Blissful days in Palma de Mallorca

“You’re going to Mallorca? You? Really?” That’s the reaction I got from most of my friends. Can’t blame them really. I usually tend to go for more adventurous or exotic locations than that, but sometimes a girl is simply in need of some summer sun. A cheap flight to Palma de Mallorca seemed like the perfect medicine to escape the changeable Irish weather! Looking to spend a few days in Palma too? Let me guide you through some of my best moments in and around the city and discover the Continue Reading

The unspoilt Andalusian charm of Cádiz

“Cádiz, in the early morning hours, the air filled with the smell of salt.” (Niña Pastori) These lyrics sung by Cádiz’ native Niña Pastori perfectly illustrate my feelings for this southern Spanish city. Feelings of hot summers, feelings of yearning, feelings of a long lost love. It’s a perfect song for a perfect city! I had the chance to stay in Cádiz during one long summer month while attempting to brush up my Spanish language skills. Ever since, when asked about my favourite Continue Reading

Check out the tastiest tapas bars in Málaga

“This looks good, what is it?” I ask the waiter in front of me. The answer gets lost somewhere between my limited understanding and his strong Andalusian accent. It doesn’t matter really, I’m not even hungry. Hunger is irrelevant in Spain anyway. Seeing the perfectly displayed tapas in front of me, a glass of Rioja in hand, I’m ready to devour it all! This is my 3rd time in Málaga. A mere 10 km away, the resorts serve up stodgy paella and sickly sangria. But the city has managed Continue Reading

Tarifa: where Europe ends and Africa begins

I am standing on the walls of the Guzmán El Bueno Castle. Below me are the blue waters of the Mediterranean and in the distance I can spot the lights of Tangier, Morocco. I have arrived in Tarifa, Spain, the southernmost point of the European continent, the place where Europe ends and Africa begins… I love these kind of places: they make me somewhat dreamy, nostalgic, sad and curious at the same time. I could sit here for hours, watching the ferries coming in and out, wondering what lies Continue Reading

The day Spain brought me to tears

Tears are welling up behind my dark sunglasses. Around me people are waving white handkerchiefs and the encouraging “olés” can be heard all over La Glorieta. I knew I shouldn’t have come… What was I thinking? It all started the day before, when travelling from León to Salamanca. In the bus station my attention was drawn towards the numerous posters advertising Salamanca’s “Feria Taurina” or “bullfighting festival”. I had always been curious about this Spanish tradition or Continue Reading

Tenerife: a tale of mountain ranges, pilot whales and colonial towns!

“Tenerife? Isn’t that the place where thousands of British pensioners flock together to bake in the sun?” I am not going to spend a week eating fish and chips and listening to Brits moaning about the heat!” was my first, not so enthusiastic reaction, when my travel partner came up with the idea. It was safe to say I needed some convincing that there were actually things to do in Tenerife. After reading up on the destination however, it turns out there’s another Tenerife, Continue Reading

The five most stunning white villages of Andalucia

Andalucia: a place where the sounds of guitar and flamenco still resonate, a region where the corrida (bull fighting) agitates the spirits and where the numerous religious fiestas create a never ending vibrant atmosphere. But behind these clichés lies a lesser known Andalucia. Deep within the valleys or high perched on a mountain top lie the numerous white villages of Andalucia, hidden from the madness of the coast! This is the Andalucia I love, the place I return to over and over again! This Continue Reading

Celebrating Semana Santa in Andalucia

The sound of the rattling metal ball and chain is disturbingly lugubrious as the penitents walk barefoot on the cobbled streets of Ronda. The attentive public watches them in utter and complete silence. Tonight is the night of “El Silencio”, probably the most impressive procession during “Semana Santa” or “Holy Week”. Semana Santa is one of the most important celebrations in Andalucia, southern Spain. It is  the annual commemoration of the Continue Reading

The best tips for learning a language abroad

I was in my second year of Spanish when I proudly declared: “Mi ciudad es muy famoso para su sopa de polla”. The face of my teacher went bright red as she, a little embarrassed, explained me that the Spanish word for chicken is “pollo”, “polla” apparently means “penis”… I spent the rest of the evening trying to convince my fellow students that my city wasn’t producing any phallic-shaped soup whatsoever. It was also at this very moment that I realized that, if I wanted to Continue Reading

Village life in the Spanish mountains

It’s mid-March when I land in Malaga, the gateway to Andalusia. John is picking me up and together we set off for Cartajima, a tiny village in the Ronda-mountain range of Andalusia. This will be my home for the next two weeks; the place I chose to start my first experience of volunteering abroad: helping out in a hotel! I am going to help John and Di running “Los Castaños”, a small boutique hotel. My main tasks are setting up the breakfast and dinner table, cleaning dishes and changing Continue Reading