Cities of the South

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Thursday, November 24, 2011

Portugal said goodbye to us by showing us three of its most lovely towns on our way back to Spain: Evora, Beja & Serpa. Each town had a beautiful old centre, some great places to eat and very friendly people. We were reminded how much we had enjoyed the small towns of Portugal and were a little sad to leave.

We rode back into Spain and almost straightaway we were back in Jamon Iberico country. There definitely seem to be more pig and cattle farms in Spain. This time we were a bit further south, in Andalucia. After a few weeks in Portugal we were starting to get used to the hills, which is lucky because there are an awful lot of them in northern Andalucia!

Our first few days back in Spain were mainly spent dodging the rain, so we didn't see much. And none of the towns we passed through really grabbed us, they seemed rather empty and depressing. We're not sure if it was the time of year, or perhaps a sign of Spain's economic troubles, but lots of shops were shut and there was hardly anybody around.

We arrived in Seville and thankfully so did the sun. We spent a few days eating tapas and exploring the city before heading down to Cadiz. Jason was feeling a bit rundown, so I did a lot of wandering around by myself, getting a bit lost. And what a place to get lost in. After walking down lots of narrow winding streets I'd suddenly arrive in a small square with lots of bars opening onto it, or I'd find myself in some gardens on the waterfront. Cadiz is so small that if you keep walking around you'll eventually hit the water and then you can get your bearings again. The town seems to be built out of a very crumbly local sandstone which gives all the buildings a very rough weathered look. There are some very beautiful old buildings, but once out of the city walls the feeling changes completely and the charming decay gives way to a very over-developed and slightly seedy looking waterfront. I'm not sure I'd like to see this place in summer when I imagine it is packed with people, but for now Cadiz has completely charmed me and I'd happily drift through its crooked laneways for days.
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