A Travellerspoint blog

Alcazar

Back at home

sunny 20 °C

I am currently in Sevilla, and today has been a collection of deja-vus from the brief amount of time I spent here two years ago on the sightseeing trip I did of Andalucia. Today I walked a lot and followed the scent of my memories, sniffing out a familiar cafe and shoestore, I could almost see Emily and I gleefully eating strange salads and buying 10 Euro boots.

I saw some flamenco again, this time raw and real. Ate the tapas, drank the local drink at the regular watering holes. We found a club that was really happening and I got a chance to shake off some tension.

I also visited the Alcazar today, a moorish palace in the heart of the town. It was absolutely beautiful, from room to room, eyes captured by the tile, woodwork, handpainted ceilings and domed doorways. Suddenly I entered the garden, and the beauty struck me so that I cried. I am going back tomorrow, to wander the empty rooms and manicured gardens alone, pretending I am a princess.

I am so incredibly in love with the moorish past, Morocco and Andalucia and the trail of Arabs from the east. The architecture, the culture, the intensity and the power of man and woman. The sexuality and sensuality unlike anything I´ve seen in the west.

Over the past week I travelled from Lisbon to Lagos, where I laid on the cliffs and the beach. Some friends and I rented a car and drove to the most western point of Europe, we settled in a cave on a cliffside overlooking the ocean and had port and cheese at sunset.

The next day a disturbing thing happened to me and I temporarily lost faith in men. I moved on to Faro, which was quaint but uninteresting. I had trouble sleeping because there was literally an orchestra practising right nextdoor to my room -- what are the odds. Anyways, came back to Spain and felt at home again. Spain is a breath of fresh air for me, it is as foreign for me as anywhere else but I really feel it.

Posted by mythxation 12:23 Archived in Spain Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Com licenca

Nao faz mal

sunny 18 °C

Porto was a nice town. I spent a lot of time there walking around the city, windowshopping and gaping at the old buildings. There is a nice feel to the place, the older buildings are not restored so cracks, weathering and moss adds a really interesting element to everything. I visited the beach, crossed the river and learned all about port wine and sampled some; climbed and descended many a hill. I met some fabulous people there and had a lot of laughs over wine or dinner in the hostel.

On my last night we went in search of the mysterious "party on a boat". We ended up drinking at a local cafe bar until 1, and then danced to Portuguese music on a boat until morning. The Polish guy and I had been talking for hours and the others left without us so we walked back, when we arrived at the hostel the "birds were playing".

The next night I stayed in Ovar in search of Carnaval, missing a big parade by a few hours. I headed on to Lisbon where everyone was dressed up that night in the Barrio Alto, every kind of mask or costume. Barhopped with Shakirah, Daniel and Pedro, the former being Brazillian. It was a fun night. The next day a carnaval parade. I saw the monuments, visited Cascais and Sintra for the shore and the moorish castle. Took a Portuguese class, tried the green wine.

Went to an exhibition of modern film art here, saw Belem and many of the beautiful things hiding in Lisbon´s seven hills. The city is calm and beautiful, the people friendly. It is very modern, but you van still hear the echoes of fado drifting from a lone guitar in some small plazas, and see some old buildings that illustrate their age.

Time goes on, I go on. To the Algarve!

Posted by mythxation 05:15 Archived in Portugal Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Porto

Portugal

rain 12 °C

Well. Left Chefchaouen for Fes, in awaiting of the flight to London. which was cancelled and re-booked. Fes turned out to be a nice city, confusing medina, but brilliant place to do some good old Moroccan people-watching. It was raining but enjoyable. It´s a very old medieval city, lots of corridors, plazas and spots to discover. I really liked it, despite the hassle, the hustle and bustle, and it´s reputation.

In London I visted Charlie, a friend I met in Marrakech. Stayed with him at his student residence. Explored the city, went to Oxford for a night. Didn´t find too much excitment but it was a beautiful place, very grand and old and spectacular. A lot more friendly and welcoming than I had expected. I got sick again and was bed-ridden for a while.

