Thursday, September 28, 2023

Road trip along the Spanish coast

Good morning, dear Blogger friends.  Our first weekend in Spain culminated in the start of a road trip.   When I Googled for a map, I found several write-ups about the beautiful places we visited. I also noted the various tour prices. And again, realized how generous Rose and Pete were. 

Along the route, as we approached Tarifa, we passed hundreds of wind turbines.
Tarifa is a Spanish municipality in the province of Cadiz, Andalusia. Located in the southernmost end of the Iberian Peninsula it is primarily known as the one of the world's most popular destinations for wind sports. 

We arrived in Bolonia around 2pm. We were booking into a self-catering unit. Bolonia is a coastal village and beach in Tarifa municipality in the province of Cadiz, in Southern Spain. It's on the Atlantic shore and the beach is known as Playa de Bolonia (Bolonia Beach). The ruins of a complete Roman town are the most famous yet uncovered in Spain.  

We checked into our accommodation and as we'd not had lunch yet, we drove to a restaurant on the beach. Once we'd been shown our table and placed our orders, the waitron brought a basket of breadsticks and chewy chunks of ciabatta. Spain has a selection of breads endemic to the country. Empanadas (which we had been served at the Tapas bar in Mijas); Rustic Spanish Bread (I bought a loaf at a bakery later that week); Mollete bread (a Spanish bagel) and my favorite, Pan con tomate. The latter is made with any day-old bread, lightly grilled and topped with tomato salsa. All bread starters are served with a bowl of balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil.  

Absolutely delicious!

The next morning after breakfast at a nearby restaurant, Rose drove us to the city of Vejer. More beautiful Mediterranean atmosphere to soak up.
Posing against the backdrop of Vejer 
Celia, Rose and me

 I don't think there is a country in the world, that doesn't have a commemoration of our late leader, Nelson Mandela.

Celia and I under a park sign honoring Nelson Mandala

Since ancient times, Vejer has been characterized by a combination of agricultural and livestock farming activities on its land, whether on large estates, medium-sized farms of even the so-called Hazas de Suerte. 

 Because of its unusual position, Vejer was an enclave for Southern Europe's oldest civilizations. (the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans) and served as a defense against the 
Iberians of the interior as well as protecting the commercial factories and tuna fisheries established by these settlers on the coast. 

As early as 216BC when the Roman reigned ended in Spain, the Arabs conquered Vejer. 
When the Christians arrived in the 13th century,  
Ferdinand III, "the Holy', captured the town for the Kingdom of Castile, and Vejer and its castle became a border fortress in the face of the Moslem forces, In 1250, hence the addition of "de la Frontera" ('on the frontier') to its name. The king gave control of Vejer de la Frontera to Don Alonso Perez de Guzman, founder of the ducal house of Medina Sidonia, insisting that he respect the rights of its inhabitants, whom the king had declared to be "exempt from the tasks of farming and cattle rearing', conceding them the privilege of using "all the land, water, hills and woods in the town'. These wishes were respected by Perez de Guzman´s successors until the 16th century, when the Duke and Duchess went against them, which led the inhabitants of Vejer to sue the house of Medina Sidonia before the king, who decreed that all rights should be returned to the townspeople, along with the freedom to use common territories, land which is known today as "Hazas de Suerte" ('Plots of Fortune') and still enjoys the same status.

From Vejer, we traveled down to the coast to Zahara. Another beautiful town. We passed many luxurious homes, gardens and lodges which we guessed may be owned by the likes of Brad Pitt, Carlo Alcaraz, Morgan Freeman and more.
Celia and I pose against a beautiful seascape 

We ,who hail from the Southern Hemisphere, were fascinated by the late setting of the sun. 9.30pm is more than two hours later than the sunset in midsummer in South Africa. The sun sets so late in Spain because it is in the wrong time zone! It is on a similar line of longitude as Swansea in Wales and its clocks are set to Central European Time. 

That night, back at our accommodation, we had supper and then walked down to the beach to watch the sun setting. 

Rose captured this stunning sunset over the sand dunes
 and reflected on the lagoon surface 

The next morning, we set out for home and in Gibraltar, Rose turned in for me and Celia to see the monolith which I'd only ever heard about. 
Celia and I with the Rock of Gibraltar as backdrop!

After our holiday, the first day back in South Africa, was spent at Angus and Amanda's home in Bloemfontein. That night the children had a dinner to welcome us back. Ilse (Amanda's older sister - she who arranged our travel itinerary, including the flight bookings) asked me what the highlight of my trip was. Without hesitation, I said: seeing the Rock of Gibraltar close up! 

Meanwhile, back in Spain, we still had seven days of holiday with Rose. 

I'm on my way to a Weigh-Less seminar this weekend, stopping off to stay over with Gill (Grant's aunt) in Howick on Friday night. I will try to post when I get a few minutes. I'll spend Saturday night with my SIL, Shelley, and the next day she is taking me along on a guided bird walk. Whoopee. I will have great photos for future Saturday Critters with Eileen! 

Until then ...



  1. It looks and sounds fabulous. Your memory banks are packed.

  2. So lucky to have your own personal tour guide. The places look stunning.

  3. Hello Jo,

    Beautiful scenery from your trip, I like the view of the ruin and sea. You all look lovely in the photos, enjoying the warm sunny weather. It is cool to see the Rock of Gibraltar up close. Great trip photos. Take care, enjoy your day!

  4. wow and wow... what a trip you had. I love that staircase to the gate to paradise. beautiful photo, would love to see what is behind the gate. the reason for the gat i am sure. ha ha... so much beauty and you saw a great portion on it. I love the 3 sisters photo. you are blessed to have sisters. I have none. boo hoo

  5. Thanks for taking me along on your adventure. I love to see the Rock of Gibraltar, only seen it in books and photos.

  6. Gibraltar is a fascinating sight.

  7. Gosh so near and yet so far..... One day maybe we will get to meet up.
    Presume you have heard of the very sudden death of Lynda, what a shock and I feel so sorry for the two children.
    Keep well, Diane


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo