I love road trips because its an amazing way to see a place that you rarely can any other way. You actually get to see the country away from just the tourist areas that you wouldn’t see if you were to just fly into a country. I got to stop at a few cities along our road trip through Spain and ran into a few complications (because what is a road trip with out them) and I want to share them with you!
My brother and sister were flying into the Barcelona and we decided to take a road trip through Spain to pick them up and bring them back to Portugal. We left the Lisbon area in the afternoon and made our way to our first stop in Valencia. We got there fairly late being an 8 hour drive.
Let me first tell you that this road trip didn’t just have a few complications, it was FULL of them, but that’s just traveling in general, you are bound to have them. Also if you are reading this and don’t care for all the details of my trip, skip down past the complications to the listed cities I actually visited.
When we arrived to our hotel in Valencia their wifi was down and they could not find me on their print out of guests. We waited and waited for the front desk employee to find us and he never did. Finally, he lended me his phone so I could look up my reservation online (our cellphone planes didn’t cover international travel) and this is where I realized I some how made reservations for the wrong date. Greaaatt. I then make another reservation for the correct night, and by this time it´s well past 2 am.
The following morning we get up early after not really sleeping and make our way to Barcelona. We get into the city with plenty of time to spare before my siblings flight gets in, so we decided to go to a cafe near the airport to hang out in until we need to get them.
We get to the airport to find out that their flight arrived an hour earlier and they were now in a different terminal, way across the airport (at least a 10 min drive), which wasn’t a huge deal until we blew a tire. We make a game plan: I get to their gate and find them so they know they haven’t been stranded at the airport and my dad will change the tire.
After finding my siblings we make our to our hotel in Barcelona and this is where we pop our second tire. Yes, that´s right, we popped two tires within a couple of hours of each other because one just wasn’t good enough. The rest of the evening that was suppose to be spent getting to see Barcelona was spent trying to call the insurance company and local businesses to replace our tires.
The following morning we woke up and were able to take the car to the shop and get out of there at a decent hour and finally make our way to the city!
It had been quite awhile since the last time I visited this beautiful city and it was a shame that we only had a day to spend here but we made the most of it! We spent the afternoon experiencing the Sagrada Familia, went downtown for lunch, and then headed up to Mirador de Torre Barro to see the sunset on the city.
After a great and sight seeing packed day, we leave Barcelona at 10 pm and decide to make it all the way back to Valencia (about a 4 hour drive) for the night to make a dent in getting back to Portugal. So we book another hotel in the area.
We get it to our hotel around 2 a.m. and get super confused to not see a hotel but just an alley way of regular apartment buildings. I check the screen shot I took of my reservation and notice that it says in small print to call your host to check in. So I call up this guy up in the middle of the night so we can get into our room. He answers, obviously not very happy that he is getting woken up at this hour, and I start apologizing profusely and explain our situation to him. I am on the phone with this dude for about 15 mins, pretty much just begging him to just let us in. I think this guy wanted to add an extra edge to our road trip story because he basically told us sorry but no, I am not going to let you in.
Yep. we are now stranded in a foreign country with no where to stay. We figure the best thing to do at this point is to drive all night and make it to our next destination, Córdoba. This Al-Andalus city is about another 5 hours from Valencia.
We make it to Córdoba around noon because we had to pull over to sleep for a little bit. We checked into our hotel around this time with no extra complications, besides navigating through the narrow and winding streets of the city. I swear this place was not made for cars to drive through, it’d be easier to ride a horse and probably more fitting with the look of this historical town.
The hotel we stayed at, Medina Qurtuba, was a super cute airbnb listing and fit the four of us very comfortably. It was an apartment style with a small kitchen and the hotel lobby had a beautiful traditional Spanish courtyard. Besides the beautiful place the host was very very nice and accommodating. I highly recommend staying at this place if you’re planning on visiting Córdoba.
Calle Julio Romero de Torres
(Pictures from right outside the hotel)
Absolutely loved this city, despite the extreme heat wave experienced while we were there. In the evening we were able to walk through its cute narrow streets escape the heat of the day (unsuccessfully).
One of the musts while we were here was to see the Córdoba patios. Every spring Córdoba has special festivities for the month of May. It starts off with a parade known as the “Battle of the Flowers”, which officially marks the beginning of spring.
The city also has celebrates with a Patio Contest. This contest can easily continue well past the middle of the month. When we visited it was mid June but we were still able to see some bloomed flowers. The amount of work that I imagine goes into these elaborate patios is incredible!
This last part of my story is complication free if you can believe it. We made it to Seville safely after leaving Córdoba in the early afternoon. Seville is pretty close to Córdoba, only about an hour and half away so you can easily spend a day in both places if you’re pressed time. I suggest if you are visiting Seville in the Summer to only visit in the evening or check the weather conditions because it can get unbearably hot here, to the point where you can no longer enjoy the day.
Seville is the capital of Spain’s Andalusia. It is famous for flamenco dancing, and its landmarks including the Alcázar castle complex, the 18th-century Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza bullring, and the Gothic Seville Cathedral is the site of Christopher Columbus’s tomb.
When we made our stop there we enjoyed admiring those landmarks as well as walking around the plaza de Espana.
I really enjoyed this trip (despites our many complications) and getting to experience the different cities in Spain. I know for some I may have turned you off to roadtripping but honestly, those complications can happen with traveling in general. You just have to expect the unexpected and roll with the punches! For me, even with our mishaps I would still do this trip all over again!