Andalucia Journals

Moor and More - Year One in Andalucía

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A September 2009 trip to Andalucia by Niiko

Playa de los Lances Photo, Tarifa, Spain More Photos
Quote: We (being my girlfriend and I) moved to northern Andalucía in September 2009 and have since dedicated ourselves to frittering all our money away on the region's wonderful food and cities ... so far, so good.

Hostal La Calzada

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Hotel | "Cosy Comforts"

Quote:
In a town famed for its unforgiving, whisk-you-away to Africa winds, you need a comfortable hole to hide away in it, and Hostal La Calzada (whilst anything but a hole) is the ideal place to retreat and comb the sand out of your hair. Located right in the middle of the old town, within yards of bars and cafes and the central church, the hotel is a cosy, homely place with half a dozen welcoming rooms.Calle Justino Pertinez, on which the hotel is situated, is a bit of a pain to find at first, tucked away amongst a dense network of little narrow streets diving back and forth between the main street and the walls of the old town. Rather than plunging into this rabbit warren, it’s easier – assum...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 26, 2010

Hostal La Calzada
C/ Justino Pertiñez, 7
Tarifa 11380
+34 956 681 492

Mulhacen

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Attraction | "Over Lemons to the Roof of Spain"

Mulhacen Summit Photo, Granada, Spain
Quote:
They say that Spain is a land of contrasts - mind you, they say everywhere's a land of contrasts, so it doesn't mean an awful lot. What significance there is to be found in the yawning mantra, however, is well exemplified by an early-morning start for an ascent of Spain's highest mountain, Mulhacen. The sun's only just come up, and having left the car at the Hoya del Portillo trailhead, I'm wandering at a ponderous pace up a dirt track, ascending ever higher above the surrounding valleys. Thick, inky shadows are being thrown back at me by the surrounding pines, but I'm having to stop every few minutes to catch my breath (I'm already at 2200 metres' altitude, and my body knows it), then a few minutes l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 17, 2010

Ubeda

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "A Renaissance Gem in Andalucia"

Food! Photo, Ubeda, Spain
Quote:
Imagine a great beast of Renaissance architecture tramping across southern Spain – a great dome for a head, thunderous columns for limbs and triumphal arches shielding its eyes from the blazing sun. A chateau on its back and a cloth hall for a belly, it scars the scrubby earth with its pilaster-claws and gobbles up the terrain with a red-brick tongue. Greedy and gross, it eats something that disagrees with its delicate innards – a Moorish castle why not – and with a twitch and a gurgle, a shudder and a grumble, it is violently sick, spewing out Renaissance buildings across the hilltop. It belches, shakes its head and slowly shifts its deafening footsteps in a northerly slant.This, to paint...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 28, 2010

Seville

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Some Like It Hot"

Quote:
Here be flamenco. Here be siesta and fiesta. Here be tapas and toros, summer heat and "no hoy, manana …" In short, here be every image of quintessential Spain made real.From its music to its Moorishness, its food to its celebrations, Seville at times seems like a theme park catering to visitors’ preconceptions of the country. If this wasn’t an impression I held before visiting, it certainly was when I was standing in a bar on the fringes of the city centre, supping a beer around an implausibly balmy mid-October midnight.If Andalucía is the most quintessentially Spanish part of Spain, and Seville is its most distinctively flavoursome city, the man behind this bar had to be a lea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 24, 2010

Gibraltar

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Attraction | "Tween the Rock and a Hard Place"

Gibraltar Photo, Gibraltar, Europe
Quote:
If Disney made theme parks based on British high streets (admittedly an unappetising prospect, but you know, if ...) they'd be something like Gibraltar. Scores upon dozens of traditional pubs and similarly "classic" grub, long-standing high-street chains, red telephone boxes and old-fashioned police hats, heavily-accented barmaids who call you "luv" five times a minute - the pebbledash mixture recalls an imagined Britain that probably never existed quite like this. Yet although its sweaty centre often has the feel of a Little Englander's wet dream, there's more to Gibraltar. I'd say more than meets the eye, but its most intriguing and enjoyable diversion is also its most apparent; towering...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 10, 2010

Gibraltar


Tarifa

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Got Wind?"

