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June 11th – If people weren’t insisting on reminding me that this date is my birth day I would forget it. Not that I mind to turn one more page in the calendar of my life – quite the opposite, I just wished people would stop fussing about it.

Quite frankly it is somewhat of a hassle for me having to politely respond to all the LinkedIn messages, WhatsApps or phone calls. People who have not managed to keep in touch with me during the year -why bother to do it on that day, especially being automatically reminded by some schedule function.

I tend to forget birthdays of friends and they seem to be offended – why? I keep in touch with that small circle of high quality people on a regular basis – see them on a regular basis or talk to them on the phone. Isn’t that the more valuable appreciation? I wonder.

However this isn’t a Philosopher’s Blog – it is a travel guide’s blog who happened to be born on June 11th – 1964 if you must know.

Yes, I am a Gemini / Leo rising… I guess that explains it: Talkative, likes to travel, superficial at times, however sociable etc. etc. etc.

Even though Manfred and I had agreed: no presents – of course there was one (a travel voucher of course) and an envelope from my mother-in-law with cash in it.

The best present however was the fact that I was travelling with friends in a beautiful country and that we were about to drive to the a particular and very special (at least to Manfred and me) part of the “Costa de la Luz”.

You remember, the “Parador of Carmona” was the one we did not book breakfast as we had booked the “Superior Rooms” and did not feel to add EUR 19 per person for breakfast to the bill.

The downside – we needed to go downtown and find a place to offer breakfast at 8:00am on a Saturday morning. Also the rather unpleasant gastronomical expericence at the “Molinas de Romero” still stuck with me.

I think I have already mentioned that I get cranky quite fast if I am not properly fed in the mornings…

It was a wonderful morning – the sun had just started its climb to the zenith – a cool and refreshing breeze blew from the plains as we climbed downtown Carmona. We had agreed that we would try one of the bars that we had seen yesterday during our walk on “Plaza San Fernando”.

On our way down we encountered a waste land of empty water bottles – the remainders of the run last evening. We had witnessed some of the cheering when we were in the restaurant last night.

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We were in luck – there was one bar already open, just around the corner of the bar “Goya”, we had drinks yesterday.

I could sense how Manfred sighed with relief at the sight of the place – as he knows me well, he knew this whole “we do not know where to have breakfast” thing had the potential to ruin the entire day… I had to smile secretely: am I really such a bitch? (To my friends who want to click the comment button this very moment: This was a rhethorical question and hence does not require an answer.)

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The owners of the nearby shops had gathered and ordered their Andalusian breakfast – tostadas and coffee. Those who felt like indulging had spread butter on their tostadas and some peach marmelade.

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When in Rome – do as the Romans: So, tostadas, bocadillo con jamón, butter,  peach marmelade and coffee it was. Frugal.

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Listening to the friendly banter of the local guests and the noise with which the banter was produced was clear evidence for me that the arabic heritage sticks deep in the DNA of Andalusian people.

Some more pictures were taken on our way back as the bright almost merciless light of the Andalucian afternoons had prevented us from taking certain pictures the day before.

The soft morning light was perfect for picture taking.

Back in the Parador we loaded the cars and left Carmona. This time we decided to take the highway end-to-end as we wanted to get the most out of the day in the hotel.

We have known Rota and the hotel since 1992 – when we did our very first Andalusia excursion. We fell in love with the hotel back then – it was love at first sight and in consequence with the little town Rota.