Sure Travel Journey Vol 4.1 Summer 2018 - Page 61

• E N PLANNER Q TRAVEL WHERE TO GO: Once you’ve ticked off the iconic Camino de Santiago, swop the path for the pavement in Spain’s bustling cities. The atmospheric Gothic Quarter and striking architecture of Antoni Gaudi have long drawn travellers to Barcelona, but the vibey nightlife of Madrid is an equal drawcard these days. There’s no shortage of art across the country, but be sure to stop in at Bilbao for the gleaming Guggenheim Museum of modern and contemporary art. Drive south-east from here and you’ll find yourself on the winding passes of the Pyrénées, where national parks offer memorable trekking and quaint mountain villages. For a bit of R&R, pick a perfect beach on the country’s popular Mediterranean coastline, or head for the party islands of Mallorca and Ibiza. R O U T E / / S P A I N A SPANISH BITE: For culinary adventures head straight to San Sebastian on the Atlantic Coast: it’s a foodie city famous for its delicious pintxos (Spanish fingerfoods), but is also within easy striking distance of the wineries of Rioja. WHEN TO GO: June-August offers the best weather and plenty of summer festivals, but you’ll also find crowds and high prices. Aim for the shoulder seasons of March-May and September-October. BOOK IT: Iberia offers the most convenient routing from South Africa to Spain, but British Airways, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines also offer convenient connections to Madrid and Barcelona via their airport hubs. Ask your Sure Travel consultant for details, or visit www.suretravel.co.za / call 0861 47 48 49. © ADOBESTOCK “ ONE THING THE CAMINO TAUGHT ME EARLY WAS TO EMBRACE A LIFE OF SIMPLICITY. TRAVEL LIGHT. GET UP EARLY. LEAVE THE ALBERGUE BEFORE SUNRISE. “ way from all over the world, with different backgrounds and belief systems, who later became close friends. I even fell in love twice. I didn’t take a cell phone, camera or wrist-watch along. The church bells Main: The mighty Pyrénées. Above: Cape Finisterre, the ultimate end of the pilgrimage. became my clock, I handed out business cards in the hope of receiving a photo later (I got more than 20 mails in the end) and felt liberated from WhatsApp and Facebook and email for six weeks. It was bliss. Halfway through the journey, when I had a bad cold and felt very sorry for myself, a kind host named Mike told me: “Walk it off.” Another mantra. My injured knee? G.M. Trevelyan wrote: “I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.” So I walked that off, too. The Camino was a game changer – but the journey never ends. Happiness is the way. I must keep on walking. And I hope to return to Spain many times. The illustrator Maira Kalman sums it up beautifully: “The ability to walk from one point to the next, that is half the battle won. Go out and walk. That is the glory of life.” MAKE MEMORIES FOR LIFE // 61