The Trip to Spain – Part I / by Ian Clark

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I originally planned to write about our trip to Spain in one blog post, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised it would probably be a mammoth post. So instead I am going to break this down into parts. I have no idea as I type this paragraph how many parts there will be, but this is definitely part one of…a few. 

Let’s start with some background… 

Way back in 2002, in a former pre-library life, I met and fell in love with a Spanish colleague at work. We started dating and, after a couple of years, got married. For a long time, before we started having kids, we would holiday around Europe, visiting different countries and major cities (Lisbon, Prague and Berlin being particular highlights – I proposed in Prague so it’s a special place for us both), but also frequently going back to Spain and, in particular, Sevilla (which is where my wife is from, and where her family still live today). 

Fast forward a few years and we have a couple of daughters, one well established in school, one just started. As you might expect, holidays now are restricted to school holidays and, to make matters worse, my wife and I barely have enough leave to cover all the holidays between us. Consequently, we have one holiday a year now where we all go away as a family and just chill out. For the kids, this is an extended holiday in Spain as the trip also doubles up as part of our childcare arrangements (they stay out there for most if not all of the summer holidays, before my in-laws bring them back towards the end of the summer). This is undoubtedly great for them as they get fully immersed in the culture and really develop their language skills.

Anyway, these holidays are a chance to chill out but also, of course, provide me with an opportunity to go out with my camera and visit some fresh locations (instead of restricting myself to the usual places in Kent at the weekends). Of course, this has to be balanced off with time with the family in Spain and the kids, but it affords me opportunities I rarely have and it’s a chance for me to test my skills and try to take my photography further. Inevitably I come back with loads of photos to wade through, process and share. And, well, this holiday was no different.

On this particular trip we decided to go away for a couple of nights, leaving the kids with their grandparents and getting some quality time alone and some time to just…relax. As well as overnight stays in Ronda and Zahara de la Sierra, we also made a trip to Cadiz (don’t tell my wife, but this is actually my favourite city in Andalucia - if not Spain) and had an extended stay in the middle of the Andalucian countryside. I’ll fill in more about our trips away across the next few blog posts (I’m thinking there might be, like, three more?). I guess we’ll call this “the context” post. Now for fleshing out the detail…