I flew to Portugal this morning, early early. I´m staying at a brilliant hostel and wondering what to do with the next few days and next few years of my life. The Portuguese, so far, are quiet, polite, and very short. The language sounds bizarre, like a mix of Spanish, German, French and Arabic.

I do miss Morocco. And home. Something is missing. Will someone honestly please join me for the remaining 3-4 months!? I need a companion.

Posted by mythxation 10:30 Archived in Portugal Tagged backpacking Comments (6)

The land of a thousand Mohammeds

Nothing is what it seems

sunny

I am in Chefchaouen, a beautiful town in the Rif mountains in the north. It's got blue buildings and sloping streets, full of colour and life and interesting people, badly spoken Spanish and French, nice cafes and beautiful views. And lots and lots of hash.

I left Essaouira and went to Tahgazoute, then to Mirhleft, both places on the coast south of Essaouira. Small towns, not a lot happening. Met some south African surfers and laid on the beaches. I started to feel a bit out of place, and decided to head north to Marrakech and see where the wind took me.

It took me to Casablanca. I didn't like it. The weather was horrible, the city is ugly and built up, there is extreme affluence and extreme poverty... shacks built up from scrap metal and wood and cloth in any area not already built upon. Children playing in the mud and piles of rubbish beside office buildings like they would in a sunny country field. Casablanca is raw.

The past few days have been a series of misfortunate events.
I left my passport at the youth hostel in Casa and had to backtrack, got screwed out of some money by a man who I thought was sincerely helping me. My shoes got soaked, my small bag ripped apart, I missed the bus, and was thoroughly stripped of all dignity and emotional security by two women who completely insulted myself, my posessions, my country and my race.

I've done a lot of bussing, walking, worrying and crying. But I think I can relax now and chill in Chefchaouen... it's just beautiful. My friends from NZ and Australia and some from Essaouira are coming up to meet me here tomorrow.

The more I travel the more I realize my own personality... how emotionally fragile I am. How I need the company of others. Sometimes I feel like I am throwing myself into the world blindfolded, and it's overwhelming. Everyone I meet is shocked that I am so young and alone in this place... they tell me I am brave and courageous. It's either this or stupidity that brought me here. But alas, life goes on... and I gain confidence and ease in living day by day. I am surprised that I can actually do this and not fall to pieces. I am becoming more optimistic, more positive, more determined. I fall down so much and get back up again. In the words of Ainsley Platt, "Just get on with it."

Posted by mythxation 05:12 Archived in Morocco Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

The Ocean

sunny 20 °C
View Gap Year on mythxation's travel map.

The ocean is motion -- it isn't a noun, a single thing. It's a concept, a moving and changing idea. The town where I am is perched on the coast of Africa, welcoming the Atlantic sea to flow into it's harbour. It's beautiful, the breeze, the sand, the waves. I feel it taking over me. The ocean has been very powerful for me so far on this trip, a symbol of change and life and the impermanence of everything. Every day I spend here I feel myself becoming more a part of the beach, the ocean... my clothes are fading to neutral greys and beige and browns. I taste the salt on my lips.

I have rented an apartment here in Essaouira. I am having this marvellous love affair with the guy I mentioned before... I'm not going to hide it. It's exotic and romantic and it feels great.

This week has been beautiful, relaxed and free. A vacation from my trip, really. Morocco to me is almost a paradise... behind it's sometimes scary image. I could live here if I was never alone. I want to come back again and bring a friend, to walk alone in these streets as a girl makes it difficult to keep one's head up. The emotions I have here are so intense.

I have all kinds of notions for my next stop on this trip... I am filled with ideas, imaginations, worries and hopes. It's wonderful; it's life.

Posted by mythxation 06:07 Archived in Morocco Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

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