Vejer de la Frontera is something else. The town sits atop a hill in a particularly rural part of Spain that hasn’t yet been overrun by olive groves. Tall white electricity windmills stand spinning wildly in the blustery winds. Every ridge and flatland for miles from the sea is touched by this alternative electricity farm. And then, there above it all, atop a hill untouched by the tall spinning posts, there is Vejer de la Frontera. We’d read it was a cute white town but didn’t expect anything like this.
We’ve stayed overnight in Vejer, eating out at a fantastic restaurant Corredera 55. It’s drizzling in the morning so we take it easy, heading out to explore the town around 11am. And what a town it is to explore. It’s not large and all the touristy sights are closed today. But sometimes it’s these local experiences that are the nicest.
We start in the Old Town. It’s surrounded by a fortress wall with four old gates. The gates and old buildings are fascinating because they are not white. They are the only structures in the town that are not painted white. So they stand out starkly.
The Old Town is home to the castle and cathedral. The castle is small but the walls are extensive. You can walk up on them and look down across the farmlands.
It’s days like these where I just walk around a town taking in the simple things that I love the most about traveling. Sure, the grand sights are impressive but they are just sights. This is real life and atmosphere. It’s a simple do it yourself pleasure.
There’s so much to see from the way colours pop when they are contrasted against pure white.
To local decorative touches like these old wine casks outside a taverna (pub).
Naturally, the town has its fair share of crosses. Spain is Catholic after all and Catholicism has a long history here given the battles the Christians made against the Moors.
The pretty Plaza de Espana must look wonderful on a blue sky day but the skies haven’t yet turned blue by the time we get there (they do turn blue later in the afternoon). The brick fountain is tiled in bright colours and the ever-present orange trees are fruiting profusely. I can picture locals sitting here enjoying the day while children play soccer.
A dog asks for pats as it sticks its head out of its master’s window. The master is home peeling potatoes in the kitchen (I see her through the window). Naturally I pat the dog. Inside I hear a voice baby talking to the dog and I can just imagine that the lady is saying words to the effect of, “Oh did someone just pat you little doggie? Was it a nice person?” . Haha
We walk up to the back of the New Town where there are some old flour grinding windmills. Originally the town tried to use La Mancha windmills like we saw on our quest for Don Quixote. But the winds in this region are too strong so the windmills fell over. This led to an adaptation by making the windmills wider to have a more solid structure. There are supposed to be some walks leaving from here but we can’t find them. Perhaps we looked in the wrong place or maybe they are just something locals need to know about. The information brochure is less than helpful so we give up. Instead we are happy with our adventures in the town itself.