Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Almond Blossom in the Alpujarras

almond blossom nr Albondon (Alpujarra Granada) © Robert Bovington

 "It's like going to heaven," my wife commented, on our first drive into the Alpujarras. We had left Roquetas on one of the few grey days. It was in February and there was a lot of low cloud. We had only travelled a few miles up into the mountains, but it was a different world. Above the clouds, there was a bright blue sky and beautiful white and pink blossom of the almond trees.

Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Mijas - Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña



Hermitage of the Virgen de la Peña, the patron saint of Mijas. Mercedarian monks built the chapel in 1520 and inside is a carved wooden image of the virgin allegedly dating back to AD850. It is a delightful little building, although I find it a bit incongruous that, just like a number of ancient churches that I have visited in recent years, it has electronic candles rather than the real thing!

Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Grazalema


Grazalema (Cádiz) © Robert Bovington
 The approach to the town is spectacular and is dominated by the massive Peñon Grande which rises to over 1000m above the town which itself appears to be suspended from a bare cliff face.

 Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Ronda - Tajo Gorge & Puente Nuevo

by Robert Bovington
Ronda - Tajo Gorge & Puente Nuevo © Robert Bovington
The bridge is hardly as new as its name implies - it was built over 200 years ago! It is the focal point of the town. It is a masterpiece of architecture and engineering but it took 42 years to build and special machines had to be invented to raise the huge solid stone blocks from the bottom of the gorge. Various vantage points on the bridge provide spectacular views of the gorge far below.

Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cabo de Gata - Las Salinas


Cabo de Gata - Las Salinas


© Robert Bovington

Between spring and autumn, thousands of migrating birds stop here on their journeys between Europe and Africa. Apart from flamingos, there are storks, avocets, eagles and many other types. Only a few remain in the winter when the Salinas are drained after the autumn salt harvest.






Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Alicante

The city of Alicante is a Mediterranean port that boasts a fine palm-lined promenade - and a castle. 

I can attest to these facts because I went there many years ago - I don't know why - on reflection, yes I do - it was to visit somewhere interesting instead of sunbathing and boozing on a Benidorm holiday. I travelled there by train and very pleasant it was too - the little train leisurely making its way along the narrow-gauge track.

The train and the castle still exist. The castle - el Castillo de Santa Barbara - is perched 350 feet above the city and can be reached by driving up the winding road to the summit or, as I did, by using the lift.


Alicante has other attractions - a cathedral, a museum, beaches, restaurants and, for those that like that sort of thing, shopping.
 
Another reason to go there is to catch a ferry to the Balearic Islands.

Vista del puerto y el Castillo de Santa Bárbara
Skyline of the city of Alicante, seen from the harbour.
Author: Carlos Quesada Granja


Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Algeciras

Algeciras is a coastal town in Cádiz province. It is not the sort of place to linger unless you like industrial towns - and Arab things like mosques and mint tea! 

I have been there twice. The first time was to catch a boat to Morocco so all I saw was the quayside. The second occasion I did see more of the town but found it rather drab. 

It does have an attractive central square - Plaza Alta. Tiles, depicting scenes from Don Quixote, adorn the benches and walls surrounding the central fountain and cafes and bars line the perimeter of this delightful square.   

Plaza Alta Algeciras

 
Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Monday, June 1, 2015

Albacete Catedral de San Juan Bautista

Albacete has a pretty good cathedral - the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is one of those Spanish monuments that took ages to construct - over 400 years! Because of the amount of time it took to build, the Cathedral is a cornucopia of architectural styles. Construction started early in the 16th century in Gothic style but four great Renaissance columns were incorporated as well as a number of Baroque elements, together with a Neogothic main front. The tower of the Cathedral was completed in the 20th century.

Albacete Catedral de San Juan Bautista - photo: public domain (by Zarateman)

  Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"