It has been quite a while since my last blog post. We have been busy but I think that the reason why I did not write sooner stems from the coronavirus events. The pandemic circumstances has made me somewhat numb and unable to formulate clear thoughts.
I have been feeling like writing again because I have had a lot of traffic on the blog lately and received many emails from fellow Canadians who like us are wanting to spend long-stay in Spain in the winter months. So, thank you for your messages and questions. It gives me a sense of purpose and renews my will to share everything wonderful Spain has to offer.
I will start by an update before I resume more informative blog articles.
It has been a very busy year. We left Canada mid-October and visited incredibly beautiful and diverse Croatia. Article and pictures to follow in a separate post. One of the best things about coming to Spain every year for the winter months, is that you can connect your flight to a city you are interested in. It saves you additional airfare for a separate trip and adds to your European travel experience. Europe is incredibly diverse and each country has its own culture, customs and cuisine. There is so much to see and do in Europe. So far, we have stopped for a 4 day visit in Amsterdam, Paris and two full weeks in Croatia. We plan to do this again when the coronavirus situation is behind us and we can resume safe travels.
When we came back to Spain at the end of October last year, we had a long to do list to make the house we bought last year feel like a home. Throughout the year, we made many improvements of all kinds most of which were of a cosmetic or comfort nature. We had to deal with spanish trade workers of all types and got to practice our Spanish language everyday! The Spanish workers are lovely to deal with and we have since made many connections with plumber, electricians, gardener, bricklayer and our super efficient general contractor whom we rely on for just about anything. We have renovated 2 bathrooms, built a sunken garden terrace, improve lighting, got new art, changed dining room furniture, built a pétanque court, got new garden furniture and did a ton of work in the garden. We are in the process of renovating the summer kitchen, yes we have two kitchens, it’s a big house! The house really feel like ours now and we are so grateful to have this amazing home to come to every year.
The most wonderful event of the year was the visit of 14 Canadian friends who came in Nerja to get away from the cold or wet winter in Canada. They were from Newfoundland, Alberta or British Columbia and came here because of what we had told them about this area. Some came for a month, others came for two months and all of them rented their own apartment. What a fun winter it was to spend with them. They all loved it and are talking about coming back. We shared many meals, hiked the surrounding mountains, walked the coasts and did a lot of partying. Then, covid hit us like a brick and put a dead halt to that joyful state.
Spain ordered the first two week lockdown in mid-March. Most of our friends had left by then except three couples who debated staying or cutting their stay short. We then foolishly thought that this would only be a two week confinement. How silly of us. Our friends finally found flights back to Canada within a week or two. We decided to stay until our May 31 flight as planned. Surely, things would be back to somewhat normal by then, we thought. The lockdown continued for a full 2 months until mid-May. Our May 31 flight was cancelled and the July 6th flight as well. When we heard of all the cases being reported on flights, we decided it was safer to stay. We are still here now and are planning to return at the end of March 2021.
I will dedicate a full blog to what it was like in Spain during one of the World’s most severe lockdown and what the summers are like in Spain on the costa del sol. So please subscribe to the blog to receive the updates in your e-mailbox. Thank you for reading and for your comments. It gives me great joy to know that I can be of help to someone looking for a similar experience! Take care and stay safe!