Saturday, April 10, 2010

Semana Santa - Huelva (Days 8, 9, and 10)

On Friday, April 2nd I landed in Sevilla...back in my "homeland" of Andalucia :).  At the airport waiting for me were Nacho and Florian, two friends I met while walking the Camino de Santiago. Florian, from Berlin, had planned to visit Nacho in Tarragona over Easter, but Nacho surprised him with a trip south, to Huelva. Since Huelva is sort of in my neck of the woods, I decided to join them for a couple days.

We left Sevilla and an hour or so later, arrived in Huelva. Despite its proximity to Ubrique and the province of Cadiz, I had never visited I was pretty excited.  We arrived, went straight to meet Nacho's cousins, and then we all went out for lunch. And boy was it a grand lunch!  After traveling alone for a week, I had been saving money and buying most of my meals (aka sandwiches) from supermarkets. But not in Huelva. Nope. My first meal in Huelva was with six other people, and included about three or four courses of tapas, salads, main dishes, etc. After lunch, we briefly explored the capital city of Huelva and stopped for coffee and some of the best desserts in the world!  I tried about three or four different cakes and typical sweets, and loved every bite of every one!

The afternoon was pretty low key - we were all tired from traveling, dropped our bags off at our little cabin (that Nacho had rented for him and Florian) and just hung out for the rest of the afternoon. Around 20:00, we headed back into town to see some of the Holy Week processions.  After the processions, we grabbed a bite to eat, and of course, went out for a quick night cap. 

On Saturday, April 3, Florian, Nacho, Nacho's cousins (Sandra and Antonio) and I jumped in the car and headed for the mountains. We visited the historic RioTinto Mines, Aracena, and a few more charming mountain towns. We spent the afternoon town hopping - enjoying lunch in one, coffee and dessert in another, and the views of another. It was a very pleasant day to say the least!  When we got back to Huelva, we stopped off to visit the monument to Cristopher Columbus (or to Cristobal Colon as he is known here), explored the dock area, and headed back to Sandra and Antonio's flat to order Chinese food! After a delicious and incredibly cheap meal, we spent a couple hours just talking, exchanging travel stories and experiences and practicing a mixture of Spanish, English, and German! :)  

On Sunday, well, my adventures came to an end.  Florian, Nacho, Nacho's uncle, and I hopped in the car and headed for Ubrique. Once in Ubrique, I took everyone out for tapas and we enjoyed some typical andalucian/ubriqueno food. Then we went down the main Avenue, had a coffee, and explored Ubrique.  Unfortunately, since it was about 2 hours 30 minutes back to Huelva, around 18:30 I said my goodbye's to Nacho and Florian (two dear friends) and they went on their way. 

All in all, it was a fabulous Spring/Easter break. I've never been to so many places in so little time - nor have I ever truly travelled alone.  I've gone on various organized tours "alone", but that's not technically alone...since you are with a tour.  However, I am now more confident than ever that I can survive travelling on my own. Plus, I am now a true expert at public transportation (buses, trains, trams, metros, etc). :)  Look out world....I'm just starting!

No comments: