Huelva, the origin of the new world
After leaving Seville, I drove to Huelva, a city located in the coast and still part of the Autonomous Region of Andalusia.
The good point was that driving at night during summer time was the best thing I could do, of course, I could turn on the air conditioner if I was driving in the afternoon but it is not the same thing, I prefer much more a fresh and natural night breeze.
If you plan to visit Andalusia during summer (something that I would not recommend, better in june or in september), I recommend you to drive at least one time during day, you will see a lot of sunflower fields with very nice landscapes.
Between Seville and Huelva, there is more or less 1h of driving but my hotel was not in the city, exactly at a small village called Aljaraque at about 15 minutes from it. Don’t think that I reserved the place because it was cheaper, I did it because I couldn’t find a free room in the city. For example my girlfriend reserved one time in the Virgen de la Cinta hotel for around 35 euros per night and she will return to this place again without hesitation. In my situation, I went to the Hostal Muriel (c/ nueva 2 – (+34)959318174) and paying quite the same price. For my first night, a cockroach welcomed me !!! Except that, the room was clean and normal.
Huelva is a big city crossed by the rivers Odiel and Tinto, famous for its fishing harbor and its chemical industry but it is also a city for tourist with its Dunar park where people can ride a dromedary, its biosphere reserve of Odiel marshes, its aquatic theme park Aquapolis, its boat tour services with impressive landscapes… and of course, its many big beaches.
To park the car, I tried between the villa de madrid street and adolfo suarez street because around this area, it is totally free and it is not far away from the downtown. Once done, to reach the center where there are many shops, restaurants and bars, I took the sur avenue which led me near to the train station and after crossing the italia avenue and taking one of the narrow street, quickly I arrived to the shopping streets.
In 2006, it was found some ruins around the area near the seminario school dating between 3000 and 2500 BC long before the tartessic civilization but according to historians, the city was founded in 1000 BC with the name Onuba during the phoenician period and during the muslim period, it was named Welba.
To protect from the heat and the sunlight rays, the City Hall has hung some big veils so casting shadow on the streets of the downtown, getting lost myself and on my walks, I stumbled on the concepción church, a mix of gothic and baroque works built in 1515 but remodeled after the earthquake of 1755. One of the funny things, I saw on the monjas square, was a small kiosk, not the one selling newspaper and so on, no, the other one, its competitor selling hamburgers !!! Willing to try, I bought 2 for around 1 euro each and to tell you the truth, not a great food but good enough.
The city lived one of greatest events at the end of the 15th century with Christopher Columbus. It was at the monastery of la rábida where, between 1491 and 1492, he waited the financial part from the catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, for his travel to the New World. It was at the palos de la frontera harbor where the 2 caravels, Pinta and Niña and the carrack, Santa Maria left Spain on august 3, 1492 and as you may know, on october 12, 1492, they arrived at Guanahani (also known as San Salvador), one of the Bahamas islands. People can see a copy of those boats at the quay of the caravels and to pay tribute, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney built in 1929 a statue called “monument to the discovery faith” at punta del sebo.
One afternoon, I decided to go to the beach near the town Cartaya, a big beach. In fact, I didn’t care about the town, my goal was to reach the closer beach so taking the highway A-497 and taking the exit A-4105, I arrived to a crossroad, the right, to the town, the left, to the town Punta Umbria and in front of me, the beach. The road between both towns is so full of them that I was spoiled for choice.
So you can imagine for a beautiful sunset, you have many spots, the difficult is to find the good one. I parked the car at the cartaya beach which was clean so I really enjoyed a sunny day browning my skin and refreshing my body when too hot. At night, I stayed around, looking for a restaurant on the coast and my choice was Barbacoa de Manuela.
The place is divided in 2 areas, the restaurant section and the lounge section. The specialty is barbecued meat so I ordered a rib steak, when the waitress brought my dish, I was stunned by the size, it was very big and it wasn’t expensive so I really enjoyed my meal. Before to go back to my hotel, I took a nice cocktail on the lounge part with a great view on the sea.
If you plan to go to Huelva, I recommend you to go to the tinto quay (muelle del tinto) and to walk on the bridge, built in 1876, made of iron and wood. Situated on the banks of the river Odiel and with its 1165 meters in length, you will have a nice walk and if you spot a bright white layer or a little while hill, it is the salt exploitation. For more pictures, check my photo website Concept RT.