What’s this about?
This is the Spanish website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. When in Spain we live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarify that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for a decade or more and now we're spending a lot more time here.

If you're familiar with what3words (if you're not now you soon will be) we live at dossier.bath.sawn

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Expat blogs in Spain

Archive

Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

A morning in Orce

Orce from high up in the villageConsidering the time of year, the weather today was not that bad – sunny pretty much all day and heading toward 20c. We took a trip over to Orce market, which was a little disappointing but while there we noticed a sign for the museum and headed over there. A small entrance on the outside hides a 16th century very nice building which houses the museum.

Once inside we were welcomed in and given full instructions in English before being left to roam freely, not signs to tell you not to use your camera, no big-brother cameras. Very civilised.

We left the museum towards lunchtime and headed over to Huescar (just a few kilometres Orce from high up in the villageapart) where FINALLY after much effort and wasted money I found some solder that actually works at the local Ferreteria. There was most likely nothing wrong with my original soldering iron – just the cheap rubbish Chinese crappy solder they supplied with and sold separately from the irons – hard to imagine as to why a retailer could be so thick as to sell soldering irons along with solder that isn’t suitable for those irons – but there you have it. Anyway, along the way today I took some photos and here they are. You can click any photo to enlarge it.

Enjoy the pics… click to enlarge…

Orce MuseumOrce museumOrce museum

 

Imagery of prehistoric animals

A trip to Granada–the Alhambra and more

We had to drop Maureen’s sister Elizabeth off at Granada airport first thing this morning so we took the opportunity to visit the Alhambra by travelling down first thing on Wednesday morning and stopping overnight in the city.

Early Morning in the mountains of AndaluciaDon’t forget to click on any image if you want a larger version.

First thing in the morning (7.30am) the views of the mountains were spectacular with low-lying clouds hovering above or in the mountains themselves.

Queues at the AlhambraWe arrived around 9.30am and had to wait a while for the British guide to turn up to take us around the famous Alhambra. It’s not my first visit but you always see something new. The guide was superb, sadly the audio technology he was carrying was rubbish so we ended up missing some of what he said. Non-the-less a thoroughly enjoyable if hot way to spend the day.

Looking every bit the tourist with my hat and “I love Alhambra” badge, I set about taking photos – I’ll put the lot into a Google Album and include the link rather than filling this page up with pics. There are a couple I need to show you… these two in particular – spectacular panoramic views from the top of the city…View from the Alhambra

View from the Alhambra

Maureen and Elizabeth at the AlhambraMaureen and Elizabeth thoroughly enjoyed the trip – sorry the latter had to leave so soon. Afterwards as I took a nap back at the hotel they went off for the bus tour and we all caught up later on for a drink.

Thursday morning we dropped Elizabeth off at the airport and headed back to the Alhambra car park so we could park up (now I know how to get there from the motorway instead of weaving across half of Granada) and continue the bus tour. HOT does not begin to describe it but we found ourselves at the science centre – WELL recommended…  The roof of the science centre below has photocells over the roof (out of site here) generating – wait for it 200kw of electricity! Again more photos to come – on the way back up home from Granada I took a wrong turn off to Almeria and though it only took around 10 minutes to twig I’d got it wrong, I was glad I did as we found the largest alternative power plant I’ve ever seen, firstly a massive solar plant (heat pump type) and photovoltaic but also a massive wind farm all in the same location – how to do the job properly!

Science Centre in Granada

Unfortunately the photos just don’t do it – I forgot my large camera and what looked really impressive in real life just doesn’t cut it here. What you are looking at below – is part of an image with hundreds of huge arrays of curved, reflective solar panels. To the left off-image was a fairly large photovoltaic array and to the right out of shot, hundreds of windmills… unbelievable.

solar cells

The BEST way to see these and many more photos of the trip is to go to the relevant Google Album. Click here to visit Scargill’s Google Album of Granada, 2011 if you prefer to see this stuff in Facebook – checkout our Facebook Bedrock page here

Something for the Weekend? Capileira for Example?

Map from Granada to CapileiraAs promised in a previous blog, first thing on Friday morning, Maureen and I set off on the just-under-3-hour journey to Capileira, the most northerly of the 3 villages in the gorge of the Poqueira river in the Las Alpujaras district of the province of Granada.

The whole journey is interesting as, once you get past Granada you go through Lanjaron and other villages each with their own unique character and then start up the steep incline up the mountains to Capileira. Note in the map it LOOKS like Orgiva is on-route but actually you have to take a turnoff so that’ll have to wait for another day.

Capileira near top of the villageWith temperatures rapidly approaching 40 degrees C we only briefly stopped off on the way at a restaurant in Calle de Eras Del Seleco in Lanjaron – you’ll see it in the new built-in street view in Google maps – simply says “restaurant” which we dubbed the “cafe for noisy people” as we couldn’t hear ourselves thing for most of the otherwise excellent lunch.

Once you get past Lanjaron you spend far more time going up and down mountains than travelling in a straight line so that part of the journey takes longer than it might at first seem. We encountered a road-slide where the entire right side of the road had simply dropped off into the valley – fortunately the road-crews had sorted out the mess before we got there.

Heading off it took us the best part of an hour to get up the mountains. Capileira is around 5000ft up but our hotel was even higher and about 1 km above Capileira. 

