Spain
Spain

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1,214 travelers at this place:

  • Day105

    Today, the 18th of November is my mums birthday. This day and the days leading up to it are always difficult because she is so present in my thoughts and that means I miss her more than usual. So, in her memory, I decided to embark on an 'Aima adventure' and take the boys to the hills. We started on a dirt path outside Monochil a small town 10kms from Granada. Alone and with little signage we followed our instincts along a narrow path through a dramatic gorge crawling under rock overhangs and though a cave to finally reach some spectacular (but suspect looking) swinging bridges. It was a beautiful adventure and we needed lots of 'Aima explorer spirit' to get us through! Happy birthday mum.Read more

  • Day192

    La Nieve

    February 13 in Spain

    They tell me it doesn't always snow in Granada but so far this winter we have had two snowfalls which has provided more than enough snow for a snowball fight and a snowman. After looking at the snow on the mountains all winter we finally got ourselves organised for a ski trip for Max's 8th birthday. It only took the boys a few hours on skis to be able to handle the slopes. Tom's approach was very much speed down as fast as you can and hope for the best - it usually worked out. Max, instinctively more cautious, was able to incorporate some turns into his runs. Ivy was happy with tobogganing, donuts and snowballs. Skis for her next time!Read more

  • Day122

    Autumn colours

    December 5, 2017 in Spain

    One of our favourite places to stroll in Granada are the paths leading up to and around the Alhambra and surrounding gardens. They are steep but spectacular & there are lots of things to explore on the way up. Right now the trees are all red and yellow & with snow capped mountains framing the view it is beautiful! Just a shame that it’s sooo damn cold!!!

  • Day122

    Christmas lights

    December 5, 2017 in Spain

    Some of you will know that I’ve always loved Christmas carols & Christmas lights. So it was with delight that I dragged the boys into the centre square tonight to see the lights get switched on. They didn’t disappoint!

  • Day125

    A puente

    December 8, 2017 in Spain

    A puente is a holiday in spain from the 6th - 10th December. The 6th (Wednesday) is constitution day & the 8th (Friday) is the feast of the immaculate conception of the blessed Virgin Mary. The holiday is called a puente (meaning bridge) in recognition of the fact that they need an extra day off to bridge the time between the weekend and the holidays to create a long weekend. Love this country!!

    We utilized our days off school off with a short trip to nearby town Cordoba & under intense pressure from Max we drove up to Sierra Nevada to touch the snow.

    The highlight of Cordoba was the Mezquita-Catedral a beautiful and fascinating building that symbolizes the many religious changes Cordoba has undergone over the centuries. My pictures don’t do this building justice - it is truly amazing. Of course the kids were more interested in the garbage truck outside and Ivy actually declared she was bored after 3.5 minutes. Max used the time to ask us every question imaginable about the death of Jesus & the meaning behind all of the other religious drawings, all of which Chris & I were ill-equipped to deal with.

    The sun was shining for our first time in the snow. No skiing but great fun tobogganing & just general messing around. I think we will be back soon!
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  • Day191

    Family Road Trip - Part 2

    February 12 in Spain

    Our next stop was a cliff top house overlooking Strait of Gibraltar near the beachside town and kitesurfing hub of Tarifa. The kids spent a day rolling down the sand dunes at Punta Paloma beach before we boarded a ferry to Tangier in Morocco. All my preparation for our 2 day trip to Morocco went out the window when our trusty guide did not meet us at the port. But in true Morocco style there were 100 other tourist guides ready to take his place. We ended up on our feet with a great guide, nice walking tour of Tangier, an authentic Moroccan lunch and a comfortable ride to the 'blue city' of Chefchaouen, 2 hours away. Chefchaouen lived up to its reputation as a relaxed and picturesque town and the kids were well entertained by all the weird and wonderful things and people you see in a developing country.Read more

  • Day191

    Christmas holidays kicked off with the much anticipated arrival of Ali, Ciaron and Jesse. They looked unbelievably tired and cold upon arrival in a wet and gloomy Granada. After wandering the streets of Granada for a few days we set off on a family road trip around Andalucia that took in the town of Rhonda, a spectacular walk called the 'caminito del rey' and a bike ride along the 'via verde de la sierra' near Olvera. The sun shined for us and the countryside was beautiful rolling hills and olive groves.Read more

  • Day598

    Archena

    February 14 in Spain

    Spain's cold spell finally felt as if it was lifting and it lifted our spirits to see the landscape lit up under a strong sun and to let its warmth take over from our overused heating systems!

