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Andalucia

June 2008

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July 2008

Our first holiday in southern Spain, focusing on the inland, away from the coast. We visited the old moorish cities Granada (with the world renowned Alhambra), Cordoba with its very memorable Mezquita, and Sevilla with the Real Alcázar. And also the smaller 'pueblos blancos' such as Ronda, Antequera, Alhama de Granada, Gaucin, Zahara de la Sierra, Setenil de las Bodegas, and Grazalema. Little did we know that 12 years later, we would be living permanently in this beautiful part of Spain!

The first week in Andalucía we stayed in this small but pleasant house in the mountains above La Joya, about 15 minutes by car from Antequera.
Our house near La Joya
Our house near La Joya
Our house near La Joya
The views from our garden were stunning, especially early in the morning and around sunset.
Antequera. Sleepy street at midday.
Azulejos, the typical Spanish blue tiles
One of the arches leading to the octagonal square in Archidona.
Our first city trip was to Cordoba, north of Antequera.
Cordoba
Cordoba
The outside of the large mosque in Cordoba - the Mezquita - doesn't give away much about the inside.
Gold plated doors all around the Mezquita
La Puerte del Perdón, built in 1377
Patio de los Naranjos
Patio de los Naranjos
From the Patio de los Naranjos you step through a small doorway and this magnificent view unfolds.
Striped arches as far as the eye can see
Sometimes a patch of daylight when there's a window up above
La Mezquita
But make one turn or step over a threshold and you step from an islamic mosque right into a Christian chapel.
The heart of the Mezquita was destroyed in 1523 to make room for a catholic cathedral
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
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La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
Capilla de Villaviciosa, the first christian chapel which was built in the Mezquita in 1371
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
The Mihrab
La Mezquita
La Mezquita
The Torre del Alminar was built on the place where the minaret of the Mezquita used to be
Cordoba
Tapas lunch restaurant
Garganta del Chorro. Not too far from our house we found this narrow passage through a mountain. The bridge was unfortunately too dangerous and too old to go across.
Garganta del Chorro
Garganta del Chorro. This also happens to be the south entrance to the famous 'Caminito del Rey' walkway
Touring through Andalucía. Every now and then we had to stop for animals crossing our path...
Lots of goats
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Parque Natural del Torcal. A great place for hiking.
Parque Natural del Torcal
Parque Natural del Torcal
Parque Natural del Torcal
Parque Natural del Torcal
Parque Natural del Torcal
Parque Natural del Torcal
Parque Natural del Torcal
Parque Natural del Torcal
Downtown cinema in Antequera
Antequera
Sunbathing in the shade
View from our house
View from our house
View from our house
The Alhambra used to be the palace of the moorish kings of Granada. Now it is one of the major touristic venues in Spain.
The Generalife at the Alhambra
The Generalife
Alhambra
Alhambra
The Generalife
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
Lots of people everywhere unfortunately. But understandable too!
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The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
View from the Alhambra on downtown Granada
View from the Alhambra on downtown Granada
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
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Honeycomb, stalactite, or "mocárabe" vaulting in the Hall of the Abencerraje
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Alhambra
The Partal, one of the palaces of the complex
The Partal, one of the palaces of the complex
El Albaicín is a district of present day Granada that retains the narrow winding streets of its Medieval Moorish past. It was declared a world heritage site in 1984, along with the more famous Alhambra.
El Albaicín in Granada
While having dinner in the tiny town of La Joya, a herd of goats pass us on their way home.
While having dinner in the tiny town of La Joya, a herd of goats pass us on their way home.
The sleepy and partly derelict town of Alhama de Granada is perched atop a hill overlooking the gorge of the river Alhama.
Alhama de Granada
Alhama de Granada
Málaga
Málaga
Our room in La Fuente de la Higuera, near Ronda
La Fuente de la Higuera
La Fuente de la Higuera
View from La Fuente de la Higuera
View from La Fuente de la Higuera
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Pool time
Pool time
La Fuente de la Higuera
La Fuente de la Higuera
La Fuente de la Higuera
Built in 1785, the Plaza de Toros in Ronda is one of the oldest operational bullrings in Spain.
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Plaza de Toros in Ronda
Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m above mean sea level
The Rio Guadalevín runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep El Tajo canyon upon which the city is perched
Ronda was first settled by the early Celts, but its Roman and then Moorish rulers are reflected most prominently in its architecture. The forces of Catholic Spain took control of the town in 1485
Ronda
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We're having lunch at a 2-star restaurant in Ronda called Tragabuches and it turned out to be a memorable eating experience for a very reasonable price!
The Puente Nuevo ("New Bridge") spans the canyon in Ronda. The term "nuevo" is a bit of a misnomer, since this bridge was completed in 1793. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of three bridges, towering 120 meters above the canyon floor
Ronda
Ronda
Ronda
Ronda
Roundtrip to the Pueblos Blancos
Roundtrip to the Pueblos Blancos
Roundtrip to the Pueblos Blancos
The towns of Grazalema and Zahara in the distance
Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas
Cattle basking in the hot afternoon sun
Zahara de la Sierra
Roundtrip to the Pueblos Blancos
Roundtrip to the Pueblos Blancos
View from Zahara towards the reservoir
Rabo de Toro, soft and chewy Spanish oxtail
Dinner at Pedro Romero
Dinner at Pedro Romero
We had the best tapas ever on the terrace of Traga Tapas, not far from Tragabuches. This was the last of 5 tapas, a wonderfully soft and tasty suckling pig...
After the memorable lunch on tuesday, we're back at Tragabuches for friday dinner. This is one of the brilliant starter dishes.
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And this was the other starter.
Playing around with the timer settings of our camera to capture the nice atmosphere of Ronda at night
Ronda at night
Ronda at night
Ronda at night
Ronda at night
Ronda at night
Ronda at night
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
The old part of Ronda
Gaucin is the most southern of the Pueblos Blancos. From here you have a great view on the rock of Gibraltar and - on a clear day - you can see the mountains of Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar.
The town has a beautiful and pittoresque graveyard
Gaucin
Gaucin
Gaucin
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Results of an apparent competition between inhabitants to create the most striking lizard display on the walls of your home. They were all over the place and this was the winner.
Gaucin
Typical Pueblo Blanco
The Juderia is the old quarter around the Real Alcázar and the cathedral in the center of Sevilla.
Sevilla
Sevilla
Sevilla
Sevilla
The Real Alcázar has developed from the city's old Moorish Palace; construction was begun in 1181 and continued for over 500 years, mainly in Mudéjar style, but also in Renaissance.
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
The decorative quality of the Alcázar matches that of the Alhambra easily; yet this Moorish palace has much less visitors than the Alhambra which is very pleasant...
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
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Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
Real Alcázar
As we approach the cathedral, the guests of a wedding party start to arrive. This is the mother of bride or groom...
Wedding in the cathedral
Wedding in the cathedral
Wedding in the cathedral
Wedding in the cathedral
Wedding in the cathedral
Wedding in the cathedral
Wedding in the cathedral
Sevilla cathedral was built from 1401–1519 after the Reconquista on the former site of the city's mosque. It is amongst the largest of all medieval and Gothic cathedrals, in terms of both area and volume. The interior is the longest nave in Spain.
Sevilla cathedral
Sevilla cathedral
The Giralda, originally a minaret, was converted into a bell tower.
View from the Giralda
Plaza de Toros of Sevilla in the distance, near the river.
View from the Giralda
One of the pretty streets in downtown Sevilla, covered from the sun and the heat for our shopping pleasure.
Sevilla
Sevilla
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by @edoch in Spain