Dinner in Paradise

So far we have had a very cold winter here in Spain. But fortunately, a couple of Sundays ago, temperatures started to rise again. We decided to celebrate this event and go to the Costa tropical. Our favorite place there is Calahonda, but it turned out that most restaurants were still closed. Instead, we went to the smaller town of Castillo de Baños. One of the biggest attractions is the restaurant El Paraiso. The restaurant specializes in fish and seafood and is located right next to the sea. It’s not the cheapest place at the Costa, but the food is excellent!

The restaurant was full when we arrived, so we had to wait inside and half an hour later we couldto our greatest joy sit outside. Having dinner and observe the waves at the same time turned out to be a lot of fun.

Watching people and the big waves

Lars chose the escalope and I had the gambas with pil-pil sauce (a very aromatic and spicy sauce!). The food was very delicious; we really felt in paradise!

Chocolate cake for dessert and a brandy; in the meantime the waves got bigger and bigger!

Our GPS had one surprise in store. Instead of going home via the motorway, she sent us through the mountains of the Alpujarras. The landscapes were a real treat!

No matter what you are celebrating, restaurant El Paraiso will always be an excellent choice!

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Top 10 travel experiences of 2021

Let’s start with the bad news; our travel plans of last year mentioned a number of destinations, outside Spain. Although we got vaccinated pretty quickly, it was the growing list of extra safety measures that demotivated us. In other words: we stuck to Spain.

10. Booking an accommodation and upon arrival discovering that not only the pension, but basically the whole village is one movie location! Have a look here. 2021 has been a year of astonishing movie locations. Just look at this one!

9. Diving around in the Pyrenees. If you love majestic mountains, put this on your bucket list!

8. The most romantic location of 2021. It didn’t take us long to decide which one made our hearts beat faster; la Isleta del Moro.

7. TheMost Beautiful Monastery. The first trip of the year took us to the north of Spain, the land of El Cid This monastery was the highlight of this trip.

6. A plce of history: the Birthplace of El CID .

5.A Warm Welcome in Murcia. We spent midweek in Murcia, during which San Pedro del Pinatar was our home, not the most picturesque of Spanish towns, but with its beaches, bars and restaurant, it has a relaxing vibe

a yearly event we always look out for: the first snow in the Sierra Nevada

3.And even in our Sierra Arana, there are still places to discover

2. In the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia; I still have to write this post, but since i have so many pictures to edit,Ihope you will be patient with me

Our meal in the pyrenees was the best travelmoment of the year!it’s another reminder that the Spanih can with humble ingredients create magic!

First Snow in the Sierra Nevada

There’s no denying it, winter is approaching. The weather is still sunny, but temperatures have gone down to 15-20 degrees Celsius, which is about half of what we enjoyed during summer. Lars and I both miss summer, but seeing the first snow in the magnificent Sierra Nevada is special. Since we both come from flat countries, a drive in the Sierra Nevada -or any other Sierra for that matter – is always a delight.

These are the pictures we took:

Pradollano from a distance
Patatas a la pobre with fried eggs and a cold beer

A Historic Randonautica Adventure

Intent

This time we chose History.

Locations

We started in our hometown and ended in Piñar.

The adventure

There are lots of historic places in our hometown, but the app had its own ideas. It took us to the outskirts of the town, but at a certain moment the road became so bad that we had to change our location. Moreover, it was unclear whether we were still on a public road or a private one! That’s how we ended up in Piñar! And there we were lucky; the app guided us opposite the ruins of the medieval castle.

Aftermath 1

One month later, we returned to Piñar to take more pictures!

The local church
This little fellow didn’t trust us at all!

The castle dates from the 10th century.

Aftermath 2

I kept wondering, however, where the app wanted to bring us originally. After some research I discovered it: the small hamlet of Brancinas! And it is known for the ruins of a medieval castle! So, one evening, we decided to do some research there as well.

Our local church from a different POV
Local wildlife
On the road to Brancinas
Then somehow, we ended up in the local mountains!
The road to Brancinas
Oops! We were on a private road…trespassing!

Afterward, we contacted the tourism office of the province of Granada, who indeed confirmed that the road to Brancinas is private property and so is the castle! They found this website:

  https://www.xn--castillosdeespaa-lWb.es/es/content/barcinas-castillo-de

Maybe things didn’t go as planned, but Brancinas was an interesting discovery.

And here is the video:

Lunch in Salobreña

Salobreña is one of the bigger town at the Costa Tropical (the coastline of the province of Granada). It consists of two parts: the Old Town with its Moorish castle and the touristic part with new developments. Salobreña has 5 beaches where you can find a lot of chiringuitos (bars/restaurants). We decided to give Casa Emilio a try, and we were not disappointed.

