sunshine in Seville and surfing in Sagres
17.02.2012 - 29.02.2012 20 °C
We are currently in Rossland, BC and spent today skiing in powder up to the ying yang but, since we haven't yet posted pictures or written about our last days in Europe, here goes....
We made it across the Straits of Gilbraltar and. while that rock did beckon us, we decided instead to spend our time in Spain. On recommendation from Nils' friends from his October Spanish adventure, we went to Seville, a beautiful, pedestrian-friendly city. We watched all the action of the rowers in the canal, toured the bullfighting museum, and enjoyed the sitting in cafés trying out different tapases/tapasae/tapas...you get the idea.
Once again, the fantastic, generic, inexpensive Rioja was well-appreciated.
We also witnessed a large, reasonably well-natured street protest which we think was opposing the privatization of the public electrical utility. It was an all ages event with lots of costumes and really loud mobile stereo systems pumping out upbeat contemporary music suitable to register outrage to. There were a lot of placards denouncing the real or imagined potential corruption of the proposed Government action....well-organized community dissent on a pleasant Saturday morning in "Sebilla" , as we affectionately referred to this very neat, historical Southwestern Spanish town.
In the centre of the city, we explored the Metropol Parasol, a recently-unveiled wooden structure which cost 90 million Euros. Referred to as "the mushroom" because of its shape, it is the largest wooden structure in the world. It provided an unobstructed, panoramic view of the downtown core. There are very few buildings that are more than 5 or 6 stories except for the venerable and abundant churches and palaces which were constructed over the course of numerous centuries of Sevillian cultural and occupational influence.
We stayed in the Seville Centre One Hostel and enjoyed the free Sangria each night at 10 pm (although we question whether an entire bottle of red actually made it into the punch bowl). You might be able to fool the current Kiwi or Bavarian guitar toting gap year student on a walkabout, but not these wiley veterans of hostels of a few years past !
From Seville, we moved to Portugal. We wanted to stay on the Algarve and not knowing much about the area, we choose accommodation in Sagres, the town which is the furthest south in Portugal. This location made for a longish bus ride from Seville but once we were there, we had no regrets. We stayed in a brand-spanking new condo complex and spent each day at the beach. Nils was able to follow a life-long dream of learning how to surf (more practice is needed) and we all spent some time at bodyboarding. The waves here are quite erratic so I spent much of my time picking sand out of my eyes and ears. The boys are much more skilled in the area of watching the waves.
When we weren't trying to ride the waves, we walked along the coast to the furthest point south, sat down and looked far, far off in the distance.
Next stop, Kittyhawk....
Aufwiedersehen Europa, we had a grand time living la dolce vita.