Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Well I found(along with my friend Carmella from the US) a great tiny surfie town called Tarifa - I think many people emphasise the "rifa" here. (The smell of it filled one of the bars we visited )..
We sampled the fresh local seafood - had amazing tex mex food and enjoyed one of the best sunsets I have ever seen. (its such a treat seeing the sun set in the western ocean horizon when you come from East Coast of Australia)
The only down side here is it is one of the world's windiest cities - so much so it is home to "kitesurfing" and windsurfing sports most of the year. Its a cute seaside town with an old city wall - not sure if that was built to protect from invaders or to just keep the wind and sand out. So my trip to the beach was spent nestled in a tiny protected cove.
Im going to get the grumbling over and done with - I couldnt bring myself to take photos of Algeciras - a dirty noisy port town. It's only plus is that its a transport hub for day trips. Above is a map showing you the location at the very southern tip of Spain. I did not enjoy this part of my trip.
On my second day i thought I should go to Gibraltar. Trinny and Susannah need to visit Gibraltar and make over not just the tourists but the city itself. It is really run down. The only thing I did find amusing in Gibraltar is that one of the main streets is named after Winston Churchill - appropriate I thought.
At first it is very confusing to see such a combination in existence. My first two pictures show the cathedral inside and out, and the second two show elements of the mosque still present today.
It is also the site of Christopher Columbus's tomb.
Linda and I (the other aussie in our group) found the Australian tent at the festival of nations - but I have to confess that drinking at the Brazilian tent was the most fun ) .
Later in the evening I think I found one of the worlds oldest drag queens at a local bar - isbillya.
This had to be my favorite part of Seville. The Real Alcazar is essentially a fortified Palace. It is amazing as it has Moorish, Gothic and Christian influences. The highlight for me were the amazing gardens. I want gardens like that - how will I find a backyard big enough...
Well Seville is an amazing city - these pictures don't do it justice. Set on a river and its covergence of Spanish and Moorish cultures Seville is a must see destination.
We had a great hotel in the old jewish quarter - importantly close to the many tapas bars that dominate eating out in Seville.
In Summertime it is very hot - each day was at least 40 degrees C - and a very dry heat.
It is the major port that Christopher Columbus departed from and returned to fom the Americas.
Its true - they really do have those windmills - and lots and lots of olives growing - Spain's centre is so very dry - so very much like most of Australia.
Also along highways there are big cut out shapes of bulls, guitars and other things Spanish - why im not sure - but no advertising is a welcome change to the usual drive along any highway.
We went by bus to Seville - a long trip of about 6 hours all up.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The interesting aspect is that Toledo has a fusion of christian, muslim and gothic styles making for a charming old city.