Entering Real Fernando

Here you can see how happy Mr Lifecruiser is to go aboard! Ever since we arrived here to Sanlúcar de Barra meda, we´ve wanted to take the boat trip out on the river Guadalquivir.

The boat Real Fernando departures from Bajo de Guia, about 3 minutes from where we stay, but yesterday was our third try to make that trip, every time it has been good weather, it has been full booked.

Guadalquivir boat trip

The purpose with this trip was to see something of the National Park of Doñana, which they claim to be the largest marshlands (Marismas) in Europe. We have seen some of it from a car trip earlier.

One part of Doñana is the natural park which you´re allowed to enter and we have part of it just on the opposite of the river of us. You can take the ferry over the mouth of the Guadalquivir river at almost any time, but you´re only allowed to stay on the beach.

The other part is the national park which you´re only allowed to enter with special tours with guides with permissions and very briefly to not disturb the nature fauna.

We did only o two stops there, one of them were to see some original native houses in Doñana Pine forest. From the beginning it was a hunting place for the royal family, start at the 18th century already.

The few families that lived there were not allowed to bring any new materials there, which meant that they had to build their houses with what the nature could offer.

In this case it ment a special kind of reed as you can see on this, (not so good unfortunately) photo below.

House at Doñana Pine forest

It´s quite similar to the reed they call Ag they use as roofs at the island Gotland where we use to spend our summer, outside Sweden. Except that Ag seem to be thicker than this reed.

See also my old post about the Ag roof tradition party.

These kind of houses can stand for 50-60 years. There is only two families left that tries to maintain houses there, but they only visit there in the weekends now. Also they want some modern standards.

Since it´s only surrounded with salt water, they did have a dwell to get sweat water, that they could find on 1.5m deepth.

The other stop was at the Marismas (the marshlands), Los Salinas which only contains salt water. There is also some salt beds of course, to drain out salt from.

There is said to be a lot of migratory birds there, even though we didn´t see many of them. We could see some Eagles, Heron, Flamingoes, Spoonbills and Red-knobbed Coot on quite a distance.

Many birds from the whole of Europe comes here when it´s winter - and to breed too. Flamingoes from Alicante and Malaga comes here to breed too.

Even other bird species on the way to and from Africa stops here, taking the way over Gibraltar - just as we plan to do soon!

We didn´t go there to spot birds, so for us it was just a nice boat trip, but if you plan to go there for bird spotting I recommend to try the guided jeep tours from the Huelva area which we´ve heard of.

Read more about the guided tours in Doñana here:
Discovering Doñana

I´ve tried to update my Twitters at several occasions now and it says that it´s sent, but never shows up here in the sidebar, sorry for that my dear friends.

Update on my mother: she has stopped to drink too. Well, you can guess the outcome as well as I…

I´m very, very lucky to have such nice siblings taking good care of here the last days in her life. I can only send her peaceful thoughts on the way.

Knowing my Mom, I know she would have wanted me to enjoy the trip anyway, so I´m really trying too. Somehow it feels like she is with me.

Captain ♥Spain Lifecruiser


Semana Santa Sanlucar

This week in Spain they´re celebrating Semana Santa, their kind of Easter, the holy week, so even in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. It has been processions every day. We do not have these kind of Easter processions in Sweden.

It´s all about Jesus Christs last week of life here on earth, culminating with his crucifixion on Good Friday and the resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The weather forecasts where not good news for this week, it seem to have been rain in all Spain, so even here in Sanlúcar, though not as much as in the rest of Spain obviously and yesterday the clouds disappeared again.

I´m very glad to say that, because I were feeling sorry for the Spanish people to have such bad weather during their outdoors Easter celebrations.

Semana Santa celebration

The processions are going around to the towns churches for hours and hours and I must say that I admire the carriers strenght, because it´s very heavy to carry around and very complicated to turn around the street corners!


They´re called “pasos”, sculptures of individual scenes of the events that happened between Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem and his burial, or images of the Virgin Mary.

The carrying demands good teamwork for sure, even though they have some help from someone outside saying how they shall move. They can only take very small steps all the time. Admirable teamwork I would say and so they get some applauses for it too.

some in the procession are wearing the cery special “nazareno” or penitential robe, quite similar to the Ku Klux Klan robes in US, but these were commonly used during the medieval period for penitents, so they could demonstrate their penance, but with masked identities.

