Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Walking is thirsty work!

The fuentes of Berja
by Robert Bovington

Quite often my wife and I travel from Roquetas to the beautiful Alpujarras and often we stop in or near the attractive town of Berja for a coffee break.

However, occasionally we visit Berja because we like the town and like strolling along its quaint historic streets.

One of the noticeable features of Berja is its fuentes (fountains) -  there are more than thirty of them scattered around the town and its nearby environs! When you think that the province of Almería is the sunniest, driest part of Spain, you might wonder where the water is coming from! In the past, the Sierra de Gádor was heavily mined, mainly for lead and silver but now water is its biggest treasure. The mines were abandoned in the early nineteenth century but water, surprisingly, still appears to exist in sufficient quantities.

In villages like Berja there are numerous fuentes where water can be obtained – the meagre rainfall and the melted snow from the high sierra is efficiently stored and purified before being released as pure clean water.

So, a walk that takes in some of these fuentes is not a bad idea. 

The place to start is the tourist office - the young lady there is most helpful and will provide leaflets in Spanish and English. One of the leaflets features the famous fountain routes - you don't have to do them all in one day especially as some of them are rather off the beaten track.

Go in Spring or Autumn - it's best to avoid going in the heat of summer - even winter can be pleasantly warm at times! Take a container to fill with water - it's free and probably tastier than bought water!

Not far from the tourist office is the main plaza where the Town Hall and church (Iglesia de la Anunciación) are situated as well as one of the fountains  - the fuente de los 16 caños.

fuente de los 16 caños

Enjoy your walkl(s)!








www.tablondeanuncios.com

more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Almerimar - a lovely coastal resort!

by Robert Bovington

I quite like Almerimar!

It is technically part of El Ejido, the town that sits amidst the invernaderos (greenhouses) in the Campo de Dalías. However, drive a couple of miles south to the coast, to find a modern resort.
  

Almerimar is a lovely coastal town boasting 13km of wide, sandy beaches with excellent clean blue waters for swimming and a host of aquatic sports facilities. Swimming, windsurfing, fishing and yachting are all available. In fact, there is a 1,000-berth marina and yacht club in the town.

Almerimar also has its own 18-hole golf course; a lovely fishing harbour and, of course, restaurants, bars and shops.

Puntas Entinas


Nearby is the Puntas Entinas Natural Park.


www.tablondeanuncios.com

more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

“A delightful oasis of peace in the centre of Benalmadena”


Occasionally I yearn for some peace and solitude away from the noise and bustle of the Costa del Sol. One of the places I head for is Parque de la Paloma in Benalmadena.
.
It is delightful.


There is a lake In the middle of the park. It is inhabited by swans, gulls, ducks, mallards and turtles. And, of course, fish. 




The path around the lake makes a pleasant walk especially for the elderly - or should I say older people than me! There are many paths that criss-cross this attractive park, some with a bit of a gradient but not too steep.


Little animals roam freely. These include hens, chickens, roosters, pigeons, sparrows and rabbits. There are also ibex and ostriches but these are penned in.


There are a variety of trees, deciduous and evergreen which include eucalyptus, weeping willow, palm and cypress. There is also a cactus garden with other species as well as cactii.




Los niños are catered for with a playground and other areas where they can be let loose safely. Some areas of the park are closed to dogs.


On my last visit in April 2016, I visited the little cafe near the south-east corner of the park for a beer. And very pleasant it was too.
The park is located in the centre of the town only 200 metres from the windmill roundabout on the seafront. I parked nearby without difficulty.

Robert Bovington
April 2016



www.tablondeanuncios.com

more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sierra de Gádor - a mountain range in southern Spain

 by Robert Bovington

The Sierra de Gádor mountain range is situated in the south-western corner of the province of Almería. It belongs to the Betic system, specifically the Cordillera Penibética. The maximum altitude is 2249 meters – the summit of Launilla Morrón.

Enix © Robert Bovington



To the north is the Sierra Nevada; to the south lies the Mediterranean Sea whilst the Sierras Alhamilla and Contraviesa lie respectively to the east and west.

At the foot of the Sierra de Gádor lies the region of the Poniente Almeriense (Western Almería), traditionally called the Campo de Dalias which, in my opinion, is by far the least attractive part of the diverse region of Almería. Author Gerald Brenan didn’t like it either – “…a depressing sight met my eye. For fifteen miles the road ran in a perfectly straight line across a stony desert…” was part of his description of the Campo de Dalías in his book “South to Granada”. Nowadays the stony desert is replaced by an ocean of plastic, the ubiquitous invernaderos. These greenhouses may have allowed the province of Almería to become Europe's market garden but they sure look ugly!

