Monthly Archives: January, 2012

Teruel – Escalinata ‘Lovers of Teruel’

The Escalinata is a staircase that climbs the hill from the railway station to the city centre. It is quite a recent addition to the city’s fine architecture but quite splendid for all that – it was designed by José Toran in 1920. It is decorated with ceramic tiles and is in mock Mudéjar style. The Escalinata includes a beautifully carved embossed relief depicting a scene from the legend of the Lovers of Teruel.

Almería Murallas de Jayran & Alcazaba

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.

Almería – Episcopal Palace

The ‘Palacio Episcopal’ or Archbishop’s Palace was built in the nineteenth century when the upper classes started erecting the grand stately homes and palaces outside the old walled city of Muslim Almería.

Almería – Former Convent School Puras

In the mid 19th century, church lands were disentailed so nuns had to adopt other ways of earning a living. Education offered a means of economic survival. To this end, the ‘Convent school Puras’ was built during the period 1885 to 1889. I think it is another delightful building with its cream-coloured façade and pink arches. Today, the building houses the ‘University of Distance-Learning’. That is what I like about Almería – tasteful old-fashioned buildings housing 21st century businesses.

Almería – Plaza de la Constitución

Plaza de la Constitución – also called the Plaza Vieja or Old Square. This 17th century arcaded square is really rather splendid. It is entered via narrow alleyways and in the centre are palm trees and a commemorative monument in remembrance of a group of liberals who lost their lives in a revolt in 1824.

Cherín – a village in the Alpujarras

Cherín is a small village in the Alpujarras. It has an oil mill and many orange, mandarin and olive groves as well as almond trees.

for more photos of the this delightful area of Spain click on…

almond blossom in the Alpujarras

almond blossom nr Albondon

“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.

Venta Gaspar & Parque El Boticario (Almería province)

Venta Gaspar is a small barrio located near La Cañada and about 7 km from the city of Almería. In 2010 it had 442 inhabitants. The delightful Parque El Boticario is situated nearby.
This botanical garden is divided into four areas:

  • The jardín árabe comprises approximately, 6,500 m2 of palms, cypresses, fruit trees, herbs, flower beds and shrubs.
  • The parque forestal is a place for walking and leisure. There are play areas for children together with a bike lane.
  • The parque de rocas comprises sandstones, clay, gypsum, limestone, metamorphic and volcanic rock extracted from the quarries of Almería province. These rock gardens are distributed around the park.
  • The parque botánico comprises three acres of plants representing the most rare species of Almería.

Benaoján (White Towns of Andalusia)

Benaoján is a pretty village that I first encountered when I travelled on the Algeciras to Ronda railway. Near the railway station there is a footpath to Cueva de la Pileta – a cave with primitive rock paintings of animals that, apparently, date from around 25,000 BC. Just above the village there is a mirador where spectacular views can be enjoyed – poplar, willow and oleander at the bottom of the valley; evergreen oak, peonies, thickets of kermes oak, retama and broom on the hillside; gorse, thyme and sage beneath jagged outcrops of limestone on higher ground and probably the odd vulture or two circling above.  There are about 300 griffin vultures in the Serranía de Ronda, which is a tribute to the local conservationists as during the 1960’s the birds were almost extinct.

footpath to Cueva de la Pileta

Gaucín (one of the ‘White Towns of Andalucía’)

In the heart of the Serranía de Ronda is Gaucín, atypical pueblo blanco with whitewashed houses and a maze of narrow streets. Thevillage commands sweeping views to Gibraltar and the RifMountains of North Africa.