One week road trip around the South of Spain
16.12.2005 17 °C
It all started with instead of driving down to the South of Spain with my flatmates car, we had to sort out another way of getting around, because Nuria´s good ol´ Diego didn´t pass the technical inspection two days before we were planning to head off.
On Sunday, the 4th we (Nuria, a friend of mine visiting from Germany and my Norwegian friend Unni) headed down to Cordoba and as soon as we got there had fallen in love with the city. It was full of trees with green leaves and oranges. This doesn´t sound very spectacular, but I was really impressed to see real orange trees in the middle of winter. Unfortunately you can´t eat the oranges though.
The city of Cordoba has an amazing history and one incredible monument, the Mezquita. The former Mosque is the 3rd largest in the world and you probably can't imagine, but after the conquest, the Christians built a cathedral in the middle of the large complex, so now it is like two temples in one.
Apart from that, the Old Jewish quarter of town is definitely worth a visit and we stopped walking a hundred times to have a look at Cordoba's beautiful patios.
From Cordoba Unni and I headed on to Seville, another gem in the South of Spain, though way more touristy. I still can´t get over the perfect weather we had (18 degrees on a winters day in Europe!) and we were very lucky as Nuria's brother knows lots about the city and kind of played our tourguide for the day.
In Seville I also noticed that people in Andalucía generally seem to be a lot friendlier than for example people in Madrid. Is it the sunny weather that makes such a difference?
On thursday we moved on and visited a friend of mine in Cádiz. I hadn't been to the ocean in a while and therefore thorouhgly enjoyed spending a day on the beach. The water was too freezing to convince me to go swimming...
Cádiz is a rather small and relaxed city and by chance I bumped into a girl who I know from uni in Berlin. Just another example of how small the world is.
As we didn´t want to spend six hours on a bus getting from Cádiz to Granada in one day Unni and I decided to spent a night in Ronda, a tiny village in the Andalucian mountains. Already the journey to get there was great, we were the only (above all blonde) foreigners on a bus with lovely, old folks just hopping on the bus to get from one village to the next. Unni and I spent hours listening and chating to them (Andalucians have the funniest Spanish accent) and watching the beautiful landscape outside the bus.
When we finally reached Ronda it had already gotten dark, but I didn´t want to leave the place without having seen at least a bit of it in daylight.
To achieve this goal, I, who definitely isn't a morning person got up at 7 am the next morning to go for an early walk before catching the train to Granada. Unni, warm and cozy in bed had declared me nuts, but I loved walking around the deserted village, watching a beautiful sunrise over the Tajo river. Sometimes it's worth to sacrifice a good nights sleep.
Saturday afternoon we arrived in Granada and Unni had decided she didn't want to visit the Alhambra a second time. We then agreed I would try to sell her ticket and call her on the mobile when I would get back to town as we only had one set of keys for the hostel.
The amount of people lining up to buy a ticket for the Alhambra was outrageous and I would definitely recommend anybody to get them in advance over the Internet or any BBVA Bank branch throughout Spain.
With my 2 tickets in the hand I was now looking for a desperate single person who didn´t want to wait much longer and rather wanted to buy one of me. It happened to be this nice guy and we spent a great day visiting the stunning Alhambra together. And the craziest thing is that he´s an Aussie from Melbourne, where I will be going to live and study in February. He will still be travelling around Europe then, but we will definitely meet up again when he returns home.
Back in the city center I tried to call Unni, but she wouldn't pick up her phone nor answer my textmessages. 45 minutes later, when it was pitchblack and getting quite cold I was getting a bit nervous as the hostel also wouldn´t open the frontdoor for me as it said on a sign it was full.
1 hour and 30 minutes later (I had meanwhile called the hostel and nobody picked up the phone) I was getting a bit more than nervous (I mean close to freakin out) when finally somebody answer Unni´s phone. No, it wasn´t her it was the Lady from the hostel where we stayed in Ronda, telling me Unni had forgotten her phone. And of course she only had my number saved in her phone.
At this point I couldn´t decide whether to start crying or yelling, so I went to the next pub to warm up and come up with a great idea how to get in touch with her.
A few drinks later I had the perfect plan to leave a note with my phonenumber at the front door for her, hoping she would see it at some point.
Finally 3 hours later, me being a bit tipsy then and she being really sorry it all worked out and moral of the story is, always ask for two set of keys in a hostel or don't forget your mobile in a hostel, or not only save your friend´s phone numbers on the mobile...
Hope to get a chance soon to upload some pictures of the trip, so you can also get a visual impression of what´s Andalucia is like.
I absolutely loved it