As a birthday present this year, my mum and dad took me to Spain to stay in my tios’ house in the mountains of Fuente Camacho. A little drive from Malaga airport, the house is in a tiny village amongst dusty roads and almond groves. This was my first holiday in 8 years and the prospect of a getaway which could indulge my passion for languages really motivated me through degree hell. For me the perfect holiday is out of the tourist hub. It’s in those places you find the most authentic food and get to explore how other people live, derelict rusticity and all! Also, you are forced to speak Spanish as the locals won’t speak English which is always refreshing. I used to travel a lot as my best friend lived in Holland so we would go and stay with her family in school holidays as well as visiting my own family on the French/Spanish border. Exploring new places and learning languages is one of the things that makes me truly happy, there’s so much world to see! Here are a few of my favourite things about my latest Spanish adventure……
- The Voyage
Don’t ask why but I love aeroplane food – particularly because everything comes in its own sachet or packet! The fact that somewhere takes a train, plane and car to get to means its far enough away to leave the daily grind behind.
- Foreign Supermarkets
This is one of my first and favourite places to explore, from the food they sell (hola señor yucca and giant spring onions) to how products are packaged. Bonus points for buying that crazy looking fruit and making it work! Weirdest food discovery goes to chocolate covered wotsits – not good.
- The Landscape
There’s something really relaxing about being nestled in the dry mountains with a hat and some fresh fruit. The village we were in mines rock-salt and the salt crystals glittered like sparkly snow by the sides of the road.
The economic crash is still evident in the non-touristy Spanish towns, building sites are left deserted and beautiful villas crumble under the sun. One of the most stunning places we visited was Ronda, where the town sits flush with the steep cliff on the edge of a mountain as well as the Alhambra which was intricate perfection and really showed the moorish history that surrounds this area of Spain.
- Wild Things
Bats are one of my favourite animals (let’s be honest, they’re kittens with wings). At sunset they would swoop down to drink out of the pool, following suit of the swallows and swifts who enjoyed the cool water in the day time. Less favourable were the giant ants, jumping wolf spiders and massive wasps – but hey, you can’t have it all!
I hope you have a great summer whatever adventures you’re having, and if you’re at home this year, pack a drink and go to a new area of town with a friend! x