I love to travel. Whether it's locally, nationally or globally, there is so much to see in the world and so much that can be learned from traveling. The "travel bug" bit me when I was a small child and my parents, who were both educators, would pack us up and we'd hit the road (trailer in town) to explore another part of our continent. Since then, I've continued to explore the world and seek out a new adventure each year. Most recently, I was able to join a group of friends to spend some time in Spain, one of my favorite countries, and explore the White Towns of Andalusia. Located in the southern part of Spain, they span from Sevilla to the coast on Malaga, and are characterized by their Moorish architectural influence. Homes typically have white washed walls and red or brown tile roofs, many of which are tucked up in the mountains.
We started in Seville where we toured an amazing cathedral where Christopher Columbus' crypt is located. The church was marked by incredible details including carved wooden walls as tall as two stories with gold detailing. The town's narrow streets and windy conditions afforded a new adventure around every corner. We stayed at Las Casas de la Judería, where the owner combined 27 homes together, connecting them with courtyards and an underground tunnel. It took me about 10 minutes to travel from the reception area to my room via tunnel, and I enjoyed taking a peek at other rooms, as each is completely different.
Next we traveled to Arcos de la Frontera, a town perched on a cliff. We had to fold the mirrors of our small car in to navigate the town's streets and get to our hotel, which was a Parador. We wended our way through the streets and discovered a divine local restaurant with a bull fighting motif, tapas, and red wine, before we resumed exploring the architecture and stunning views.
Arcos de la Fontera was just the beginning of our exploration. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to explore Zahara, Mijas, Rhonda, Malaga, El Bosque, Grazalema, Sentenil de las Bodegas, and Olivera. Each town gave us a new adventure, whether we were climbing up a hillside to enter an old castle or eating lunch at a restaurant tucked within a cave. The sights, sounds, food, wine, spending time with friends, and getting to know the locals was priceless.
After we finished our tour of the White Towns, we headed to Cadeques for a short stay with friends and then back Barcelona for five days.
Each time I take a new trip, I am reminded of the importance of exploring the world and opening oneself up to the possibilities that travel ignites.