Friday, February 17, 2012

Sierra Nevada wildlife © Robert Bovington...

The Sierra Nevada teems with wildlife. Ibex share their habitat with wild boar and wildcats whilst in the air, owls, sparrow hawks and eagles soar. Further down, in the Alpujarras, squirrels, badgers, foxes, lizards and turtles are to be found and all manner of birds including robins, chaffinches, woodpeckers, wood pigeons and the hoopoe. In the rivers are trout and salmon.

Sierra Nevada nr Puerto La  Ragua  © Robert Bovington


Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

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Alpujarras – jamón de Trevélez © Robert Bovington...


Trevélez is famous for its ham and thousands of pigs’ legs are hung in drying sheds to produce large hams up to 10kg in weight. The dry and cold climate of the area is perfect for the production of Jamón Serrano. Trevélez is on the same slope as Mulhacén, which with a height of 3481 metres is the highest mountain in mainland Spain.


























Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
SPANISH ART
BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sorbas - Plaza de la Constitución © Robert Bovington...

The Town Square or 'Plaza de la Constitución' is really rather splendid. On one side is the former residence of the Duke of Alba. There are many mansions in this ancient town. In bygone days, a number of Castilian noblemen lived here. They not only owned these large houses but between them most of the surrounding land as well. Today, these houses are still privately owned. Many of them have attractive red façades.

Sorbas - Plaza de la Constitución © Robert Bovington

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gérgal (Almería) © Robert Bovington...

Gérgal is a pleasant little town that stands on the banks of the river of the same name. Visitors can spend an enjoyable hour strolling the streets lined with the whitewashed buildings typical of Andalucía. Bougainvillea cascades lovingly down the sides of some of the buildings which are a mixture of early traditional and houses built in the 19th century, during the prosperous mining days. A castle stands prominent at the top of a hill. It was built on the ruins of a medieval fortress in the 17th century but it is now a private dwelling.

Gérgal © Robert Bovington

Cortijo del Fraile near Rodalquilar © Robert Bovington

 The famous Spanish author, Federico García Lorca used this building as the setting for his chilling play 'Blood Wedding'. It was no coincidence. It is allegedly based on real life events that happened here.

Cortijo del Fraile near Rodalquilar © Robert Bovington

Rodaquilar - old gold mine

This part of Spain has always had an abundance of raw materials and this area of the Cabo de Gata has been extensively mined for 2000 years. The Romans extracted silver here. Later 'lead fever' took hold in the middle of the 19th century. However, the golden years for Rodalquilar followed the discovery of gold around 1880.

Rodalquilar - old gold mine


Enix (a pueblo blanco in Almería province)

Enix is a typical pueblo blanco. Often old men with flat caps and walking sticks sit on the benches in the town square busily chatting and watching the world go by. Dogs laze in the doorways of the white houses. Just beyond the town centre, pine and eucalyptus trees border the road.



Sevilla - Torre del Oro



The Torre del Oro is a 13th-century Moorish watchtower. There are varying opinions as to how it this dodecahedral tower got its name. Some say that the tower was originally adorned with gold leaf; others say that it was used as a warehouse to store gold from the New World expeditions. Perhaps a simpler explanation is that it is golden in colour!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Alboloduy (a village in the Alpujarras)

Alboloduy nestles at the foot of a mountain with orchards of citrus, grape and olive spread out across the valley below. A lovely looking church stands prominent amidst the little white houses of Arabic origin that tumble down the hillside. The town is situated in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park.


Alboloduy (Alpujarra Almeriense) - photo by Robert Bovington


more photos of the Alpujarras by Robert Bovington:

http://www.panoramio.com/user/2391258/tags/Alpujarras







Roquetas de Mar - Puerta Verde

The up-and-coming Las Salinas area of Roquetas is set on the vast plains of salt flats at the foot of the Sierra de Gádor.

