Road Trippin’ around Spain

In Europe, Far, Memories, Our Journeys, Road Trips, Spain, Trip-Types by Janis0 Comments

It’s all coming back to me

This was our second road trip around Spain and there is certainly still no end in sight, as to the marvels this historical country serves up.
 
Returning from any trip there are always memories that remain with you, whether it was a landscape, a landmark or a funny moment you shared, they will always be there.

That’s why we enjoy gathering together these snippets from a trip and sharing them with you, to tempt you to go and create memories you can share with us.
 
We chose to visit 10 destinations, Gary and I have selected our most outstanding memories and highlights of this wonderful road trip. There were so many to choose from.



Highlights


There were two occasions on this trip where I was actually stopped in my tracks by the awe-inspiring feat of human engineering before me. The first was the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba,

I had seen pictures of the forest of pillars within the Mezquita before, however they really do not do justice to the magnificence when you see it up close.

The interior of the Mosque–Cathedral of Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain

The second was the Roman Aqueduct in Segovia, once again this really needs to be seen to be believed. It is incredible the lengths the Romans went to deliver water, and not a trowel of cement was used in building it.

Climb up high for the best views, Segovia, Spain

The Alcázar of Segovia which is on the receiving end of the aqueduct, sits proud like a bow of a ship at the far end of Segovia. There is no wondering why this town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The soft pink hues of the Alcázar, Segovia, Spain

The Metropol Parasol or giant mushrooms in Seville was another highlight, strolling around the top of this wooden structure with a view across the rooftops of the Old Quarter of Seville was fantastic.

The Metropol Parasol (or Mushroom)

Some of you may think why have we left out Seville’s Alcázar & Cathedral, well this was our 3rd visit to Seville and we had previously visited those sights. However, Gary & I always go on about how much we love Seville to our family and friends, so in essence the whole of Seville is a highlight.

The Alcázar, Seville, Spain

The lovely sand stone town of Cáceres, with its Moorish architecture enveloping around you.

Plaza Mayor from the Bujaco Tower, Cáceres, Spain

Admiring the Hanging Houses in Cuenca, appearing to cling to the side of the rock face, really makes you ask the question why? I certainly wouldn’t want to live in there.

Casas Colgadas at night, Cuenca, Spain

The UNESCO Roman Theatre & Amphitheatre of Mérida was a lovely surprise, I certainly didn’t think it was going to be so impressive.

The Roman theatre, Mérida, Spain

Strolling the whitewashed cobbled lanes of Córdoba & admiring the courtyards.

Tiny streets amongst the whitewashed walls, Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain



Pleasures


Bilbao was an absolute pleasure, it exceeded all our expectations. Not only was the Basque town a lovely place to wander around, we found the locals to be extremely friendly. Their Pintxo, (Basque style Tapas that is normally skewered, or ‘pinned to’), was pretty amazing too, particularly in the Mercado.

Jeff Koons 'Flower dog' in front of the Guggenheim

Now of course the Plaza de España in Seville, has to be on my list, morning, noon or night.

Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

Those lovely white windmills across La Mancha are always a delight to see. We visited the Guardians of Consuegra on our last trip, this time we ventured to Campo de Criptana.

The giants of Campo de Criptana, Spain

Sipping a crisp glass of wine watching the sun set across the Moorish landscape of Cáceres.

Al fresco dining, Cáceres, Spain

Our last visit to Santander was all too brief, this time we spent a full day discovering this elegant town.

Harbour view, Santander, Spain

Discovering the many statues dotted around the Asturian city of Oviedo.

‘Mafalda’ is an Argentine comic strip character and this little figure is very popular with children, Oviedo, Spain

Whilst driving through the Cantabrian region of Spain we visited the Medieval village of Santillana del Mar, which is along the Camino de Santiago route. It’s like stepping back in time wandering around the cobbled lanes.

Ayuntamiento & Torre de Don Borja, Santillana del Mar, Cantabria

The eye-catching Renaissance architecture in Úbeda & Baeza, is truly worth a visit, along with their abundance of olives.

The courtyard in front of the El Salvador Chapel, Úbeda, Spain



Treasures


Our main treasure from Spain has to be the little bar ‘Casa Plácido’ in the old town. This is where we decided to hatch the plan for this travel blog.

A small place that became a favourite of our Casa Placido tapas bar, Seville, Spain

  • Another strong memory of Spain for us is the warmth of the people.

There was us thinking that whilst we were in Seville that sherry was a traditional tipple of the region. But no, Seville had its own, ‘Vino de Naranja’ similar to sherry but with an orange flavour (well it would be in Seville). I would say a bit of an acquired taste, Gary enjoyed it.

Vino de Naranja, Seville, Spain

Touring through the olives groves in Andalucia was particularly memorable, especially with the fragrance of olives in the air. This was one of the occasions that Gary could fly the drone without an audience.


Calimocho, or Kalimotxo in Basque – basically red wine, cola and ice. Don’t knock it until you have tried it, honestly. In the sunshine, it is a real treat.

Kalimotxo or Calimocho - red wine & coke, Bilbao, Spain



What I would do differently


  • Not too much as it was a great adventure and experience from start to finish. But knowing what we do now, we would probably reconsider the time spent in some of the destinations.

  • We took our own car on this road trip and although we do research into the parking facilities of each accommodation, the Parador at Cáceres was a challenge too far, once we arrived. The maze of ancient walls looked very unforgiving, so we used their off-site parking option.



A funny moment


  • It didn’t feel amusing to start with, but whilst we were at the windmills at Campo de Criptana, Gary decided to launch the drone for some great footage over the windmills. Needless to say, as soon as he took off it just so happened the Spanish Civil Guard turned up. Bearing in mind our Spanish is very limited we thought this might be a short conversation. However, they were quite interested and stood with us for about 5 minutes, taking a real interest in the view. They wished us a safe trip before driving off. However, on checking the footage later it became apparent that when the authorities had turned up, we paused the recording and then didn’t restart it again – Hey ho you live and learn.

As it is Janis writing this post I appear to be picking on Gary a bit, but if you are ever in Cuenca you should head to the gorge and the San Pablo Bridge that crosses it. I am quite good with heights but the gaps in the wooden slats highlighting the 40 metre (131ft) drop below, didn’t feel me with confidence. But Gary’s face was an absolute picture (although he wouldn’t let me catch one).

Mmmm – Revenge is sweet. Wait until we get to the memories of Lisbon, and we cover the Pantheon.Gary
The bridge to the town, Cuenca, Spain



A slight disappointment


  • Having a torrential downpour and getting stuck behind an accident along a mountain road stopped us from visiting Setenil de las Bodegas. But hey there is always another trip.

  • Lack of restaurants in Cuenca Old Town, it appeared to us that they catered more for day trippers.

Our Seville visit was too short.

The courtyard of the Casa de Pilatos, Seville, Spain



Point of Note


  • We chose to catch a ferry from the UK to Spain, but this trip can easily be completed by flying to a specific destination and hiring a car.

  • If you are on a road trip, double check the parking facilities.

We embarked on this adventure for 3 weeks, but in 2014 we did a 2-week road trip taking in some similar regions. Pick and choose your favourites and weave them into your own itinerary.

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Have you ever done something similar?

If you have any lasting memories from a Spanish road trip let us know, we would love to hear about them.



About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Road Trippin’ around Spain was last modified: July 24th, 2017 by Janis