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Barcelona

Barcelona is a place I’ve been several times but I also feel like I’ve never really seen much of it. When I’ve been in the past it was usually to visit family friends, not so much to go sight seeing. This time my trip to Barcelona was very different in several ways. Instead of staying with the friends I normally do, I was simply staying at their flat alone because they were out of town. This doesn’t mean I was devoid of friends, however, because I met up with my old partner in crime Ramya, over a year since we last saw each other, and her friend Amanda. They’d planned an itinerary for their few days in Barcelona, so suddenly I had one too! Continue reading

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Madrid and Toledo – Capital Cities Old and New

From Granada I took the bus to Madrid. This was pretty much a whole day affair, and once I arrived I took the metro out to my campsite. That’s right. I camped in Madrid. I had been unsuccessful in finding a Couchsurfing host for Madrid (you win some, you lose some), and the cheapest hostel I could find was €24. Then I found a campsite, Camping Osuna, that would charge me half the price of the hostel, was close to a metro station affording easy access to the city centre, and had good clean bathrooms and free wifi. The three nights that I spent there in my tent saved me enough money compared to staying in a hostel that the tent has already paid for itself now. Continue reading

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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