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Alhambra – The Good, The Bad and The Selfie Sticks

In Granada I was staying with another Couchsurfing host. This time it was an English couple who were living in a very nice and very old flat in the Jewish Quarter while teaching English for a year. They told me some good places nearby for free tapas – most places in Granada still honour the old tradition of “buy a beer, get free tapas”, and the beer (or soft drink) should cost you no more than €2. My main reason for coming to Granada, and in fact my main reason for coming to Andalusia as well, was to visit the Alhambra. Unfortunately I hadn’t realised quite how far in advance you need to book the tickets in summer so my hosts told me what I needed to do in order to get a ticket on the day. Continue reading

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Córdoba – Culture Cocktail and Game of Thrones 

The Blablacar that we got from Seville to Córdoba dropped us right outside our Airbnb and before long we were marvelling at Kike’s apartment. All the walls were artistically covered in photos, quotes, and music or Star Wars related memorabilia. The bathroom looked like something straight out of a home renovations show – the high-tech shower had a pebbled floor and there was a basket of colour-coded hand towels next to the sink. If you thought it couldn’t get any better, we then found out that he’d auditioned for Spanish Masterchef two years in a row and both times got through to the 4th of 5 qualifying rounds. On our last night there he cooked us dinner. My first time using Airbnb was definitely a positive experience. Continue reading

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Andalusia Part 1: Ronda, Cadiz and Seville

Ronda

From Algeciras I got the train to Ronda, a little town I’d decided to visit after seeing some incredible pictures. I had booked a hostel that was supposed to be a bit of a hike from the centre of town but which apparently had an amazing view. Ronda is built on this high cliff top surrounding a gorge that basically splits the town in half with a river running through it. My hostel, Los Molinos, was located down in the valley looking up towards the cliffs, the town, the gorge and the bridge that crosses it.

Ronda in all it’s glory.

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Gibraltar – Big Rock and Beautiful Beaches

I swear the shower I had in the hotel in Algeciras was one of the best showers of my life. It actually wasn’t, now I think about it, but at the time it really was amazing as it had been several days since the last time I showered in an actual shower. The fact that I had a private room with a double bed helped too. This wasn’t entirely by choice, it was just the cheapest accommodation available in Algeciras where my ferry arrived in Spain from Morocco. Continue reading

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Fez and Chefchaouen: Heading North, Up Up and Away

Fez kind of flew by in a blur of food poisoning, fever, and flu symptoms. At 6.30am I woke up in Marrakech, threw up my dinner from the night before, and then got on an eight hour bus to Fez. Not exactly the best farewell from Marrakech. When I eventually arrived in Fez it took a further hour and a half to get from the bus station to my hostel because, just like when I was in Agadir, the King was in town. Unlike in Agadir, however, this caused serious disruption to my already unpleasant day. All the streets around the medina were closed and it took a mammoth effort just to convince a taxi driver to take me close-ish to the medina. From there I had to walk, which took me 45 minutes in the ridiculous heat because the medina in Fez is like a giant maze and it’s so easy to get lost and my GPS got confused. Finally I arrived at my hostel and collapsed on a couch for half an hour before I could even move to check in.  
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Essaouira to Sidi Ifni – Down the Moroccan Coast

Essaouira is a popular day trip from Marrakech, but the bus from Marrakech takes about four hours. If you really want to go I’d definitely recommend spending a night or two there, which is what I did. It’s not a very big place, you certainly don’t need a lot of time there, but it is definitely a nice change from the hectic life of Marrakech.   Continue reading

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Climbing Mount Toubkal

About an hour and a half outside of Marrakech is a little village nestled in the Atlas Mountains called Imlil. The trip from Marrakech is relatively easy by Moroccan standards, the hardest part is squishing into the normal sized taxi with 6 other full grown adults. The price is 50 dirhams per seat, if you want a bit of extra comfort you can pay for extra seats, but the ride is an adventure in itself, just maybe not a comfortable one. Four people across the back seat, two in the passenger seat, plus the driver. Don’t bring your personal bubble along for the ride.
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