Puerta Verde Roquetas

Monday, February 13, 2012

GR7 footpath


GR7 footpath between Nechite and Válor (Alpujarras)


This footpath is long! It starts at Tarifa near Gibraltar crosses the coastal mountains of Spain before continuing across the Pyrenees. However, this is only part of the story. The GR7 is but one section of the 'European Route No.4' or E4, a 10,500 kilometre footpath that runs from the southernmost point of Spain all the way to Greece via France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Rumania.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain chain in the Iberian Peninsula - higher than the Pyrenees and in all of Spain only Mount Teide in the Canaries is higher. At an impressive 3,482 metres above sea level, Mulhacén is the highest mountain in the range. There are fourteen other peaks over 3,000 metres!


Sierra Nevada - view from Puerto Ragua

Sierra Nevada near Puerto de la Ragua



This road is the only connection between the north and south faces of the Sierra Nevada.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Puerto de las Palomas


The road between Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra is spectacular. It winds its way up to the Las Palomas Pass and there are sharp bends and sheer drops on the way. The views from the top are awe-inspiring with rugged mountains, green wooded valleys and golden fields.



Yegen (Alpujarra Granada)

Yegen may not be as picturesque as villages like Pampaniera and Capileira - nor as large as Órgiva and Ugíjar. However, it is worthy of mention because it was the setting for 'South from Granada' by the celebrated English author Gerald Brenan. He lived in Yegen between 1920 and 1930. A number of famous friends visited him there including Virginia Woolf.

Yegen - photo by Robert Bovington

Alcazaba Almería

Bougainvillea, prickly pear, aloe vera, mimosa, and jasmine tumble down the slopes near the entrance. There are also gardens within the grounds of the citadel both formal and informal. Poplar, willow, rose bushes and lavender are just some of the flora to be found within.


Alcazaba Almería ***photo by Robert Bovington***










Alcazaba Almería

I enjoy walking around the grounds of the Alcazaba and exploring the towers and battlements - especially as I don't have to pay to get in! Entrance to the fortress is free to EU Nationals - just remember to take your passport.


Almería - Alcazaba Torre de Homenaje

One of the towers, 'Torre de Homenaje', has the coat of arms of the 'Catholic Monarchs' above the doorway. It was Ferdinand and Isabella who ordered the construction of this, the castle part of the 'Alcazaba'.



Almería - walls of San Cristóbal Hill

Muralla de Jayrán' - the walls that were built to enlarge the city's defences in the 11th century. They run all the way to the 'Cerro de San Cristóbal' (the hill of Saint Christopher).



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Karst en Yesos de Sorbas



The Karst en Yesos de Sorbas Natural Park is an area for potholing and exploring caves.

Sorbas - one of a number of pottery shops in the Alfarería barrio



Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Huerta

Today, February 9th 2012, The Princes of Asturias Felipe and Letizia visit Tarazona in Zaragoza province for  the inauguration of the restoration of the Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Huerta, a 'jewel in the crown' of Aragonese architecture. This Gothic cathedral  was built in the XIII century.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Almería - Puras Convent



'Las Puras Covent' is now a church, which was built in the 17th century on the site of a former convent.





Almería - Rambla (Avenida Garcia Lorca)

Avenida Federico García Lorca, a wide boulevard that has replaced the old Rambla de Belén, divides the modern city into east and west.


Almería - Iglesia San Sebastián


In Moorish times, a mosque stood here and later, in Christian Almería, it became a shrine to Saint Sebastian. In the 17th Century, the church was built. It was consecrated in 1679, during the Bishopric of Antonio de Ibarra whose coat of arms can be observed above the side door.

Almería - Iglesia Santiago

The main façade of this church is really rather splendid. Its imposing Renaissance portal is similar to the Cathedral's doorways and above the door are magnificent sculptures including one depicting St. James, Slayer of the Moors. This church is one of the oldest in the town. It was built in the times of Bishop Fray Diego Fernández de Villalán who occupies an important place in the annals of the Church in Almería because of his zeal as priest and founder of new buildings in the city. His shield is also to be found above the main door.