Playa de los Lances Photo, Tarifa, Spain
Quote:
Tell a Spaniard you're off to Tarifa and get used to the lament - "the wind, the wind, oh but the wind!" We were warned by several people to load our pockets with stones lest we be blown clear off the beach. The friend who didn't give us such a warning told me instead that I'd got substantially "less slim" recently, assuming I wouldn't need outside help in weighting myself down. They're right, off course, if a bit negative - the wind and Tarifa, to the west of Gibraltar (billed as 'the Southernest point in Europe') get on famously well, and the hundreds of wind turbines, sleepy man-made flora that stand sentinel over the town from surrounding hilltops bear evidence to this. As such, Tarifa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 4, 2010

Alhambra Palace and Fortress Complex

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Attraction | "Moors' Moving Castle"

Alhambra Palace and Fortress Complex Photo, Granada, Spain
Quote:
Did you know more photos are taken inside the walls of the Alhambra than in any other monument on earth?* *Entirely fabricated factoid. This isn't necessarily true, but it certainly feels like it. From afar, Granada's - and arguably Spain's - most treasured and esteemed jewel begs to be captured on film; inside, it's innumerable times as beguiling. Built by the Moors in the 13th century and retaken by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, the complex is a stunning, striking mass of grand, imposing architecture and fine Islamic detail, forming an entrancing whole. Viewed from a distance, the Alhambra's most prominent structure is the Alcazaba, a castle complex of imposing a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 16, 2010

Alhambra Palace and Fortress Complex
Top Of The Hill Of The Assabica
Granada, Andalusia, Spain
958 523 929

Albayzin District

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Attraction | "Granada's Charming Heart"

Alhambra Palace and Fortress Complex Photo, Granada, Spain
Quote:
As much as the Alhambra dominates Granada – both physically and in terms of mass popularity – the Albayzin district is the perfect complement to the Big Daddy of the city. Tonic to its Gin, Paella to its Saffron, so on and so forth …With views across the emblem of the city like nowhere else in Granada, the heights of the Albayzin make for a perfect mirador (or look-out point), as the crowds around San Nicolas church show day-round, but the neighbourhood’s more than just a viewing platform. Rougher and readier than the more modern parts of the city, there’s a character about the area that’s perhaps lacking elsewhere in Granada. That’s not to decry the rest of the place; rather, it could oft...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2010

Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba

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Attraction | "The Mosque that Ate a Cathedral"

Quote:
Cordoba is rightly celebrated for its Mezquita (or Mosque), the most emblematic of the city’s attractions – and iconic it is, as many of Cordoba’s locations work the distinctive two-tone arches into their stylings. Much of the Old Town that surrounds the Mezquita is an attraction in itself – narrow, winding passageways opening out into attractive courtyards and squares, lined with a plethora of tapas bars, shops and restaurants. Cordoba’s diverse religious make-up is evident here, as you stroll from La Juderia (the Jewish district) to streets containing Arabic tearooms and similarly-derived architecture, passing Christian churches and Roman ruins en route.This meeting-point of cultures is ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 3, 2010

Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba
Calles Torrijos and Cardenal Herrero S/N
Cordoba, Andalusia

Sierra y Mar Guesthouse

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Somewhere Special on the Road to Nowhere"

Quote:
Ferreirola is very much an end-of-the road destination. Unfortunately, this only became apparent to me when, oblivious to the ever-narrowing track, I got our car nicely stuck, having tried to drive it down a street that would struggle to accommodate a podgy donkey. Suitably embarrassed, I backed slowly out under the amused gaze of a benchful of villagers and we made the remainder of the journey on foot. In fairness, I'm probably not the only visitor to reach an impasse. Little more than a hamlet, the cluster of houses in which the Sierra y Mar guesthouse resides doesn't see much in the way of through traffic, and that which does navigate its narrow streets does so solely by foot. You don't...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2010

Sierra y Mar Guesthouse
C/ Albaycã­n, 3
Ferreirola, Spain
+34 958 766 171