    Again we stuck to the motorway that today took us through many flat plains, punctuated with jagged outcrops of rock rising steeply towards the sky. Perhaps it was just the way it was managed, but the land began to look a little more fertile, the vegetation growth on the hills a little greener. We came accross dozens of intensive orchards whose trees were blossoming pink. We couldn't tell from the distance but thought they could be cherry trees.

    Archena's large free gravel car park was already pretty busy, with a dozen or so vans parked up, three of them with GB plates. Will went out to buy bread and managed to find a place with baguettes in the oven. He asked for 2 and was shocked they only came to €1!

    It was Valentines Day but, similarly to Italy where we'd been last year, there hadn't been much of a fuss made in shops or restaurants. We'd opted for a relaxing day in with Cava and strawberries and a homecooked evening meal. Due to Will twice getting carried away with his flambéing, the buildup was anything but relaxing! Vicky felt the need to dive for the fire extinguisher and a few seconds later was reassuring the couple next door who, after hearing yells and seeing 3 foot flames through their window, had come rushing out to help! In the end we had a lovely steak dinner and all smoke residue has now been removed from the cupboard door!
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  • Day599

    We had planned a rare visit to a nearby spa today but last night Will had noticed the leisure batteries were only at 3% - far lower than they should have been given the amount of power we'd used. This morning the levels had dropped to 0% and the automatic cutout hadn't engaged. Something was definitely wrong. No spa for us today!

    Vicky had breakfast by candlelight and when Will got up we removed the passenger seat and tested the two 100Ah batteries. One was completely dead and the other showed just a flicker. They'd been getting less and less efficient and in the last week we'd had problems with the 12V charge point above the table. This had fixed itself but the 3 year old batteries would need replacing and fast. We'd survived before without electricity but without running water, heating, light or a fridge it wasn't a situation we wanted to stay in for long. We were very grateful it hadn't been a cold night.

    We'd previously researched the possibility of using lithium ion batteries but decided against it because the conversion technology wasn't as well developed as we'd have liked it to be. So what to do? A search of 'autocaravanas' in google maps told us there was a shop that sold accessories and did repairs 23km away. Pulling up at the forecourt entrance Will communicated what we needed but we were relieved when the employee was able to speak English to a decent level. First we were told it would be tomorrow or Monday, but then a mechanic came along and was able to find two suitable batteries. They were each 5Ah less than our current ones but they were a better make so would probably be just as good. After carefully checking they were the same physical size we carried out a card transaction that made our eyes water. Fitting them ourselves meant we didn't need to pay extra or wait until 4:30pm when the shop could squeeze us in. After another 20 minutes on the forecourt we tentatively pressed the test button on our internal power display and breathed a sigh of relief when it showed a nice green 93%!

    A 70km drive would give our new source of power a good charge and get us to our planned stopover. We'd made enough headway south to reach the sea today. It's aqueous expanse is always a welcome sight but with the warm weather and bright sunshine we were blessed with today, the Mediterranean had taken on a sparkling rich blue that was even more alluring than usual!

    From Cape Palos on the Costa Cálida (Warm Coast), a sandbar extends 13 miles to San Pedro del Pinatar, maintaining an enormous lagoon between it and the mainland. We are aware that the coastline around here is in high demand with holiday makers, but nothing had prepared us for what the sandbar had been turned into. Almost every square inch was covered in high rise apartments and villas. The sand had been raised and reinforced by boulders to create foundations for these money towers, many of which were castelated with mock turrets. Park4Night had told us there was a spot we could stop at on the strip, and although we couldn't imagine ourselves relaxing in this urban beach, we wanted to experience it all the same. Passing through the resort gateway of La Manga, our senses went into overdrive. As we progressed down palm lined streets, billboards displayed images of banana boats, jetskis and expensive power boats with male models at the wheel. Paddy's Irish bar was signed and The Sun newspaper was on sale outside one of the few shops open out of season. An overindulged looking child marched up to a pedestrian crossing holding up their hand mouthing something at us, no doubt demanding we stop immediately. Once the family has crossed, the child predictably pressed the button for the lights to cycle again.