Almería - iglesia san pedro

Named after St. Peter, it was one of three parish churches founded by the 'Catholic Monarchs', the others being San Juan (St. John) and Santiago (St. James). An earthquake destroyed it in 1790 but the present day church, built in neo-Classical style, replaced it in 1800.

Almería (photo of the port)



Many different peoples have contributed to the architecture and culture of Almería. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans have all left their mark, but it was the Moors that really put Almería on the map! In Roman times it was called Portus Magnus but later it was called al-Mariyah, meaning 'Mirror of the Sea'.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Illar - Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Ana

La Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Ana - photo by Robert Bovington


Illar is a village in the Alpujarra Almeriense. Its church 'la Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Ana' - was built in the 16th century.






La Envia nr Roquetas

Located in a beautiful valley amidst the mountains of Vícar, the golf course is surrounded by mountains of the Sierra de Gádor, which protect it from the easterly and westerly winds.





Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
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BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The houses of the Alpujarras

Robert Bovington
The houses of the Alpujarras are quite charming with little chimneys sticking out as a reminder that the winter evenings can be a tad chilly. The houses are built of stone, adobe and clay and their façades whitewashed. The distinct cubic construction of these buildings is reminiscent of Berber architecture in Morocco's Atlas Mountains. The steepness of the land means that the houses in the villages seem to be piled on top of one another, and their characteristic flat roofs, distinctive roofed chimneys, and balconies - tinaos - extending across the steep narrow streets give them a unique and picturesque appearance - from a distance they appear to cling precariously to the mountainside.


Trevélez (Alpujarras)

There are many villages in the Alpujarras, the largest being Lanjarón, Órgiva, Ugíjar, Laujar de Andarax and Berja. All are situated at a considerable elevation but Trevélez, at 1476 metres above sea level, is the highest town in Spain.

Alpujarras - Poqueira Gorge

Pampaneira


The villages of the Alpujarra are delightful places to live or visit but the three white villages in the gorge of the Rio Poqueira - Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira - have become recognised tourist destinations and are very popular with walkers.

Laujar de Andarax - El Nacimiento (Almería)

Robert Bovington

About 1 kilometre north of Laujar is 'El Nacimiento' - a delightful area of waterfalls, picnic areas and places to walk. My wife and I usually go there in Spring and Autumn on weekdays and, mostly, we have the place to ourselves. It is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Nacimiento means 'birth' and it is here that the Río Andarax starts its journey to the sea near Almería.

 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The beautiful Alpujarras / Laujar de Andarax - photo by Robert Bovington *** Laujar de Andarax's principal church is Iglesia Parroquial de la Encarnación. Dating from the 17th century, this Mudéjar building with a Baroque finish is quite attractive. Inside, are paintings from the Dutch school. The church is known as the 'Cathedral of Alpujarra'.

The beautiful Alpujarras / Laujar de Andarax - photo by Robert Bovington


Around Andalucía / Guadix Cathedral

Robert Bovington
Guadix © Robert Bovington


The Cathedral with its Baroque tower looked impressive from the outside but inside I felt that it was rather dark and gloomy. It stands in the Plaza de Constitución and this area of the town, the Barrio de Santiago, has many fine buildings.


Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
SPANISH ART
BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN

...



Friday, February 3, 2012

Castillo de Guardias Viejas (Almería)

Robert Bovington 

Castillo de Guardias Viejas © Robert Bovington

The Castillo de Guardias Viejas is owned by the Junta de Andalucía and the municipality of El Ejido has carried out restoration work on the building, which houses a permanent exhibition of army clothing and weapons of the Napoleonic era. In 1985, the monument was declared of cultural interest. The castle is one of five forts owned by the town, the others being la Torre de Cerro Moriscas, la Torre Cuadrada, la Torre de los Bajos y la Torre de Balerma.




Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
SPANISH ART
BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN