Spain and Portugal

February April 2003

 

Spain and Portugal 1 Spain and Portugal 2

 

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Our holiday in Spain and Portugal started at the end of February, not a perfect time for travelling and camping but with the advantage that the tourist attractions were not overcrowded and we had some places only for ourselves. In Germany was still winter with freezing temperatures but in Spain was a nice spring with ripe oranges and the trees in full bloom. We drove in two months 10.000 km following a route on the east coast of Spain, the south coast, then south and east coast of Portugal, after this we drove through the centre of Spain via Salamanca, Toledo, Teruel and Lerida. The point of interest were famous towns (Morella, Granada, Salamanca, Toledo, Ronda), Las Alpujaras region and Sierra Nevada with the highest peak Mulhacen 3478m, the Atlantic coast and the old villages in Portugal, the wilderness of Sierra de Gredos and Sierra de Albarracin. We discovered other very interesting places which were not in the travel guide but which were a highlight in our trip: the town of Albarracin with the Neolithic paintings nearby, the ruins of the Roman town of Ercavica and the carstic formations in Sierra de Albarracin.

The resume of our trip follows:

 

1

 

Morella Castle in Valencia

2

 

Unused windmill at Cabo de Gata in Andalucia

3

 

Cabo de Gata at the Mediterranean Sea

4

 

Alhambra in Granada (Andalucia)

5

 

Climbing Mulhacen 3478 m involves a three days trek starting from Trevelez at 1400 m and sleeping in Refugio de Poqueiro at 2500 m. We made this climb at the beginning of March when the mountains were still covered with a lot of snow and in the night the temperature went below zero. On the first day the weather was overcast and with strong winds which threatened to blow us away from the mountain but on the day when we climbed to the top we were lucky with very calm weather and clear sky. The view from the top was amazing and unforgettable; we could see the Atlas Mountains in Morocco more than 100 km distance over the sea.

6

 

Michael on the mountain face

7

 

Diana on top of Mulhacen 3478 m. The climb was not easy but was very rewarding. We had to find our way to the top because there was no formed path. And the way was only up, up and very steep. After 3000 m the air was very thin and breathing normal was difficult and the heart tried to compensate for the low concentration of oxygen by beating faster. All the effort was paid by the views offered on the top. On that day we were alone on the mountain.

8

 

Michael on the way down to the Refugio de Poqueiro. The heat from the sun transformed the mountain slope in ice slide and we had to be careful where we stepped. One wrong step and this would mean a 300 m slide to the valley.

9

 

Bobastro ruins a 1000 years old church carved out of stone

10

 

Ronda and the bridge Puente Nuevo

 

 

Altes village in Portugal

 

11

 

Handicrafts shop in Altes village (Portugal)

12

 

At Cabo de Sao Vicente with the view of the wild Atlantic (Portugal)

13

 

Capela dos Osos (Chapel of Bones) in Evora is a chapel made of human skeletons collected from old cemeteries from 16th century.

14

 

Street in Evoramonte, village from 13th century

15

 

Fatima

 

Spain and Portugal 1 Spain and Portugal 2

 

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