    To our surprise Park4Night led us to a small double T shaped parking spot in a dead end. A Belgian van was already parked up but there was enough space for three here and an equal amount in the T that mirrored ours. A small plot of sand covered in purple and pink ground flowers, was for sale between us and the road, ahead was a brown wooden shack and terrace covered in dried palm leaves; Bongo Beach Bar (closed for the winter). To our left, only a narrow red tile pavement divided us from the fine pale sand and the sea 30m beyond. An island covered in green scrub and dotted with a couple of whitewashed houses rose from the waters just a couple of miles offshore, while the tall buildings of our sandbar pealed of in a crescent until they rejoined the mainland and became fuzzy with sea haze. Although we were in the midst of all these buildings, it wasn't busy and there wasn't a soul on the beach.

    We quickly changed into swim shorts and let Poppy out. She loves the seaside and she got so excited she broke into a run towards the water. Vicky paddled while Will went for a quick swim. We both had our eyes off Poppy for a moment but when Vicky turned back round she was lying in the sand having a fit. It didn't last long and after a little while she was able to get up and walk back to near the van. We got her water and bed and our beach towels and lay out with her, initially in the shade but as it cooled we allowed her to move into the evening sun. There didn't seem to be any lasting effects from her episode but she'll be 15 years old in less than a month and we are aware she won't be with us forever. All the more reason to appreciate our time together and give her experiences she enjoys.

    As the sky hues turned pink we crossed over the road and onto the small beach opposite. We couldn't have walked more than 100m! The sun was now a blazing amber ball disappearing behind the low peaked hills accross the lagoon. Gorgeous!

    The night was mild and the following morning was just about warm enough for Vicky to do her pilates/ yoga on the beach! We've travelled south quickly and combined with the time of year, sunrise has fast been getting earlier. It was a glorious feeling to be stretching in the open air, watching clouds reflect the soft colours of the rising rays, until the instense light crested the horizon and rose quickly skyward.

    You can see a 30 second timelapse of the sunrise here on VnW Travels You Tube Channel: https://youtu.be/hVEMterfmf8

    It was a little cloudy but still warm and we were able to cart the canoe over the road and paddle it along the edge of the lagoon for a couple of miles in t shirts and shorts. The water was clear and shallow for the most part and we saw a few flatfish skimming along the sand. Strings of nets were layed out at frequent intervals but we were able to easily pass over the top over them. They didn't seem to have anything but rubbish caught in them. The sandbar provided protection from the waves and the buildings shielded us from the wind, making it a very pleasant paddle.

    We'd planned to move on but Vicky was ill again so we stayed put and Will whiled away the day on the beach, swimming, playing his guitar, reading and fishing.

    We kept checking and double checking the level of our new batteries. They'd only dropped to 76% over 3 days. With the old ones we would have needed to start the engine on the 2nd day in order to give them a charge.

    When we entered the high rise sandbar we thought it unlikely we'd want to stay one night, let alone three! The lesson 'don't judge a book by its cover' is constantly being reinforced on the road and we were very glad we gave this place a chance, despite our initial misapprehensions.
    Read more

  • Day309

    Granada and Alhambra Palace

    February 18 in Spain

    Mum came to visit last week but sadly the weather was not the best we had a week of cold weather but I hope she still enjoyed it. We visited the local market and bought some herbs and spices, did a lot of coffee drinking and also Tapas. On the Thursday we visited The Alhambra Palace in Granada, here are some photos from our visit, the others I will put on Facebook in case anyone wants to see them. The history of the Palace was interesting but it was really cold while we were in Granada, the main fountain in Plaza Nueva had to be switched off as it was so cold and the standing water in it froze over night. We also saw a flamenco show which was good to see but we lost a bit as we couldn’t understand the story they were dancing to, which one of the performers was singing, the guitarist though was exceptional. On Saturday night we took part in one of the local quizzes and... we won, I think that was down to Mum, she knows a lot of what would otherwise be useless information. The other mammoth project we were undertaking was to make a new heavier duty awning for when things start to warm up again as we will need the shade. We borrowed a sewing machine and with Mums help, we’ll really she did most of the work, have made a very impressive looking cover to give us another room outside when it’s hot. The Sunday walk was also good somewhere near Paula’s, but more strenuous than usual with ropes to help us on some of the climbs, there were some fairly steep bits with dramatic drops as well but sadly we forgot our camera but views were stunning.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

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