Semana Santa Nazareno

The whole town has been full of people during the time the processions goes on, quite a nice nightlife actually. All the bars and restaurants has been so crowded and even the streets.

Quite the oposite from what we´re used to in Sweden I must confess. They seem to have easier to enjoy themselves than we Swedes have too. Well, maybe not me and Mr Lifecruiser ;-)

What I do like though is that they seem to be able to handle the alcohol intake much better, we saw no one that was drunk or behaving badly during these nights out and it´s all ages, from babies to the most old ones.

We just love that and could easily adopt this kind of life..

This has been one of the times when it´s a blessing to be tall - I´ve been able to see over all the short Spanish people without any trouble, because most of them reaches me somewhere in the height of my chest :-)

Yesterday the processions started around 23:00 and ended around 06:00 in the morning - phew - we did not stay to see it all night long. Just think about how the carriers must be suffering..

We did take some drinks and tapas at the Casa Balbino, a very popular bar and restaurant at Plaza del Cabildo. When the processions walked, there were for sure at least ten men behind the bar disk taking orders in a rush - with excellency. Quite admirable that too!

Though yesterday evening I got very sad sms updates on my Mom´s health that ended the evening out definitely - she hasn´t been eating for the past weeks, so this means that the end is coming very soon for sure.

I feel guilty not being able to be there now, even though I know that she wouldn´t be able to know that I´m there and all my other siblings are there, but, you know how it is - you wanna be there when someone close to you´re leaving this life.

As you already know, I did take farewell of her in my heart the last time I did see here, in case this should happen, but that is not quite the same thing.

So, as you understand, I´m not exactly in a good mood right now, thinking a lot of my Mom.

Captain ♥Spain Lifecruiser


In my last post you could read about the Romeria San José to El Rocio - and we could still on Monday see many, many eqiupage crossing the river Guadalquivir from Donaña nationalpark.

Though the look and the mood of the caballeros where now a bit different from when they were going the other way: very, very tired and some seemed to have back and butt ache - and maybe even headache ;-)

They looked very satiesfied, even though a bit chilled, since the weather had changed a bit and the winds were more chilly.

We can feel that weather even today - we have rain.

Monday went by shopping groceries - many bags, the Captain is a very hungry monster and we can´t eat out all the time even if the prices is much more human over here than in Sweden. It´s about 2/3 of the price in Sweden.

That was the food. The beer (1-1,50 Euro), wine and other drinks are less than half the price from in Sweden and we shall not even mention the prices in the store.

Yesterday we did look up the nearest riding stable, Arboleda in La Jara. Miss Ass. Lifecruiser were interested to see it. She had seen some very nice videos on the internet from their preformances.

They had a lot of good looking Andalucian horses, but the place were much smaller than we had imagined and the location of it were in the middle of other buildings, a bit too crowded for our taste. Somehow not appealing to us.

After that we went to the golf course again where Mr L did practise, only on the driving range. We met another Swede there too, a very nice man, so we sat outside the bar enjoying the sun and had some beer afterwards talking.

It turned out that he and Miss Ass. Lifecruiser had something in common - they have both lived in Uppsala and Karlstad-area in Sweden. It´s funny how you can meet people from home out in the world!

Today we went to the market in Sanlúcar, lots and lots of fish, meat and vegetables. Sorry to say, I forget to take photos with my mobile phone, you have to wait until I come home to see photos from there.

I´ve problems to upload photos from my mobile too, from time to time and especially right now, so this will be a post without photos. *bummer*

Miss Ass. Lifecruiser bought meat for 6,50 Euro/kg. Very nice looking meat I must say. All the fish, shrimps, crabs were so fresh and alive, no smell at all.

We have also book some flight tickets home. Yes, eventually we do have to go home… Because of the Easter, we got stuck here a bit longer than we have in mind from the beginning.

We will fly home the 5th of April from Malaga. We plan to rent a car for some days before that and drive down the coast to explore some places on the way.

I´ll tell you more about our plans later on.

Captain ♥Spain Lifecruiser