2012: My Year in Travel

This year was all about staying local. I ventured out of Spain a few times; once to make my yearly trans-atlantic trip home, and once to explore Lisbon, Portugal. In between those trips, I explored more of my adopted country, and consequently fell more in love with it. Though I have a long way to go before seeing the whole world, it’s hard to imagine many countries with the same diversity as Spain. I’m always impressed by how much there is to see and do–and I still have so much left!

Jimena de la Frontera, Andalucía, Spain

Jimena de la Frontera, Spain

Jimena de la Frontera, Spain

This year I really got into hiking and took advantage of the mild Andalusian winter to fit some in. In doing so, I took the train to Jimena de la Frontera and explored this pueblo blanco, as well as some of the surrounding trails. The white towns of Andalusia are something I will miss while being up north!

Madrid, Spain

Rooftop view of Madrid

Rooftop view of Madrid

I made a few different stops in the Spanish capital this year; to see the Copy Del Rey Final, to take care of some bureaucratic headaches and as a pit stop while passing through. It’s sprawling, bustling and has that big-city energy that I love.

Conil de la Frontera, Spain

Conil de la Frontera, Spain

Conil de la Frontera, Spain

Andalucía is the place to be in the summer. Blazing heat, countless beaches and that famous Spanish nightlife we’ve all heard of. Conil de la Frontera offers the perfect formula of sun, sand and fiesta and is a town I’d go back to in a heartbeat in the summer months.

Lisbon, Portugal

A street-car in Lisbon, Portugal

A street-car in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon was my travel let-down of the year. After I fell for the pristine coastlines and laid-back feel of Portugal’s Algarve, Lisbon  and I just didn’t connect. Maybe it was because I had high hopes for a city everyone seemed to love, or maybe it just lacked that special something, but it definitely wasn’t for me.

Leavenworth, WA, U.S.A.

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

There’s really nothing like doing a bit of globe-trotting to make you see your home with new eyes. While I was back visiting, I went to the Bavarian-style town of Leavenworth in the Cascade Mountains. Fall has never looked prettier!

Mt. Rainier, WA, U.S.A.

Mt. Rainier, WA

Mt. Rainier, WA

With my new-found love of hiking, I knew I had to hit some trails in my gorgeous home of Washington State. A trip to Mt. Rainier more than sufficed.

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria

I recently went to a medieval town I’ve been dreaming of visiting: Santillana del Mar in Cantabria. Stay tuned for a post recapping my visit!

Santander, Cantabria, Spain

Santander, Cantabria

Santander, Cantabria

Santander was another recent trip. Think rolling, green hills, an elegant downtown and more parks than time to explore them! Coming soon to the blog!

Where did you go in 2012?

 

What I’ll Miss About the Andalusian Summer

 

 

  

After a few blissful months of sunbathing on the beach and dips in the pool, balanced out with a healthy workload and visiting family to keep me busy, September has arrived. In Spain, that means the best part of the year is coming to a close. Schools are starting up, businesses resume their normal hours, and beaches lose their sun-baked crowds.

Summer in Spain is undoubtedly my favorite part of the year, and when September shows up, I always feel a bit of mourning because fall doesn’t really happen in my part of Andalucía. The leaves don’t change colors, there is no Halloween or Thanksgiving to look forward to—summer just slowly evaporates until suddenly I’m shivering in my apartment with 10 layers on and no central heating.

So let me take a moment to reflect on what I’ll miss about the Andalusian summer, because who knows how many I have left.

  • I’ll miss balmy nights strolling around the boardwalk at the beach and bartering at the evening market for handmade jewelry finds.
  • I’ll miss my daily uniform of dresses, bikinis, sandals and/or wedges.
  • I’ll miss the sun that doesn’t set til 10pm.
  • I’ll miss trying out a new beach every chance I got.
  • I’ll miss the freshest salad imaginable, and sweet, crisp watermelon for dessert.
  • I’ll miss splitting bottles of Rioja wine over a dinner of tapas.
  • I’ll miss late nights, open-air parties and rooftop drinks.
  • I’ll miss the ferias.

What will you miss most about summer?

Scenes from Conil de la Frontera, Cádiz Part II

Did you catch Part I of Scenes from Conil?

The Tower of Guzman, which is the symbol of the city. 

A cute pup cooling off in the shade of its owner’s restaurant.

The Church of Santa Catalina.

The blindingly white streets of Conil.

One of Conil’s many beautiful beaches.

The walkway down to the beach and hidden coves.

Palm trees and bell towers.

Hints of color in an otherwise white town.