Estancia por temporada larga en Conil - entrevista a una huésped
Long-term winter vacations on the Costa de la Luz are in fashion.
There are many reasons for this: a mild climate and endless sandy beaches, nature reserves with unique flora and fauna and authentic (white) villages are attractive; Cadiz, Jerez and Seville with their wide cultural offerings are within a 1 to 2 hour drive.
We wanted to know what else motivates people to spend a few months here. So we asked Sabine. She settled in Conil from early February to early May 2017 and gave us some very personal answers.
Q: Sabine, how did your long-term winter vacation come about?
A: My situation in life made it possible and I "smelled freedom": I was able to retire at 58, my second son moved away to study last year. It was also triggered by the fact that I overcame a serious illness. You wonder what's important and what's not so important. So I downsized my home a lot and moved out; Costa de la Luz was my second "stage."
Q: Why Costa de la Luz? Why Conil de la Frontera?
A: At first I had my sights set on South America, but that would have been difficult with my dog. But it should be Spanish-speaking and, in view of the cold season, as far south as possible. At first I thought of Tarifa, but I read in the MM travel guide that it was very windy. On further reading I really liked the description of Conil. So there I am and happy with my decision.
Q: What did you expect from your time here?
A: On the one hand, I wanted to learn Spanish (South America just postponed) and feed the brain with something new again. On the other hand, I found the question interesting: what do you take with you when you leave home for a long time and go somewhere else? And what change do you want to take home with you? Could you live somewhere else (other than Germany)? What did you expect from your time here?
Q: Are your vacations away for so long or are you at home somewhere else?
A: More like being at home. I rented a house in which I distributed my belongings (which I brought with me). And here I also had my routines: walks with the dog; I went to Asthanga yoga almost every day and took language courses. Basically, I didn't miss anything from home. Okay, maybe to go to the movies, long conversations with good friends ... Penaten cream. ; o) But that's about it.
Q. What did you particularly like?
A: The vastness of the landscape and the more relaxed pace of everyday life, the relaxation of people: no running in the additionally opened cash register in the supermarket, no honking when the one in front of you stops to greet a friend on the street from the window. The weather here in winter simply has a slightly different dimension than at home. The days go by so comfortably, even without doing much.
Q: What was hard to get used to?
A: The meal times: that there is time for afternoon coffee at 6:00 p.m. and that dinner is not really served before 8:00 p.m./8:30 p.m.
Q: What do you recommend to other long-term vacationers?
A: Approach people openly, especially when you are traveling alone and/or want to learn the language; go to the Spanish hairdresser, chat with the sales clerk. Almost everyone here is ready for a quick chat, especially in the quieter winter. This also helps to get familiar with the language and get used to the local dialect.
Q: Your personal TOP 5 on the Costa de la Luz?
A: The many big and small festivals. The first thing that comes to mind is Semana Santa: I didn't realize how big it was celebrated here, and it is impressive even for the non-religious, especially in the smaller towns.
In general, there is hardly a weekend that doesn't have some kind of festival. The Carnival of Cadiz is also definitely worth seeing.
The numerous hiking opportunities: thanks to the dog, I have done many hikes or even just walks. The Parque Nacional La Breña y Marismas de Barbate is wonderful for hiking, but also the Ruta Punta del Boquerón in San Fernando, or just the short walk along the rugged coast behind the Conil lighthouse: quiet, with beautiful views, small bays and wonderful azaleas. A somewhat more distant destination is the Sierra de Grazalema. But the road is wonderful and the place with its hiking opportunities is very beautiful.
There are also a myriad of sporting opportunities. Golf, horseback riding, kayaking, yoga ... cyclists in particular benefit from the new bike paths.
The hinterland is beautiful, gently hilly with pretty small villages and especially in the winter green with ever different spring flowers blooming slowly one after the other.
Of the cities, Cadiz I liked best and later in the season (because there is simply more life) Tarifa, where you can do a whale and dolphin watching tour and see many animals.
Yes, and last but not least: the FOOD!
Interview conducted on April 15, 2017