if you don’t have a job to go to.
Patti and I were craving a bit of Spanish food so we ended up in a Tapas bar and had six of their best. I thought I was going to burst by the end of it but it all just tasted so good. I’m supposed to be getting myself fit for New York but it seems like it will be an impossible task.
We are now in a place on the Costa Del Sol on the Southern coast of Spain called Nerja. It is a coastal town that is just outside Malaga. We came here because it promised to be less a tourist attraction than Malaga which looks a bit like the Gold Coast. Nerja is crammed full of little villas owned by expats but is nice all the same. Not quite the experience we were after but it seems everywhere in Europe is crowded. We’re in villa that’s not too far from the beach and has everything we need, a pool, restaurants close by and a supermarket. We have been scorching ourselves in the heat and spending the days reading or swimming. Bed time doesn’t seem to be until about one am because it is so bloody hot.
We will head further down the coast to Gibraltar before heading to Morocco. We are looking for a bit of a culture change so hopefully Marrakesh or Fez will fit the bill. We may end up in Essouira which is a surf beach for a bit more fun for the boys

Posted by mike1967 11:58 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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