After my time in Meco I headed back to Lisbon to meet up with Matt. We had decided to travel together for 2 weeks, he had just finished up his time in London and was ready to go traveling again. We spent a couple of days in Lisbon enjoying the beaches and the sights from around the city. I managed to see different places than I saw last time which was nice, now I’m an expert on the goings on in Lisbon.
It was sad to finally move on from the people I made friends with in Portugal but new areas were calling. Matt and I headed south to Lagos, we hadn’t booked any accommodation at all as per tradition, we couldn’t afford any hostels as all the cheap ones had been booked out. Fortunately a campsite close to the beach was cheap and they had places available, so we stayed there for 2 nights in the ridiculous heat. The beaches there were spectacular with the cliffs bordering the beach acting as a shelter from the elements.
We took the bus from Lagos into Spain to the city of Seville, again we had not done any research or planning, but we happened apon a great hostel down town. After checking in we headed out to the town to see the sights, we quickly realized this place was an oven! There were not many people out on the town midday when we were out, and I could hazard a guess it was due to the 44 degree temperatures that we were experiencing.
We walked down to the Plaza de España which hands down is the most incredible building I have ever laid eyes on. As we were walking upto it I could barely take it all in, the attention to detail combined with the sheer size of the building was mind blowing. I recognized a part of the arched hallway was where a scene from Star wars was filmed, and it did feel very much like I was in another world as I wandered through the opulent surroundings.
The rest of the city had its small European streets full of colour, incredible green parks filled with trees and fountains, bull rings and rivers yet everything was shadowed by the Plaza’s existence. I went for run in the evening when it was a bit cooler, I found a nice track along the river and as I was running along I looked up to a temperature guage they had set up and it was 41 degrees at 9.30pm! We only spent one night there before moving on to Malaga, we had one day away from the beach we were starting to feel withdrawals.
Matt and I decided to utilize the blabla car sharing application and get a ride to Malaga, on arrival we found the place to be incredible, no such massive buildings like in Seville but beautiful beaches and a laid back vibe throughout the city. The water was so warm, it was inviting us to stay for 2 days instead of one. We wandered through the old city and the new one to see the buildings and the busyness of the place in the height of summer, the talented people of the city were out showing their skills painting, blowing bubbles or playing instruments it was nice to see.
Granada was out next stop, I have only heard amazing things about this town and I couldn’t wait to see it! It is away from the coast and up in an elevated place with an incredible back drop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. There were amazing ancient buildings spread around the city, all a bit out of our price range to enter so we admired then from afar, instead we enjoyed the top notch sangria with free tapas in a few spots around the city. Delicious vegetarian tapas served with every drink, and cheap! The cheapest place we had been so far in Spain and quite possibly the best.
After a couple of days there we headed up to Madrid, I didn’t realise until the day before I got there, that a friend from primary school was living there, Deborah who I hadn’t seen in about 15 years! That makes me sound old, but in reality I was just really young when I last saw her. We found ourselves in a street fiesta, which seemed to spread throughout half the city, every street we turned down had merry Spaniards enjoying life. We only had time to spend one night there in Madrid as we wanted to spend a few nights in Barcelona to really enjoy our time there. It was a solid bus ride through half the country to get up to Barcelona, we had booked an Air bnb which we assumed was right in the heart of the city, it looked close enough to the center but on arriving when we tried walking into the city and around the place we quickly began to realise the sheer magnitude of the place. Our first day there we walked over 12km in the scorching sun, and through my dehydrated mashed up brain it made Gaudi’s architecture look even more bizarre. We climbed up through Gaudi park to see the view of the city, before heading back down to the beach to rest our weary legs. Along the way we stopped at the Sagrada Familia which stood in all its unfinished glory. The mammoth task that is said to be finished in 10 years time so I guess when I’m in my mid 30s I’ll have to plan a trip back.
We met up with a friend of Matts from school and a friend of mine from Bali while we were here, it seems like the place to be with its chilled beach vibe, good food and yet still the feel of a busy city, a good place to work hard and play hard. It was actually a bit sad to say goodbye to Europe on our last day in Spain as it has been a home for both Matt and I for a long time now. On our final day in Spain we each said about 20 times “man I can’t believe we will be in Israel tomorrow!” The 2 weeks we traveled flew by so quickly but we are both excited to see what lies ahead in Israel!