In the mountains above CapileiraAs we were in no rush we kept on going as I wanted to see just how high up we could go – but in the end, we gave up as the road went from superb to, well, something you might find on the moon perhaps – used only by logging trucks and insane cyclists but even then by the time Maureen finally insisted we turn around (the road at many points is on the edge of the mountain with very little between you and death) we were well in excess of 6,500ft above sea level – and it LOOKED that high. You have to do it once but take good tires with you.

Capileira village square

Chaep boozeThe town is just superb and at multiple levels (as it’s up a mountain!) with lots of shops and restaurants to keep one busy and the whole feel of the place is very clean and of high quality (which is more than can be said of construction you might see elsewhere). One shop we went into had a very old wooden weaving loom in the back room and drink is cheap enough as you can see from the photo on the right. Maureen bought lots of bits and bobs and I bought a new t-shirt… well, you have to, don’t you.

snow-capped mountains?The thing I can’t figure out is the snow on the mountains – we had temperatures of around 40 degrees C and going up to 6,000ft had no effect on Viewsthat whatsoever – and yet – here’s the photographic evidence – snow – I just don’t see that peak being more than 8,000ft and yet…. there it is. I DID think it was just some kind of calcium but winter shots of the area show that peak being completely white.  If anyone knows the answer to this please do let us know.

The hotel – well, I’ll not say much here as we’ve already displayed our displeasure on the relevant travel website but when we got there after travelling up the only access path which was an assault course, all looked perfect – the pool overlooks the valley, it was wonderfully cool, scenery was great but the pool could have been cleaner and better maintained. A Spanish gentleman guy showed us to our room without giving any other information away.

Hotel pool abover CapileiraNever seen anything like this beforeThe room was nice enough but FAR too hot and within seconds of opening the door we had a bunch of flies in there…

We headed off back down to the town and found in a small square a nice pizzeria simply called “La Pizzeria” and had a very pleasant pepperoni pizza – the Spanish aren’t that good generally at making pizza bases so this was most welcome. We spent the evening simply taking in the mountain air and enjoying a nice bottle of rose.

Maureen enjoying a pizza, rose wine and a phone call back to the UKBack at the hotel after an enjoyable evening we got off to a bad start as one of the guests had far too much to drink and kept trying to sing – like us he probably had a room that was too hot and so with his door open we could hear him loud and clear.  After a very unsatisfactory sleeping night which included listening to presumably the same person throwing up in the morning… we got up at 8.30am only to see the very modern, efficient looking dining room empty and devoid of staff with last night’s dinner plates still scattered around, We simply left, vowing next time to go elsewhere – which given the potential is a great shame – maybe they’ll change in the future. We’ve been in touch to pay the bill but they’ve yet to come back to us.

The view from our hotel private verandaThe reason we came here on a Friday night was so we could travel back up through Guadix market which is held on a Saturday and that we did, arriving at Guadix around 11am.  Great market and large but a little short on food options (fried chicken or nothing) – as we’d had no breakfast this was important so we only stayed for an hour before heading off home, but not before Maureen bought a new quilt for the bed.

Note the spelling of “Lennon”….. just because someone CAN print on t-shirts doesn’t mean they SHOULD 🙂

Guadix Market and a t-shirt maker who can't spell and finally just outside of Guadix on the way back… a nice church…

Church outside of Guadix

A perfect Day

Church near CullarAfter taking it easy yesterday, mainly due to having no concrete to finish off the road repair that neighbour Richard and I started the day before, Maureen and I spent the evening at home with new friends Angela and Dennis, sitting under the pergola enjoying some tapas and Maureen’s latest trick: elongated burgers to fit in the finger buns normally reserved for hot dogs – good idea! I think we lasted out till somewhat after midnight, not because of the air cooling off but probably more to do with alcohol I should guess.

Church near CullarNone of which stopped me getting up at 6am this morning and installing a brand new module into my new “hobby” the next set of online forums for the FSB…  I’m learning about this system at a great rate of knots – which is handy as the minute I get back to the UK I’ve promised a PowerPoint on the subject.  I think I lasted a couple of hours before retiring until 11am at which point we’d promised our friends we’d go see their cave and drop off their laptop which I’d been updating. That was great – every cave in the area is unique and so it’s always nice to see what others have done. Next stop we popped into see “Galera Phil” and his wife to see their cave, also for the first time, collecting even more ideas on the way.

Inside the Church near CullarAfter a brief stop-off back at our place we headed off to Cullar. There’s a church up in the hills – you can see it as you’re coming into Cullar from the Huescar end… and for some time I’ve been promising myself to go take a look. After a couple of false starts we found the (patently obvious) entrance to the long and windy path up the hill to the church – with a sign “torreon arabe”, a quite magnificent affair with an equally magnificent view of (the rather lacklustre) Cullar. The very welcome breeze at the top of the hill made up for the 39 degrees C summer heat.

Church near CullarCulture out of the way we popped into Cullar for a coffee and a little relaxation before heading off back to Galera, but not before a trip to “Restaurante Montecarlo” in Cullar for a late Sunday lunch (4pm) comprising lasagne as a starter and Magra con Tomate which I have to say was superb. The restaurant is very popular and quite reasonably priced, I think we spend 32 euros between the two of us and that’s only because Maureen ordered a steak!!!

Before the sun set we headed off home and I had a quick dip in the (rather cool) Jacuzzi which gave me enough energy to write this blog… but it’s fading fast – I can see a very lazy evening coming along.

If only every day could be as nice… tomorrow – I’ve promised Richard we’ll do a spot of concreting!