European Escapades

Archive for May, 2010

Gibraltar Rocks

08

May

2010

just walk across this little runway to enter gibraltar
Just Walk Across This Little Runway to Enter Gibraltar.

I will have to admit to you that one place I was looking forward to seeing was Gibraltar. I remember from my childhood watching the 8mm cine films of my dad from his time in the navy and stories from my Nan of the place and because of this it has always held good memories. From the infamous Barbary apes and their antics, to the iconic views of the rock from the cruise ships in port as well as from mainland Spain. From the campsite we had a far trek to the bus stop on the outskirts of La Linea, but once there it was an easy ride directly into the centre of town where we could walk to the border and on into Gibraltar itself. When you do get to the city centre you can see a new development of shops and cafe restaurants along the route towards the Spanish border and you can understand how the town is trying to create a good impression for the tourist that must surely be coming the other way out of Gibraltar and onto the mainland.

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Bar Salas, La Linea

07

May

2010

the only outside shot I found of this great little restaurant
The Only Outside Shot I Found of This Great Little Restaurant.

The part of town that we found ourselves in looked poor and unkempt, small houses huddled together for comfort. Some with clean white walls and a cared for exteriors, but most given into the depression around them. The only bright light in what was to us a sad little town was a small doorway into a local restaurant. Once we had taken our first step across the threshold and entered the premises, it was a different world from the one we had just left outside. It was filled to the rafters with people, families and couples, friends and business men alike, all around small crowded tables. If we didn’t know better we would describe it as pandemonium,

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From Ronda to the Line

06

May

2010

the beautiful valley looking towards gausin
The Beautiful Valley Looking Towards Gausin.

We could go south from Ronda to the coast and take the motorway to La Linea de la Conception, but where would the fun in that be. No for us, there was a nice small orange road right through the surrounding hills via the small town of Gaucin. Seems we like to take the less obvious routes when we can, although they do sometimes get us into trouble. I have to say that the views that we encountered was worth the slower road as we traversed around tight bends and over to top of the hills, to be greeted with spectacular views of the valleys and villages below. At first it seem coming from Ronda was the wrong way to take the mountain road, as every parking area or photo opportunity point was on the wrong side for us and we were unable to pull in, to take a photograph of the wondrous scenery we were enjoying. However once we were over the peaks and descending down the other side of the range, it was our turn to have all the photo spots open for our viewing pleasure. Along the route we noticed a good number of cafes and restaurants waiting for customers, some with ample parking for a small six metre motorhome like ours. We were out of food and had a long journey ahead so we declined the almost irresistible urge to stop and partake in some lunch and decided to wait until we had sorted our provisions and parked ourselves at ‘Sur Europa’.

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Wild About Meeting Victor

04

May

2010

the beautiful olive grove
The Beautiful Olive Grove.

Leaving Granada in a bit of an annoyed state, we decided that we had had enough of campsites again and rather than head back down the coast towards Malaga, for potentially some more of the same attitude. We would move cross country to a wild camping site near Antequera. We had a fallback position with a campsite shown just north of the town in a site called Saydo. The wild site we had found, was a part built campsite that was abandoned when they found out how much it would cost to get water connected to that area, or so we were told. We found it on a Spanish website called www.furgovw.org which seems to be a forum, allowing people to recommend site across Spain and Portugal for wild camping. At this time we did not know if it would prove useful but as we were in the mood we were, it was as good a place and time to find out.

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The Magic of the Alhambra

02

May

2010

the alhambra palace on the elm wooded sabika hills
The Alhambra Palace on the Elm Wooded Sabika Hills.

A six o’clock start for us is a very abnormal thing these days as it’s usually an eight thirty wake, finally getting our arses out of bed around nine, nine thirty and that’s only with the smell of freshly brewed Earl Grey tea coaxing me up. The Earl Grey tea situation is not desperate at the moment as I managed to find some loose leaf when we were in France, but as yet our forays into Spanish supermarkets has proved unfruitful, so I am getting a little worried. Fortunately the milk situation is stable as most large supermarkets; we have been able to find small caches of the stuff, hidden near the shelves upon shelves of the fake stuff they seem to love here. But today was different and a six o’clock start was required if we were to get into the centre of Granada and up to see the Alhambra Palace without a pre booking. Seems the place is so popular that you have to pre-book a few days in advance to get in or you have to turn up at eight o’clock at the latest and wait in a queue for an hour or so and see if you are lucky enough to get one of the few available tickets on the door. We meet two guys from the campsite at the bus stop as we wereawaiting the first bus of the day at seven. Seems they are also off to try and see Alhambra and we decide to search out and share a taxi once we reach the town centre.

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Nothing Changes But The Price

01

May

2010

a lovely place for a drink, if only it was open
A lovely place for a drink, if only it was open.

Camping Reina Isabel was the name of the site, I’m not sure if the ACSI reviewer had his rose tinted glasses on when he visited the site, but fortunately we didn’t. It is true this site was perfect for visiting Granada and to be honest with you, that’s all we really wanted the site for. However if it gave perfect shaded areas it was because the pitches were so small that the hedges or campervans shadows blocked out any sun that tried to get through. We had just enough space between our campervan and the hedge to put a chair out. The table was out of the question. The only way to spread out sufficiently was to place oneself at the edge of you pitch in the roadway.

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