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Another Trip to Andalucia


By nariz


We’ve just returned from another short trip south to search out where we’d like to buy a small townhouse in which to spend the colder months of Winter – only to find, on checking out GoY, some of you are suffering from the dreadful weather conditions in Britain! I’m really NOT trying to ‘rub it in’ – but perhaps some sights of blue skies will cheer you a little?

We were looking in the regions of Seville, Jerez and Cadiz, although actually avoiding those cities, as we would prefer our property to be in a smaller town on the periphery of the larger cities so, after flying to Seville and picking up the hire car, we spent our first night in San Lucar on the south-west coast. Next morning was not as sunny as we’d hoped!

The little plaza opposite the hotel had some interesting trees though, and the hotel itself had a lovely courtyard. Note the tall cactus, Hywel.

We went for a local walk to get the ‘feel’ of the place and found a market with a display of fruit and veg that brightened up the day, then a small ‘hedge’ of Hibiscus – only one flower and the hedge was very small, so it must have been newly planted.

We drove on to our next stop – Chiclana – which showed up the old and new in its architecture:

and more Hibiscus, which proved they definitely liked the “Sunny Side of the Street.”

There were plenty of ancient buildings in the region, all incorporated into the newer towns that had built up around them, also some amazing views like the scene “through the arched window.” (sorry Playschool!)

We went out for a meal that evening, looking around the various Bodegas which produce the lovely sherries of the region, and I wished I’d taken my camera with me as while we were enjoying fresh Manzanilla sherry and wonderful tapas dishes a group of people at the next table suddenly did an impromptu performance of several flamenco songs, accompanying themselves on a guitar and small drum and with VERY complicated clapping. It was an amazing experience to hear such spontaneity and we felt we could have stayed listening for hours, but the groups’ performance came to an end and everything in the Bodega returned to ‘normal’ as though nothing had happened!

From the next hotel in Arcos de la Frontera we were able to see an amazing sunset from our window, then explored the hotel and its roof terrace from where we saw the end of the sunset at twilight:

The last day of our short trip was in Carmona, close to Seville, where the hotel had an amazing pool surrounded with small Kumquat bushes in pots :

There were plenty of beautiful old buildings in the orange tree-lined streets, and the decoration on some of the buildings made plain brick or stone look very dull!

A last shot of the lovely flowers of the Trumpet Vine, and that was the end of our break. Now I’m up to my neck in washing and ironing and having to cook instead of going out for tapas! Ah well!!

More blog posts by nariz

Previous post: Autumn Walk

Next post: Merry Christmas to GoYers!



What a delightful blog, Nariz - I just love those beautiful stone archways. And I'd give a lot just to be able to sit and sup at an outdoor cafe! (So NIL sympathy for the washing and ironing, lol!).

Thanks for sharing your trip :))

25 Nov, 2012


Lovely to see such interesting places, and blue sky, whats that.?!

25 Nov, 2012


Really enjoyed this trip in the sun! All so beautiful, and very clean and tidy too. Did you finally find the house you were looking for?

25 Nov, 2012


What a lovely trip , Nariz , you've done it again !
Don't the Atlantic winds bring the rain there in the winter ?
Almeria might be more protected .
Hope that you find somewhere suitable , anyway .

25 Nov, 2012


The places were very picturesque ... very nice to be able to stay there. I hope you find a suitable house.
That cactus was very tall wasn't it lol :D

25 Nov, 2012


Thanks guys. :o) Steragram : We've decided to have a weeks' break in February and book a townhouse in Arcos de la Frontera for a week, just to see if we REALLY DO like the place, then we'll know how to progress.
Driad - rain won't be a problem; our main aim is to have a Winter base near cities that have concerts, museums, cinemas, bars, restaurants and a panaderia (bakers) just round the corner. We love our life here in the mountains, but the sometimes prolonged icy cold gets to my arthritis and we're sometimes cut off by snow from the outside world, so being able to socialise in the darkest months will be all to the good.
Sheila: all jobs done now, despite your lack of offer to help! Isn't it strange when you return from a trip and pick up where you left off, then you feel 'did we REALLY go there and do all that?'

26 Nov, 2012


I know that feeling.....can you belive that last week at this time we a continual refrain in this house! Your photos made me feel really happy to remember our week in Andalucia last month. The three days of rain didn't spoil our time there, it was just so beautiful. Spain is so very pretty, I loved it. I hope you find the perfect place Nariz. While we were there we asked others about the winter weather and they said that December was usually quite wet, but that the temps. were never very cold, in fact one person admitted to not even owning a coat (a british person of course, not a local!!). I know there is snow in the hills of course, but if you stayed nearer the coast I'm sure you would have the climate you are looking for. We are going to La Gomera in the Canaries in January......still thinking of buying a winter escape somewhere....eventually!

26 Nov, 2012


I love those buildings, hope you find what you are looking for Nariz, its beautiful where you live but I can understand you wanting to be nearer a town for the winter....

