Arcos de la Frontera

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Living overseas can sometimes be intimidating, and rightfully so. There’s a lot of things to get adjusted to; the language barrier, different foods, different clothing, the climate and my least favorite: learning to adjust to another cultures’ driving skills (or lack thereof… just sayin’). I think the hardest thing for me is just trying to get around. The road signs are different than what I’m used to, the roads are smaller and the mopeds and motorcycles are always zipping dangerously by me whether it’s the highway or a crowded city street. In Japan, I often heard wives say that they were so anxious about traveling off base they would wait until their husbands were in port to take a trip anywhere. I learned quickly that if I waited on my husband to be home to do anything, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere or seen anything and my stay in Japan would have been totally pointless. Even though I had fear of traveling and worried about all the things I mentioned above, even at the young age of 18, I got off base and experienced the culture which I quickly fell in love with. Living overseas is a blessing. I pray that other wives who may be worrisome of travel won’t let these things inhibit them from discovering the beauty of the country they are so lucky to be living in.

With that being said, ease into traveling by starting off with simple, close-to-home day trips. Arcos de la Frontera is a great day trip to do just that. If you live in Rota, have wanted to go to Arcos but haven’t, do it! It’s an easy drive with only being less than an hour away and the Spanish countryside on the way there (especially in June during sunflower season) is a definite bonus.

We took off late Saturday afternoon and stayed for a few hours. I don’t think we stayed there long enough to soak up all that Arcos has to offer but the drive is so simple, we’ve already started to make a list of things we want to do for next time.

My view from the passenger seat on the way to Arcos. The country: pleasing to the eye and my heart.

Once you get into Arcos, the driving gets a little complicated. Like many Spanish towns, the streets are small. The car shown here is a compact, two-door car and it’s inches away from the walls on both sides. Oy!

But, once you get going through the small streets, the views of Arcos are spectacular.

Arcos is built on the side of a steep cliff which overlooks the Guadalete River.

This is a view overlooking the Guadalate Valley from the lookout point, Mirador de Abades.

The Iglesia de San Pedro is directly across from the lookout point in Arcos. Since we arrived in Arcos during siesta time and didn’t get to go inside, it’s on our to-do list for next time.

This is a typical walkway in Arcos. With the steps, steep hills, and sometimes bumpy walkways, my flip flops quickly reminded me I’m not in Florida anymore. Don’t make the same mistake as I did; wear comfy shoes!

Walking through the streets of basically any town in Spain, you see plenty of hanging plants.

I love them. And do you know what else I love?

Shopping. Lots and lots of shopping.

I’m a sucker for souvenirs.  I can’t help myself. I have an extensive souvenir collection of the following: magnets, challenge coins, smashed pennies, shot glasses and more post cards that I’ll ever know what to do with. Since I’ve been in Spain, I’ve sent out around 20-25 post cards per month and still have a stack I’ve kept for myself. My newest collection? Spanish plates.

To beat the blistering summer heat, I bought a fan from this talented woman who paints them herself. She was very friendly and even spoke a little English.

This beautiful patio garden was in the back of her shop. The Spanish sure do know how to beautify a patio. I’m trying to flip my front patio from a blank space into a space we can relax in. It won’t be half as gorgeous as this. You’d know this if you’ve seen my sad, brown begonias.

On the way back, I just had to stop and take some pictures of the sunflowers.

I think it’s so neat how sunflowers all face the direction of the rising sun.

We live in a beautiful, wonderful world. I’m thankful every single day for my opportunity to explore it.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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7 thoughts on “Arcos de la Frontera

  1. wow! i love the hanging plants everywhere. i can’t imagine driving down such a tiny road! and that field of sunflowers!!! thanks for posting all of these pictures. i look forward to them <3

  2. I always find it crazy how Europeans maneuver their small cars–or even their bigger ones! I was just in Italy for a few days and was positively amazed at how adept our bus driver was at navigating the small, curvy streets we were on.

    My dad takes student groups to Europe all the time, and his number one rule is wear good, sturdy, shoes. I’ve been well trained to never wear flip flops when I expect to be walking!

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