Travel Troubles in Tarifa #BlogchatterA2Z

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Awkward pictures in super windy Tarifa, Spain

This post has been written for the theme “26 Places, 26 Memories” for the #AtoZChallenge.


Tarifa, the southernmost town in Spain; looks on to Morocco and is located across from the Strait of Gibraltar. It’s unique weather conditions make it the world’s most popular wind sports destination.

I visited this quaint place in July 2012, while on vacation to the Andalusian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) with the popular guided tour company Busabout. Free from exams for my Master’s Degree in London, my friend and I decided to travel before returning home to India. We chose Busabout as a convenient way to explore our destinations without the hassle of planning everything ourselves, as well as to meet new people. There are many memorable moments from the trip, but here’s one that stands out.


Our group consisted solely of Australians, mostly students with a few adventurous older people. Even the guide and bus driver were from there; my friend and I being the only non-Australians on board.

Our itinerary at Tarifa included a day trip to Gibraltar. This peninsula, known for its famous rock, is part of British territory. The Australians required no visas for entry to UK; my friend had a multiple entry Schengen visa; but I’d only been granted a single-entry Schengen visa. Though I could enter UK territory on my student visa, I wouldn’t be allowed back into the Schengen zone, which meant I had to stay alone in Tarifa. My friend offered to stay with me, but I urged her to go so she wouldn’t have any regrets later.

That day was my first experience of solo travel. I’m essentially a social creature, and being left alone due to unavoidable circumstances, had upset me more than I cared to admit. Instead of moping about in the youth hostel, however, I decided to explore the town.

It was easy to traverse the entire place on foot. I saw the medieval Guzman Castle, Church of St. Mathew, and Roman Ruins without much trouble. The only difficulty I faced was taking photographs. As my smartphone had been stolen in London, I was documenting my European travels on camera. A few unsuccessful attempts at taking selfies with my handheld, led me to shyly ask strangers to click me (as a blogger, I no longer have qualms about that!). The fierce wind whipped my hair this way and that, resulting in interesting pictures.

Afterwards, I walked out in the heat of the afternoon and decided to have an ice-cream. Perched on a public bench, I was enjoying my little treat, when a sweet old man began a conversation with me in Spanish. I tried multiple times to tell him that I didn’t speak the language, but he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I kept nodding with a smile, and when he finally stopped and looked at me for an answer, I exclaimed politely, “I’m sorry, but I don’t speak Spanish!”. His astonished look reaffirmed that he’d mistaken me for a Spaniard! I laughed gleefully, happy to have passed off as a local person.

By the time my group returned, slightly disappointed at their uneventful trip of seeing a rock, I was in high spirits. The time spent with myself in a strange town had made me content. Or perhaps, it was the delicious ice-cream with plentiful local flavour 😉

Come back tomorrow for the letter U and another story!

Spain 2

The Busabout gang roaming the Andalusian countryside, where large effigies of bulls are a common sight. These are left over from an advertising campaign that took place decades ago.


Tarifa is a popular wind sports destination


Exploring the sights of Tarifa, Spain, July 2012


Windy selfies on handheld cameras are not a good idea! 


With my companion on that eventful trip! Spain-Portugal July 2012

T for Tarifa, Spain

Book a stay in Tarifa by clicking here.

*The copyright in all pictures belongs to nooranandchawla. 

**This is not a sponsored post, but it contains an affiliate link. If you book a stay using my link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

A for AmritsarB for BhopalC for CambodiaD for Delhi,  E for England, F for France, G for Gwalior, H for Hemkund Sahib, I for Italy, J for Jim Corbett National Park, K for Kamakhya Devi Temple, L for London, M for Munich, N for NaplesO for Odisha,  P for PragueQ for Qila Mehrangarh Jodhpur, R for Rishikesh, S for Singapore


  1. You have been to Spain as well? I want to know your bucket list 😀 I mean is there anything left? 😀 Loved reading your post! The way you remember certain incidents in every trip and make the trip memorable is really charming.

  2. Hello, fellow A to Zer! I am glad to hear that your visa trouble actually resulted in a really good time and some nice ice cream. I also like that cow picture. It is so big and so plain. I wonder what the advertising campaign was like.

    1. Hi thanks for stopping by!
      These cows were put there to advertise some brand of milk (i think). Later instead of spending money to remove these cows; they simply painted over the visuals. There were tons of big black cows distributed on this arid, windy countryside.
      We would play spotting games in the bus. Whoever saw a cow, would say “ole”!

  3. Solo travels make us really strong Noor and I am glad your experienced it my dear. I travelled solo across several nations during my job in Ikea and it has enriched me like nothing else ♥️

  4. Interesting read those who are social creatures will surely feel it uneasy to be separated suddenly from the team, but i hope you enjoyed the time, personally i like to travel with myself.

  5. Spain is beautiful… I rem all the lovely locales in Zindagi Na milegi Dobara if i rem correctly was a 2011 release…. Yet to visit… Lovely post Noor… Keep travelling keep exploring and keep telling ur stories…

    1. Thank you! Yes that movie releases in 2011 and was one of the reasons I wanted to visit Spain. I even saw some of the locales from the movie, like Sevilla and La Tomatina (though not during festival time!)

  6. You are one Globe trotting person Noor, and I am surprised you have such beautiful (and some spooky) tales from all across. You know what – you are Amazing.

  7. I always enjoy your travel stories and this was again a special one, as it was a solo trip, traveling solo is a different experience all together hai na? Pictures came out to be good and look amzing like always. Koi jagah chodi hai Noor? Aur das kinni “Tarifa” chaydi hai tenu? 🙂

  8. Wow… you have been to so many beautiful places making beautiful memories. Spain is on my travel list. Would like to visit Tarifa. 🙂

  9. Nice pictures Noor even the selfies. Must say that you are some traveller. Kudos for that.

  10. Oh yes, you don’t look like an Indian in these pics 😛 just kidding, you look gorgeous that’s why he came to talk to you. I want to travel solo at least once in my life just not getting that right chance.

  11. Though it was upsetting that you had to leave your group but you experienced solo traveling. I loved the way you explored the city on your own. I wish I have travel stories like yours one day.

  12. Your every travel tale has its own story which I find very amusing. I love how you manage to tell each and every experience of your. Loving this series.

  13. I am love with this series of yours. Never heard of tariffa before but sounds like a place worth visiting. You have covered everything so beautifully.

  14. I’m loving reading your A2Z sereies a lot. I kinda like travelling alone😅. You can explore a different phase of your personality. Such kind of solo trips are amazing.. And the memories stays forever.

  15. You are great story teller girl ! I like the way you make every travel so interesting even for your readers. Btw first solo trip wasn’t bad 🙂

  16. Solo Travel is such fun! After being a mom I have never been on a solo trip but I intend to do so soon. Your travel experiences were a great read Noor. Cheers to many more travel stories

  17. I liked your selfie with handheld camera. It showed the happiness you had on your face to explore the town alone. It is good to have solo travel experience too.

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