26 Nov, 2012


It's hard for us "townies " or "almost townies " to imagine not being able to tap into cinema or theatre etc. when you would like to .
It all sounds like a plan , the trip in Feb is a good idea , Nariz .
We're going to Lanzarote in Jan , that dose of winter sun is wonderful .

26 Nov, 2012


I will be waving to you from La Gomera Driad! ;)

26 Nov, 2012


Enjoy the Canaries guys. We went to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura many years ago and enjoyed our couple of weeks there - although we fully understood why Fuerteventura ('strong winds') is so called!
You're right about rain Karen - it doesn't spoil the delight or the socialising of the Spanish - they want to sit outside a bar with their friends, so they do - holding up umbrellas to keep the worst off if they can't fit under the bar's awning! lol :o)

27 Nov, 2012


La Gomera has its own special "language " Karen , listen and see if you can hear it ; there are different little whistles which could go unnoticed unless you knew about them .
I had heard about it and then we were in a roof bar near the port in Tenerefe and there were two delivery men near us , and there it was , they were communicating with whistles , I was chuffed !

27 Nov, 2012


Loved the photographs, so very atmospheric, I hope you manage to find somewhere soon, all very exciting, wish I was 20 years younger lol

27 Nov, 2012


I secretly wish I were 20 years younger every time the arthritis kicks in, but I try to make every day count so I behave as though I AM 20 years younger - works for me!

28 Nov, 2012


Having got back myself from Cuenca, Spain only about ten days ago I'm only too happy to see more photos of the country! More than at any other time previously I felt "at home" in Cuenca! My wife asked me if I'd like to live there again - as if!!! At the drop of a hat if we had an income! Just that we have our two grandchildren here that we love very much & would miss terribly if we couldn't see them! (We had them here for the day yesterday!)

We were present at the birth of our son's first child, a girl they have named "Ainara". It seems the name comes from North Spain & means something like Dove or Swallow or possibly Lark. She's a lovely little girl & had her eyes open, like plates, as they say in Spain, when her dad brought out to show her to all of us waiting.

Hope you find yourselves a house where you can spend the winter months. I have never visited any of the towns you visited I've not even been in Adalucia! The orange trees immediately brought to mind those we saw in the streets of Valencia when we went to Cuenca in May earlier this year. I was amazed at the time because, even though I'd seen orange orchards in Valencia province, I'd never seen them in the streets before! I had the opportunity of visiting Valencia 3 times during my 1st year in Spain (1973) but where we stayed there were no orange trees. I'd been back a couple of times since then but not to the actual city itself. The very last time we were in Valencia was for the wedding of a cousin of my wife. Then we were only there for the church ceremony before being whisked off to the reception held in a small village on the outskirts of Valencia so we hardly saw more the the railway station! That was a year or two before returning to the UK in 2001.

3 Dec, 2012


I've only been to Valencia once, Balcony, and was astounded at the beauty of the railway station! Apart from that, we spent the day at Oceanografia, underground looking at fish! I WILL go there again and, hopefully, take in more of Valencia. That's the beauty of this country .... so much to see, so diverse and so much space. SO glad we moved here! :o))))))))

4 Dec, 2012


Although we caught the train from Valencia to Cuenca we didn't catch it in Valencia itself but in a station outside of Valencia which was nearer the home of an aunt we visited. Her son took us in his car to the station.

Valencia is indeed a beautiful city & I'd love to explore it at leisure some day!

I couldn't agree with you more about Spain being a beautiful country! Though I lived there for the better part of 30 years I saw very little outside of Cuenca or Madrid. :-((

9 Dec, 2012


Madrid is one place we've so far managed to avoid - apart from driving straight through the centre on a motorway wearing blinkers because we were already 'lost' and were scared of getting caught up in 'local' traffic and being shunted off course from our way home to our mountains! We WILL get around to seeing Madrid one day - and Cuenca - but I think we'll do it by train and foot .... easier to find our bearings!

10 Dec, 2012


There is a hi-speed train - AVE - that goes from Barcelona to Valencia to Madrid that stops in the new hi-speed train station that has been built in Cuenca.

There is also a new hi-speed road - Autovia - between Cuenca & Madrid which reduces the time to only 90 mins instead of 3 hours. I don't know how long it takes to get to Valencia by road as I haven't been by car in donkey's years! It used to take a little over 3 hours but it's probably a lot less nowadays.

Cuenca is now very well communicated with the rest of Spain. :-))

11 Dec, 2012


Yes, we've got the ongoing building of the northern high-speed train line section in patches across our lovely countryside, Balcony! I'm assuming it will eventually tie up Oviedo to Madrid. Valencia by road from us is around 8 hours by car, so I don't think we'll be 'doing' Madrid from there - we'll probably use the train from Jerez or Seville when we finally get our little winter hideaway somewhere in that region .... time will tell!

12 Dec, 2012


Spain is now quite well connected by High Speed trains & you can go just about anywhere in the country or even to Europe without having to leave the High Speed stations!

I've yet to get on-board one - even here in the UK!

16 Dec, 2012

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