Posted by: crossroads49 | November 6, 2011

Road Trips In Spain

AlyssaSpainTraveling or vacations should be more than getting from point “A” to point “B” in a mad dash. Traveling or vacations should not be going to grandma and grandpa or back to the home place with every chance that you get. Vacations and traveling should be a time to break away from the norm. Traveling or cadizvacations should be awe-inspiring, educational, entertaining, and most of all relaxing; however, who you choose to travel with can make or break a great get-a-way. I would say that when and if you take a road trip, vacation, or cruise with a group or a few friends everyone one should be on the same page with the same idea. One can not want to golf while another want to swim, while another want to hang out in bars. I do all I can to stay away from group tours. Now if someone want to get off the beaten path and indulge in the local culture, I am all for that, but bar hopping and golfing I can do without. It is a given that with the world threat of terrorism it has become very difficult to travel, also with the TSA, the high cost of air travel, the high price of gas for the family automobile traveling is almost a luxury item that most can ill afford. However, there is a need to relax and nourish the body and soul. With common sense and intuitions a person can still get out and about and enjoy life like it was before 9/11. Thinking back, before 9-11, in 1995 I went to Spain PCasa_Christmas_Brunch_2008 on a military deployment and I really had a wonderful time there. My first funny moment occurred shortly after I arrived at the US Naval Air Station in Rota, and went out to my first restaurant. I PCasa_bar6was with a person who said that they spoke spanish and they were going to order drinks and food. They were talking to the waitress, who was looking at them like they were crazy, and wondering what language they were speaking. So I asked the waitress, “do you speak English”, and she replied, “yes”, and she asked what language my friend was speaking, I replied, “Spanish,” and she laughed and said with a big smile a mile wide, “Oh, Mexican, I see, but we do not speak Mexican here.” Now, the moral of this story if there is one, don’t assume that you have to be bi-lingual, nor fluent or proficient in the language of a country that you may visit. Almost everyone speaks English, now American English is a whole “nuther pig”, or horse of a different color. I think Winston Churchill or Betrand Russell said it best when they said, “Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language”, or we can take a page out of Paul Newman in the movie Cool Hand Luke’s book,”What we have here is a failure to communicate”. Now here is my take on Spain, I will not try to be an expert because I just went with the flow and had a great ALHAMBRA_Int_lassic_Htime. My visit began in Rota, a town of approximately 27,000 people in the Andalusia region of Spain, located in Cádiz province, across the Bay of Cádiz from the city of that name.
Rota: is bordered by the towns of Chipiona, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. It is located on the Atlantic coast, approximately halfway between Portugal and Gibraltar.The current town was founded by the Phoenicians at approximately the same time as Cádiz. Rota is assumed to be the same city known as cordobaAstaroth of the Tartesian empire. It later passed to the Romans, who knew the town as Speculum Rotae. Following the arrival of the Moors in Spain, the city became known as Rabita Rutta (“watchtower of Rota”), from which it derives its present name. From 1248 onwards, the Moors were gradually expelled from Spain, and the city became Christian
Madrid:The capital of Spain, located in the heart of the peninsula and right in the center of the Castillian plain 2,199 feet above sea level, has a population of over three million. A cosmopolitan city, a business center, headquarters for the Public Cordoba2Administration, Government, Spanish Parliament and the home of the Spanish Royal Family, Madrid also plays a major role in both the banking and industrial sectors. Most of its industry is located in the Southern fringe of the city, where important textile, food and metal working factories are clustered. Madrid is characterized by intense cultural and artistic activity and a very lively nightlife The grand metropolis of Madrid can trace its origins to the times of Arab Emir Mohamed I (852-886), who ordered the construction of a fortress on the left bank of the madrid2Manzanares river. Later it became the subject of a dispute between the Christians and Arabs until it was conquered by Alonso VI in the 11th century.
Barcelona:The city of Barcelona In a privileged position on the northeastern coast of the Iberian peninsula and the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain in both size and population. It is also the capital of Catalonia, 1 of the 17 Autonomous Communities that make up Spain. There are two official languages spoken in Barcelona: Catalan, generally spoken in all of Catalonia, and Castillian Spanish. The city of Barcelona has a population of 1.510.000, but this number spirals to more than 4.000.000 if the outlying areas are also included. The capital of Catalonia is unequivocally a Mediterranean city, not only because of its geographic location but also and above all because of its history, tradition and cultural influences. The documented madridhistory of the city dates back to the founding of a Roman colony on its soil in the second century B.C. Modern Barcelona experienced spectacular growth and economic revival at the onset of industrialization during the second half of the 19th century. The 1888 World’s Fair became a symbol of the capacity for hard work and the international outlook projected by the city. Culture and the arts flourished in Barcelona and in all of Catalonia; the splendor achieved by Catalonian modernism is one of the most patent displays.
Cadiz: Cadiz is a city in southwestern Spain and one of the ports of call on a Disney Cruise Line European Cruise vacation. Being the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, it is a family vacation destination steeped in rich antiquity.
Cadiz is one of 8 provinces that comprise the autonomous community of Andalusia; it serves as a continual link between Spain and the rest of Europe. Cadiz has also served as a gateway to the New World since the discovery of America, making it not only a vibrant high-traffic port, but a hotspot for cultural exchange and activity.There are granada3abundant wonders and many things to see and do in Cadiz. Visitors can sample the rich and ancient history of the city at its various landmarks—each preserving the styles of the periods in which it was built. Treat your family to many of these architectural styles at the Cathedral (la Catedral). No single edifice marbella-spain-beachtouches upon so many aspects of Cadiz’s history than this one—built over a period of 116 years by several different renowned architects. It incorporates a gorgeous combination of baroque, rococo and rota spain3neo-classical styles. Tourists can also journey through time by visiting the spectacular 18th-century Torre Tavira watchtower or the grand and stately Plaza España—a city square built in commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the city’s constitution and dominated by the awe-inspiring Monument to the Constitution of 1812. There’s also the Santa Catalina Fortress, a military fortification built in 1598 that has recently been converted to a concert and exhibition hall, or most excitingly, an ancient and intact Roman theater that was serendipitously discovered underneath the foundation of a warehouse destroyed by fire in 1980. Venture inland to Medina Sidonia and discover an unspoiled hillside village straight out of the Middle Ages. Walk cobblestone streets, inspect the Gothic church, study the Moorish gates and admire a collection of tile-roofed white buildings dotting the hillside. Cadiz is a city with its own distinctive culture, and one that proves exciting and new for most visitors.
