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Tortillitas de camarones
On my plate

The best tapas to try in Spain

One of my favourite things about Spain is the food – fresh ingredients, often straight from the sea, simply cooked.

Eating at tapas bars allows you to try lots of small dishes with the premise that if you like it, you can order more but if you don’t then, not to worry, you can move on and try something else. This is ideal when you consider that some tapas only cost €1 or €2 each and, in many places, come free with your drinks.

Rough Guide to Australia
On my travels

Backpacking before the internet

At the risk of sounding like an old fogey (although I have just turned 50 so I do feel slightly entitled to a certain level of grumpiness!) I can’t help feeling that young people today have got it easy when it comes to seeing the world.

My first backpacking experience was in the summer of 1988 when a friend and I went inter-railing during the university summer break. Armed with a copy of ‘Europe by Train’ (which took up far too much room in my backpack) and the Thomas Cook European Railway timetable (which took up even more) my friend and I were like a female version of Michael Portillo with his trusty Bradshaw’s guides.

Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja
On my doorstep

Reaching the summit of Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja

If you’re holidaying in or around Estepona you can’t miss the Sierra Bermeja mountain as it dominates the landscape behind the town. At just under 1,500 metres high it’s only 10km from the sea so makes an ideal day trip from the beach.

I’ve been wanting to reach the summit for a while now (I see the mountain every day as I’m heading home from work so the temptation is always there) but the summer heat put anything too strenuous off limits!

Yo soy Sherry Runner
On my doorstep

Running the Sherry Marathon in Jerez de la Frontera

I have a well-documented love/hate relationship with running and, although I’ve run both the London and New York marathons in my time, these days I tend to stick to shorter distances including my annual trip to Newcastle for the Great North Run.

Not long after we moved to Spain I heard about the Sherry Marathon in Jerez de la Frontera and knew I had to take part. A run around the vineyards with the chance to sample local delicacies and partake of a sherry or two en route – I’ll drink to that!

Sierra Nevada
On my doorstep

Not skiing in the Sierra Nevada

While friends and family in the UK have been shivering under a blanket of snow, we’ve had to go actively seeking the white stuff so took a whistle-stop trip to the snowfields of the Sierra Nevada.

The Sierra Nevada is home to Europe’s most southerly ski resort. Less than 30 kms from Granada, the resort village of Pradollano, in the Monachil region, nestles at the foot of the mountains and has over 100 kms of ski runs.

Top of the rock
On my doorstep

Climbing the Mediterranean Steps to the top of the Rock

If you want to get to Upper Rock Nature Reserve in Gibraltar there are a few options including the Cable Car (the easiest!), via Castle Steps that are accessed from Main Street near the Post Office (fairly easy and which come out by the Moorish Castle), or the Mediterranean Steps (definitely not for the faint hearted!).