I have wanted to visit the Windmills of La Mancha at Campo de Criptana or molinos de viento (Spanish translation) as my Spanish friends call them, ever since since seeing them on Rick Steins Spain! They are quite the drive from Andalusia (nearly 6 hours in fact) so trying to persuade my husband that we absolutely had to visit some windmills so far away hadn't been too successful
So when a trip to Madrid came on the agenda (Its amazing how the Champions league final will motivate a man) I saw my opportunity. He gets football, I get culture and we both get a weekend in Madrid (coming soon)
This tiny pueblo, in the region of La Mancha, would be unknown if it was not home to a collection of windmills made famous by Don Quixote (which also happens to be one of the best ballets we have ever seen). The novel chronicles the adventures of Alonso Quixano in his quest to revive chivalry.
The most iconic scenes in the novel involves a collection of windmills that Don Quixote fights, mistaking to be giants.
The 10 windmills are such an impressive sight, their height and scale imposing over the little town like something out of a fairy-tale.
Dress is Zara, now in the sale HERE
We were on a whistle stop tour, so we didn't venture into the town. I had been told that there wasn't too much to do here once you had seen the giant windmills (la molinos de viento gigantes) so we came, saw conquered and hot footed it to Madrid for the weekend.
Am I glad I pursued mi hombre to do the 2 hour detour? Absolutely! These giant windmills are truly unique, and very very special. Another tick off my bucket list...
On our last trip to Seville, we discovered a side of the city that we didn't know existed. That's one of the things that I really love about the city. There is always something new to see.
Just over the bridge (Puente de Isabel II, which is definitely something to see in its right ) there is a whole other side to Seville. We also found the cutest Mercado full of Tapas stalls so we decided to stop for some lunch. If you are new to Tapas, this is the best place to start as its has a great variety of different types to offer.
Green maxi dress here
We were visiting the city for Semana Santos which has fast become one of my favourite Spanish festivals and it also a great time to visit Seville in general as the city is full of excitement. And i'm still amazed whenever a hooded Nazareno walks past (I explain more about this here)
We ran into some quite bad weather this year, which was quite the surprise as iv only ever really seen Seville with perfect blue sky's. However, the stormy backdrop made for some really beautiful shots of the city.
We chose a spot by the bridge, ready for one of the processions that crosses but as the storm clouds rolled in it was clear that the procession would be cancelled. In fairness, I don't think id like to be carrying a giant float during a thunder storm, but it was till a little disappointing.
So we made our way to the next procession, which I chose because the site of a giant float coming through the relative tiny doors of the church and proceeding through the little street is said to be truly a site to see.
We waited eagerly as the Nazarenos arrived for their procession. This in itself is really a spectacular site. Men, women and children of all ages take part in the processions, and their family's wait outside ready to catch a glimpse of their loved one. I'm told they can spot a member of their family a mile off despite the fact they are completely shrouded
But once again, they rain scuppered the plans again and after waiting around for at least an hour the procession was called off. I felt terrible for all of the people who had put in all of the work to plan and take part but as we all know, there is no controlling the weather.
Don't be too disappointed though, we saw lots last year and I wrote about them here
Last year we visited Seville during holy week as we had heard it was truly something to experience, and we were not disappointed (I wrote about it in this post)
So naturally I wanted to go back this year. We also like to stay local
After a lovely morning pottering about the city, we went to one of our favourite cafes Filo for a sugar fix. If sugar isn't you're thing though don't worry, they actually have a super healthy menu. Trust us to behave badly!
Whenever the Hubs and I feel like getting away for the weekend, our go to is Seville. It is the perfect weekend escape. Its a city that has it all... incredible architecture, good food, and an in intoxicating atmosphere.
Holy week in Seville and in fact Andalusia as a whole is unlike anything iv ever experienced to date. Last year we travelled a lot and saw some incredible places but one of the most unique experiences was right on my doorstep... (rather, a couple of hours drive away)
El hombre and I are total foodies, and are always looking for new places to try. Barcelona, has become somewhere that we've had some of our most incredible and interesting food experiences in. It seems to me that its a city totally on its gastronomic game right now.
Last year we had the most incredible experience at Moments, Mandarin Oriental. This year one of the new restaurants we tried was Lasarte
We have been to Barcelona a couple of times previously, but despite being desperate to have never quite found the time to visit Montserrat! Well, this time we did!
So it seems that el hombre and I have started a new tradition with an annual date weekend to Barcelona. Its quite a nice little tradition. After all, its just an hours flight away and is one of the most beautiful city's in Europe
This week some friends and I headed into Puerto Banus to check out Rosa's cafe in search of flower walls and pink lattes. If you have ever been to Elan cafe in knightsbridge or Menagerie Manchester, Rosa's would be right up you're street! Only here you have the added bonus of the Spanish sun.
Despite to glorious sun we actually chose to sit inside, because it was too cute not to. Think flower walls, rose gold details and macron towers
There is something for everyone on the menu, from cakes & macaroons to smashed avocado and smoothies. I suppose it depends if you are being a food angel or devil...
We ordered rosa's lattes (pink of course) made even cuter with the prettiest of coffee art.
And Rosa's eggs - Two organic poached eggs with avocado, tomato and caramelised onion. Id never had caramelised onion with avocado before and it was a revelation. And special mention to the perfectly poached eggs.
Today i'm showing you around the historical town of Ubrique. Its another super cute pueblo blanco (white town) in the Cadiz province set at the foot of the Serrania de Ronda Mountains. You may have heard of it before as its world-renowned for its leather industry.
Its quite the drive from our home in Sotogrande to this remote town, about 2 hours and up some majorly high and windy mountain roads. But its a beautiful drive past villages in towns and sunflower fields.
The view of the mountains over the tiny little white town is incredible. Photographs just don't do it justice.
For over a century, Ubrique has been world-renowned for its leather industry supplying the likes of Loewe, Louis Vuitton and Gucci but from what I could tell these are kept well hidden... either that or I just didn't know where to look. Its like its their little secret.
Bouganvilla filled pots and succulents decorate the streets, as is the southern Spain go to style. And something iv come to love.
Head into the Plaza d'Espana, Its easy to find, as it is the only large open space in the upper section of the city. Here you'll find the the best views of the town. The detailing on some the buildings is so beautifully intricate. From here, you'll also see the church of San Antonio and the main church in the square.
After a cafe con leche, go and get lost in the beautiful cobbled and somewhat steep streets that lead to even more beautiful details. A town that seems from another century, sleepy but beautiful.
As far as Spanish towns go, this one is very authentic. I actually didn't see one tourist the whole time we were there. Its very rustic and full of charm. Almost run down in some parts, but in the best possible way. Its easy to see why the town has been declared a historic site.
Don't forget to stop off and get THE panoramic view of the town, its truly breathtaking and worth the trip alone
I loved Ubrique, its definitely worth checking out if your visiting southern Spain
A Travel, beauty and lifestyle blog with the occasional afternoon tea by Angelina Belle
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