Andalusia:Distinctive architecture, sun-drenched resorts and eclectic small towns dot costaAlmeriaProperty3Andalusia, a dry, mountainous region of southern Spain that maintains echoes of its Moorish occupation. Spring and fall bring balmy temperatures, ideal for visiting Seville’s cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic structure, and the 1,200-year-old mosque in CÂrdoba. Romantics love Granada, home to the fortress of Alhambra and an inspiration to the late poet Federico García Lorca. Don’t miss a dip in the sea along the Costa del Sol.
Cordoba: As impressive and surprising Cordoba presents itself to today’s visitor, as impressive and surprising was its past. Not many know that in 11th century it was one santamariabeach
of the most important capitals in Europe. People of the most different cultures and religions – Jews, Muslims and Christians – were living peacefully together, and important philosophers, scientists and artists emerged from here. Knowing about Cordoba’s sevilla
cultural background you will certainly find interesting additional aspects when visiting its great monuments – first of all of course the world-famous Mezquita, the Moorish mosque – and museums. On the other hand Cordoba is as well a very lively town in the best Andalusian tradition, a town of Flamenco and bullfighting, and certainly one of the most attractive destinations in southern Spain.
bullfughter Seville: Serville is located in the South of Spain. A provincial capital, seat of the government and parliament of the Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía (Regional Government). It has more than 700,000 inhabitants, nearly half the population of the whole province. The city of Seville is located on the plain of the granada-spainGuadalquivir river which crosses the city from North to South. The river can be navigated from Seville all the way to its outlet near Sanlúcar de Barrameda, on the Atlantic coast. In the past the port of Seville played an important role in commerce between Spain and the Americas and it remains today one of the most active river ports of the Iberian peninsula. The Tartessians were the original founders of Hispalis. Next to this settlement, in 207 B.C., the Romans built Itálica. It was the centre of their bullfighterWestern Mediterranean dominions for seven centuries until the Roman empire was overrun by Northern barbarians at the beginning of the 10th century. The long Moorish occupation of the Iberian peninsula, from 711 A.D. to 1248 A.D., left indelible traces in Seville as in all of Al-Andalus. La Giralda, the tower of an important mosque, is the most well-known of the remaining Islamic monuments. In 1492 Seville played an important role in the discovery and conquest of America. The 17th century was a period of artistic splendour in Seville. Painters such as Velázquez, Murillo and Valdés Leal, and sculptors like Martínez Montañés were born in Seville and left behind important works. The city also assumed an important role in world literature and was the birthplace of the myth of Don Juan. On two occasions in the 20th century Seville has been in the spotlight of the world’s attention. In 1929, it hosted the Latin American Exhibition, which left important urban improvements in the city. More recently, Expo 92 reinforced the image of Seville as a modern and dynamic city.
Granada: Granada was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period, and was granadaknown as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonised southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris. The Arabs, invading the peninsula in the 8th century, gave it its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon. One of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C. This mighty compound of buildings – including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens – stands at the foot of Spain’s highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada.
244074454NcmQTx_fs MARBELLA: Marbella stands in considerable contrast, after another sequence of apartment-villa urbanizaciones, to most of what’s come before. It is undisputedly the “quality resort” of the Costa del Sol, where restaurants and bars are more stylish and everything costs considerably more. It has the highest per capita income in Europe and more Rolls Royces than any European city apart from London (although many of the classy cars here are rumoured to have been stolen elsewhere and re-registered in Spain). Recently the Spanish government and local police have been exercised by the arrival in Marbella of Russian and Italian mafia bosses who have been buying up property and using giralda-c-paradox
Marbella as a base to control their criminal empires, while in an ironic twist of history, there’s been a massive return of Arabs to the area, especially since King Fahd of Saudi Arabia built a White House lookalike, complete with adjacent mosque, on the town’s outskirts.To be fair, the town has been spared the worst sevella2excesses of concrete architecture inflicted upon Torremolinos. Marbella also retains the greater part of its old town – set back a little from the sea and the new development. Centred on the Plaza de los Naranjos and still partially walled, the old town is hidden from the main road and easy to miss. Slowly, this original quarter is being bought up and turned into “quaint” clothes boutiques and restaurants, but this process isn’t that far advanced. You can still sit in an ordinary bar in a small old square and look up beyond the whitewashed alleyways to the mountains of Ronda. The truly rich don’t stay in Marbella itself. They secrete themselves away in villas in therota surrounding hills or lie around on phenomenally large and luxurious yachts at the marina and casino complex of Puerto Banús, 6km out of town towards San Pedro. If you’re impoverished, this fact is worth noting as it’s sometimes possible to find work scrubbing and repairing said yachts – and the pay can be very reasonable. As you’d expect, Puerto Banús has more than its complement of cocktail bars and seafood restaurants, most of them very pricey.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain large-andalucia



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