Relaxed Viking
Mixed paella for lunch
My dessert
Grilling fish
Lots of waves

This is the address of Casa Emilio: Calle Paseo Maritimo 5, Salobreña. Check out their website.

Excellent service and food, reasonable prices and Salobreña is very picturesque!

A Place In The Alpujarra To Fall In Love With – Pitres and Its Hamlets

There are dozens of villages in the Alpujarra; most of them are ignored by tourists, like Pitres. Yet, it’s a very charming small town.

A local black beauty was awaiting us at the bar.

She kept us company for a long time, although we hardly shared any food with her. Look at this moment of tenderness between her and the Viking:

The church dates from the 16th century, but had to be repaired twice, the last time was after the Civil War.

It takes about half an hour to explore the rest of this cute town.

There are a handful of hamlets that belong to Pitres, and we visited two of them: Mecina and Ferreirola.

Whereas Mecinas still has a couple of bars, you won’t even find that in Ferreirola and the church has seen better days. At least, the local folklore is colorful:

When you come from Lanjaron or Orgiva, you will see road signs toward the hamlets just before you arrive in Pitres.

Discovering The 3 Gems of the Alpujarra

There are three villages that are generally seen as the most beautiful ones of the whole Alpujarra. Coincidence or not, these three are each other’s neighbors, so you can visit them in one day.

Avoid the weekends for a visit, when the villages are invaded by photography enthusiasts from all over Spain.

We started our exploration in Bubión, an artistic centre with typical narrow streets.

View of the village
Sharing a plate with Alpujarran specialities

Next stop, the largest of the 3 villages: Capileira.

Around the village, we encountered some local wildlife.

Some wilder than others:

Back to the center with its steep, narrow streets and picturesque plaza:

Our favorite was the other small village, Pampaneira. With temperatures around 100F, we quickly sought refuge in the shadow of the local church.

We were enchanted by the abundant colors and flowers. This is Spain at its best!

In our next posts, we will show you more gems that we have discovered in this area, including an encounter between Lars and a local beauty.

An Alternative Route to Trevelez

Most people who go to Trevelez take the classic route via Lanjaron, Orgiva, Pampaneira.

There is an alternative route that takes you to an equally interesting area.

First off, program your GPS for La Calahorra, a small town with 700 residents and a huge Renaissance castle.

You can only visit the castle on Wednesday (10am). Keep on following the A337, a serpentine road that takes you to the Puerto de la Ragua, ski station during winter, recreational area during summer.

Once you leave the puerto, put the GPS on Trevelez and admire the landscapes.

Located at a height of more than 1400 meters, Trevelez is known as the highest mountain village in Spain. Whether this is true or not is a totally different matter, but because of the height and the fresh air, Trevelez can produce some of the best hams in Spain. The hams are dried during some months and have an incredible taste.

Bocadillo with the local ham

Because of its famous ham, Trevelez can attract a lot of tourists in summer. Nevertheless, if you like good food, it is worth a visit.

In our next post, we will show you the most beautiful villages of the Alpajurra.

Photo Essay: Alpujarra Impressions

2021 is going to be the year that we started to seriously explore the Alpujarra, the mountains that start to the south of the Sierra Nevada and stretch out all the way to the Costa Tropical. When we go on an excursion and have no specific destination, we often end up wandering around in this magnificent area.

An interesting starting point can be the small wine village of Torvizcon:

After our snack, the wandering around started:

In our next posts, we will suggest some locations to visit in the Alpujarra.

Discover One of the Most Beautiful Towns in Granada, Montefrio

Remember this? When we were admiring the views of Montefrio, we vowed to come back. And that’s what we did some weeks ago.

We had programmed our GPS to the center of town, and she sent us to the church, where we found a spot to park our car. The Iglesia de la Encarnación is one of the very few circular churches in the world, and it dates from the 18th century.

Everywhere we go, there is a nice dog greeting us.
A drink with an outstanding view

In the bar where we had a drink, we asked if we could go all the way to the top of the rock, where the Iglesia de la Villa (the former Montefrio Castillo) is located. They said yes, but in reality you can’t. You can only drive toward the base of the rock, but you can have some stunning views of the area around Montefrio there. Afterward, you will have to walk to the top.

Most of the people come to explore the 2 landmarks in Montefrio. That will take you about half a day. The center though is worth a look because of its many bars and restaurants.

Later this week, we will be back with a series about the Alpujarra!

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