201008 spain, portugal

10 days off – andalucia + algarve

victims/involved : kristian, me.

20100829-faro to sevilla

flight from Stockholm Skavsta to Faro in Portugal. we picked up car rented from autorent.pt at the airport and drove off to east – to Seville. note to self: gasoline in Portugal is ~15% more expensive than in Sweden.

apparently all large shops are closed in Spain during Sundays – something i did not remember from previous travels.

Seville is not my fav – we went a bit around old town in the evening, but i prefer smaller cities..

20100830-sevilla to cordoba

short travel via Carmona [nice old [like every 2nd city in Spain] town] to Cordoba – probably my favorite city in Spain. after usual ‘free and available parking space search’ ritual we took our luggage and dived into the maze of narrow, cobble stone streets of the old town. i love getting lost and found there, especially after dark.. i remembered old town as full of fountains and orange trees.. there are not so many of them after all but still – those present there make great atmosphere.

20100831-cordoba to granada

without problems we drove to Granada, then… after 1h or so we even found available parking space. in the afternoon we took a walk to albazin hills with view on the old town, alhambra castle and sierra nevada in the background. it’s the same albazin where i got rented car robbed one year ago.. this time we were not so lazy and took a hike from the old town.

20100901-granada to sierra nevada to granada
hike to alhambra – post Arabic castle, then from ~35C Granada we drove to much colder [ ~20C ] Sierra Nevada mountains. from there we took hike around… because of my strange ideas we ended up climbing quite steep and full of stones hill to see a radio telescope on one of the mountain-tops.

20100902-granada to amunecar

next few days were quite ‘easy’ – we drove mostly along the coast line and stayed at some seaside resorts. places were ok for one day but longer stay there would be boring. and yes – water in Mediterranean sea / Atlantic is really salty compared to the Baltic sea.

20100903-amunecar to estepona

same as above. seaside resorts – nothing to see here, move on.

20100904-esteopna, gibraltar, cadiz, jerrez de la frontera

Gibraltar = traffic que on the Spanish-British border, monkeys jumping after every plastic bag with food and rock to climb around. after 4 visits i’ve finally figured the way to the Mediterranean stairs to the top of the rock.
Cadiz – well expensive and old seaside resort, but not much more to tell
Jerez – quite nice old city with some wedding going on in the castle [sic!].

20100905-jerez de la frontera to albufeira

longer trip, over 4h in a car. initially we planned to stay in the Quarteira but at the end – we went for Albufeira. both are touristic resorts with tones of Brits and a bit of Germans.
my first impressions from Portugal: people around speak much better English than in Spain; some sights are really depressing and full of nostalgia at the same time – unfinished constructions, older buildings that are not maintained…
in contrary to mostly sandy beaches in southern Spain in Albufeira i saw first bigger cliffs.

20100906-lagos

beaches there were best i’ve seen so far – with high, seep cliffs going straight to the water at many places. plenty of caves and tunnels, rocks coming straight from the clean blue water. and fishes in the water even very close to the shore.

20100907-faro

swim in really stormy sea, walk to the old port with great view on lagoons full of colors which i can only dream about in Sweden until next spring.

best places during the trip:

  • lagos in Portugal – for cliffs and beaches
  • cordoba for best atmosphere of old town and maze of narrow old streets
  • granada – for gipsy/fringe/hippy albazin and sierra nevada mountains

random technicalities:

  • gasoline in Portugal is ~15% more expensive than in spain
  • we paid 230e for 10 days of car rental, this time it was not even scratched when returned
  • all accommodation – below 20e/nigh/person in double rooms

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