All posts by Charlie Spearing

Casually frolicing around Europe for a year and generally avoiding real life

Fatima – A mix of pure devotion and commercialism

When I hear the word shrine I think of a few candles, pictures and maybe some cuddly toys that have been gathered together and that are generally small areas intent on being an improvised place of respect, like at a lamp-post or a wall.

So when we arrived in Fatima to check out the shrine on this world-famous pilgrimage site, I can hand on my heart say I was not expecting what appeared in front of us.

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Sintra – Portugal’s most spell-binding town

If there was ever a town that looks like it has been picked straight out of a Disney movie and dropped on the outskirts of a major city, Sintra is it. Twenty kilometers north of Lisbon, Sintra is another world completely; it couldn’t be any more different from the frantic routine of its neighbouring city.  It’s like stepping through the wardrobe in to Narnia, except Narnia is a huge expanse of luscious green gardens and forests and dreamlike castles and palaces.

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Lisbon – 72 hours in Europe’s Hipster City

Lisbon caught me off guard.  Although it’s Portugal’s capital city, I kind of assumed that Porto was the”place to be” with all the hype that surrounds it.  The Algarve is Southern Portugal’s shining star and had already won us over (and put us behind schedule by a good few weeks) earlier on in our trip. So what did Lisbon have to offer us?

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A Portuguese Paradise – Road tripping along the Algarve

It’s always exciting going to a new country for the first time, so I was pretty excited about our next adventure through Portugal.  First port of call was obviously the Algarve.  With beautiful beaches, whitewashed fishing villages and cheap food and drink, I was looking forward to some more warm weather and to completely chill out for a few days. With its good weather all year round, the Algarve is a major destination for tourists and expats alike and it’s very easy to see why people just don’t want to go home.

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Spain’s most stunning city

Sevilla was our last stop in Spain before we crossed over in to Portugal and what a way it was to finish our eight week Spanish adventure.

We’ve seen a lot of Spain over the last few weeks, and although we have by no means seen all of Spain (or even enough), we have seen a lot.  Sevilla was different though, it simply stole our hearts.

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More English and Irish than Spanish?

I was 15 the last time I visited Nerja.  At least I think I was, I could have been 16?  Eamo was 16 the last he visited Nerja.  Weird, huh?  Maybe we crossed paths and didn’t even know it.

All the memories came flooding back to Eamo, the second we arrived in the little Spanish town.  For me… nothing.  I don’t remember a damn thing about this place.  I really should have, but all I remember is that I was here once upon a time.

Nerja is beautiful, it really is.  It’s a quintessential Spanish town with cute white houses and perfect little villas overlooking the Mediterranean.  Palm trees bustling full parrots line the Main Square all the way down the promenade to the Balcon de Europa, where you can get a pretty awesome panoramic snap of this part of the Costa del Sol.

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It’s the middle of January and it’s 20 degrees; what more do you want, right?

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