The lovely Hajar Ali invited me to submit a travel moment to Luxury Travel Stories, a little site which collates travel stories in a ‘postcard’ format. It took me quite awhile to decide on which travel moment to share, but here’s what I went with in the end. Head on over to check out my postcard anecdote.
This particular memory is about a little moment on one of my graduation year trips with my good friend R, who I went to visit in Montpellier, France. I spent a week in France with her before we travelled to Spain together, first starting out in Barcelona before heading south to the Andalucia region.
Chipiona is a little seaside town north of Cadiz on the southwestern coast of Spain. We rented a car in Seville and wanted a place to stay overnight before we made the long drive to Granada in central Andalucia the next day. Chipiona is about an hour’s drive from Sevilla, and the route is lined with fields of sunflowers, corn and windmills.
Summer days had pretty long evenings, so it was still quite bright out by the time we reached Chipiona, and even though we were mapless, we managed to follow signs and ended up at our hotel, the Hotel Playa de la Regla, sitting right along the beachfront with an awesome view of the ocean. Our room unfortunately wasn’t (#106), tucked away at street level in the back facing the carpark without a view, but after days of sleeping in shared hostels in Barcelona and Seville, we were just SO relieved and awed by the privacy and size of this room and bathroom.
But we didn’t spend too long admiring our room, we parked the car (6 euros/night at the hotel!) quickly put our stuff down, changed out and ran onto the beach. Given the late hour, the beach was pretty empty so we had it mostly to ourselves and I jumped into the chilly Atlantic waters… with the sea breeze, BRRRR! R decided to play it safe and hung out on the beach with a book while I frolicked (and froze) in the waves.
We take a walk along the beach later, here is the view from our hotel – a stately old church on one end and a tall lighthouse on the other.
It only got properly dark at about 10pm since it was summer. We stopped at a little restaurant bar by the beach for really, really yummy fried Calamari and 1 euro Cerveza (beer!) outdoors, and later we had coffee and ice cream on the hotel patio, chilling out and enjoying the cool night air.
It’s so beautiful that we even make ourselves wake up early the next morning to enjoy the beach as much as we can before we take breakfast in the open lobby (awesomest breakfast of the trip at that point), and drive off eastwards to Jerez.
We barely spent 24 hours at Chipiona, but it’s one of those places that has left a pretty strong impression in my mind. I hope to go back one day and properly explore the place, enjoy another lovely summer evening along that quiet beach.