Never mind! The Sierra de Gádor is a pleasant, largely unspoilt mountain range that is technically part of that delightful region of the Alpujarras. The following towns are within its boundaries:

Felix, Enix, Gádor, Alhama de Almería, Alicún, Huécija, Íllar, Instinción, Rágol, Fondón, Laujar de Andarax, Alcolea, Berja, Dalías and Vícar

In the past, the Sierra de Gádor was heavily mined, mainly for lead and silver but now water is its biggest treasure. The mines were abandoned in the early nineteenth century. Water, surprisingly, still appears to exist in sufficient quantities. In villages like Berja, Felix and Dalías there are numerous fuentes where water can be obtained – the meagre rainfall and the melted snow from the high sierra is efficiently stored and purified before being released as pure clean water.

Illar © Robert Bovington
 
Beninar © Robert Bovington
 
Beninar © Robert Bovington














www.tablondeanuncios.com

more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Frigiliana

by Robert Bovington
 

I have visited Frigiliana on a number of occasions. It is an attractive pueblo blanco, a short drive from the equally pretty coastal town of Nerja. Administratively it is part of Torrox in the Axarquia region of the province of Málaga.

Frigiliana © Robert Bovington

 The village lies on the southern slopes of the Sierra de Almijara and is 300 meters above sea level.

Places to see:
The village has a number of attractions:-
 
The Church of San Antonio de Padua, located in Calle Real, was built in the 17th century on the site of an old mosque. Its bell tower is the former minaret of the mosque.

Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua, Frigiliana © Robert Bovington
   
Another religious building is La Ermita del Ecce Homo. This small chapel was built in the 18th century. Nowadays, many citizens prefer to call it the "Ermita de Santo Cristo de la Caña". 
 
The Palacio de los Condes de Frigiliana used to be a 16th century renaissance-style palace which belonged to the Count and Countess of Frigiliana, the Manrique de Lara family. Nowadays it tends to be known as El Ingenio and is believed to be the last remaining sugar cane honey factory in Europe. Just around the corner, Bar el Ingenio is a pleasant little place to drink. 
 
Nearby are the Reales Pósitos. Back in the 18th century, it was built to store grain. Nowadays, it is used for both dwellings and shops. And bars!
  
Calle Real, Frigiliana © Robert Bovington
  
The 17th century Casa del Apero originally served as a granary and a warehouse. In 1990, the building was restored and it is now the Municipal House of Culture. Inside there is there is a library, an exhibition room and the tourist information office. 
 
Tourist guides mention two other places of interest in the town - La Fuente Vieja and the 9th century Castillo de Lizar. The former is attractive enough but it is after all only a fountain! The latter is only worth visiting for the spectacular views because there is hardly anything left of the original castle!

La Fuente Vieja © Robert Bovington
 
So, there are a number of interesting places to see in the town but probably the best bit is just wandering around the old Moorish quarter!
 
   
Festivals:
Like all Spanish towns and villages, Frigiliana has its fair share of festivals. A couple, in particular, are pretty spectacular:
 
The Cruces de Mayo celebration occurs on May 3 every year. Every plaza of the town gets a big wooden cross. The crosses are adorned with Spanish shawls, plants and flowers. Many villagers offer visitors tapas and wine for free. In the afternoon, the town band and other musicians make music. 
 
Cruces de Mayo
  
During the last week of August, the ‘Festival Frigiliana Tres Culturas’ brings together the influences of the Moors, Jews and Christian cultures with a festival of food, music, art and street entertainment.
 
http://mynerja.com/view/news/the-three-cultures-festival-in-frigiliana/
  
Other festivals in Frigliana are listed below:
   Fiesta de San Sebastián in January;
   Carnaval in February;
   The Feria of San Antonio in June;
   Feria de San Juan in June (usually on the beach in Nerja);
   Fiesta de las Candelarias in September.
 
Of course there are also the national celebrations including Christmas, Holy Week.
 
In summer, there are other cultural events held in Frigiliana including the traditional dance festival; the annual band contest, and the contest between choirs dedicated to Our Lady of El Rocío.

Robert Bovington



more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"