Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
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The beautiful “white village” of Vejer De La Frontera sits high atop a hill overlooking the surrounding Andalusian landscape in the province of Cádiz. If you look closely, you can even see the old Roman ruins in Bolonia bay at the horizon. Spain really excels itself once more here, as we could already confirm travelling to the city of Cádiz and exploring the area in & around Tarifa: Magnificent golden sandy beaches. No (flocks of) tourists (yet?). Entertaining locals (“Qué gracia! Qué arte!”). Top food from around the area. Fresh fish & seafood: To die for. Roman Ruins: To marvel at. We watch a comedy theatre right at the ancient amphitheatre Baleo Claudius in Bolonia beach – an amazing experience right after diving into the sunset …
Kitsch? You be the judge of that. Have a look here!
Even today, more than 2.000 years later, the former Roman city Baleo Claudius still preserves its former glory. It easily dwarfs the adjacent village that is Bolonia today, counting no more than perhaps 300 citizens. As part of our visit, we chill out for siesta in one of those “Chiringuito” beach huts, enjoy their fresh seafood lunch platter, climb the famous sand dune of Bolonia, dive right in during sunset at the sea and laugh during a comedy theatre play set right in the old Roman amphitheatre overlooking both beach and stars. It is kitsch, really, if it is not for the truly authentic and warm-hearted people we encounter here. For your overnight stay, we can recommend the typical Andalusian Hotel Los Jerezanos, situated right at the beach and famed for its happy Andalusian hosts. The waiter is a typical Southern character through and through, and yet “just being myself”, as he laughs. That’s how people from the south are like in my view: Full of character. And always ready to act. Olé!
The ancient art of basketry (“Cestería”) or weaving … ? Right inside the picturesque little town of Vejer De La Frontera, we meet with local ladies Juaní & Carmen: Two women who have found their strength and self-confidence through their creative art. Both like to share their good-natured humour as well as their talents with us: Even just a short weaving demonstration or a small flower weaving tell me how much work and practice is needed to craft the beautiful pieces both make. Respect!
Carmen as well Juaní both offer creative courses teaching their art, preferably several days in a row in order to really get an understanding of weaving or basketry. Strapped for time, I buy myself a handmade souvenir from both ladies, with the biggest present being the intimate atmosphere we get to share with them during our visit entering their hearts & homes in Vejer. Travel experiences like these, where you find yourself at home in a real local’s kitchen, living or working area, are some of the most enriching moments for me when I travel. Oh how I love it!
“El Cobijo de Vejer” really lives up to its name: “Cobijo” means something like receiving or welcoming (visitors). This is exactly what we feel like here in the heart of the old city of Vejer. Marked in a typical Andalusian style, the green inner patio of “El Cobijo de Vejer” is alive with the sound of water and reflects the colours of an ever promising southern sky: White & Blue. All rooms are furnished with little details that catch the eye, the breakfast served to us is simply delightful: All guests get to sit at one large table, with meals & drinks being 100% fresh from around the area. Highly recommend you stay here!
And if you, like us, enjoy gourmet foodie travel with a focus on trying the typical local thing, then you should head for a gourmet tasting menu at Convento San Francisco. The quality of the food we are being served here is remarkable and internationally acclaimed; value for money comes up to a gorgeous € 50,- for 10 tasting dishes including wines and drinks. Enjoy your meal, then – y buen provecho!
Disclaimer: We have been supported by the Spanish Tourism Board in Austria during the organization of this trip in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia. All opinions are my own.