Italy! Portugal! Spain! Oh my!

This final leg of my 2017 travel was focused on Spain and Italy. As I mentioned in my previous post, I left Ljubljana for Venice. It was mid-November at this point and I was exhausted. The pace had been very aggressive and didn’t leave much room for down time. I knew it would be tough, but I was surprised as to how much it had taken out of me mentally. This was even more apparent reviewing my photos. I can see a drop in volume of pictures I was taking. That being said, I was planning to be back in Vancouver for Christmas, so that put a little spring back in my step.

From Ljubljana, I took a bus to Venice. This leg of travel looked like this:

Ljubljana → Venice → Rimini → San Marino → Florence → Milan → Barcelona → Granada → Algeciras → Morocco → Seville → Lisbon → Barcelona → Vancouver

While wandering through Germany in October, I was freezing my tail feathers off. I thought if I headed through Italy to southern Spain and into Morocco it would be warmer. It was warmer in the day times, but the nights were still chilly. I recall one evening in Morocco when the temperature was 2C. Until that point, it had never occurred to me that it could get that cold in North Africa.

Leaving Ljubljana was delayed. The bus arrived in Venice after dark.  The public transit workers were also on a partial strike.  Getting to the island the hostel was on was challenging but not overly difficult. Being night time, it wasn’t as apparent how close to the water the hostel was.  The next morning I came down the main stairs to this.

Front door to Venice

Boat repair shop

Venetian gondolas

Venice at night

Here is a little 30 second clip I took on the canal in Venice.

I left Venice for Rimini. Why Rimini? It’s a short bus ride to San Marino. I didn’t stay in San Marino, as it there is only one hostel there, and it was closed. While Rimini is a tiny place, it has some little treasures such as the Porta Montanara, which is just around the corner from Arco D’Augusto.

Porta Montanara

I wouldn’t go to Rimini to see them, but it was fun happening upon them in my exploration.

I wasn’t ready for the snow in San Marino. I did have cold weather clothes on but, still: snow. In hindsight, of course it snowed. It was rainy and cold in Rimini and San Marino is on top of a hill. It did make for some beautiful photos, however.

San Marino

From Rimini I caught a bus to Florence. What is there to say about Florence that hasn’t already been said.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The Birth of Venus


I travelled from Florence to Milan for a two day stay before heading to Barcelona. Sadly, I didn’t get any noteworthy shots in either place.  There was an unusual incident in Barcelona. The hostel arranged an event for the travellers.  While on public transit , I asked the organizer if we were going the right way, as he said it was 20 mins and we had been on the bus for over 45.  He asked the driver what was going on and the driver replied that they were told not to drive through the heart of downtown. There were Catalan independence protests and they didn’t want the buses flipped over.  Yeah, I was okay with the long route.


I went to Granada to find the Tapas life and I found it.

Tapas life

What I wasn’t ready for was Alhambra. It is a jewel and a marvel.

Alhambra courtyard


I spend two nights in Algeciras. One night on the way down to Morocco and one on the way back. It is a lovely little Spanish town. The morning of my ferry to Tangier, I woke up to heavy rain. The water was rolling under the kitchen door in waves. I was nervous for my boat ride, but it cleared up and I had a lovely sailing. It was odd for me to clear Moroccan customs on a ferry, but it was efficient.

Tangier was an awesome time. I hope to go back to Morocco to see Chefchaouen and do more exploration. The Spring or earlier in the fall would be a better time to go. It was too cold at night.

Walking out of the port

Market spice vendor


Abandoned homes on Achakar Beach

The Seville Cathedral was unbelievable. I was told to go see it but didn’t have any expectations. It was possibly the most beautiful thing I saw in my travels. The build was stunning. The works of art were breath-taking. It is a must-see.

The city itself is also beautiful. I could spend many more days exploring the city and evenings living the tapas life.

The tomb of Christopher Columbus in the Seville Cathedral

Gate at Real Alcazar of Seville

Lisbon is a foggy memory. I felt like a squeezed out tube of toothpaste when I arrived. The weather was also unpleasant, so sadly I didn’t get many pictures. This was the best one.

I did have fun exploring the city and doing touristy things, none the less.

From here it was back to Vancouver for the holidays! TTFN! Happy Holidays!