Tuesday, July 14, 2009


El Torcal

Last week on our way to visiting our friends David and Di, who live at Antequera in the Province of Malaga, we took the opportunity of visiting ‘El Torcal’ which is virtually on their doorstep!

'El Torcal' is made up of silvery-grey limestone which was created underwater more than 100 million years ago and is a surreal landscape that has been thrust up from beneath the sea and forms an area now 1000 metres above sea level.
Over the years this Andalucian landscape has been further shaped by wind and rain into spectacular sculptures balancing at precarious angles. These sculptures stand alongside mysterious caves and crevasses and we plan to go back again soon to explore the area further.

This also a great place for bird watching, where there are regular sightings of Imperial Eagles and Griffin Vultures and even the occasional Peregrine Falcon.

The village of Villanueva de la Concepcion below El Torcal


An example of the graffiti found everywhere in Granada

As soon as you arrive in the centre of Granada you realise that there is a copious amount of graffiti everywhere, which I can only assume is due to the large student population there; Granada has the third largest university in Spain.

Like most places the graffiti in Granada ranges from ugly scrawls on buildings to high art. Whilst they are probably looked down upon by the majority of the general public, clearly there is no effort being made by the Town Hall to remove them, so one would assume that they condone there creation.

I found myself being upset and appalled and yet at the same time fascinated and admiring of some of the graffiti that was on virtually every available wall surface.


Foreward in the programme by the Prince of Wales (Clarence House)

I am delighted that the Royal Ballet is able to make its first visit to the Granada Festival this summer. I am sure that Spanish audiences will enjoy the beauty and drama of the Company’s definitive production of Swan Lake, which will undoubtedly be spectacular in the magnificent setting of the Generalife gardens. I hope very much that you will enjoy this special evening’

We had heard that The Royal Ballet Company were performing a production of ‘Swan Lake’ at the 58th Festival Internacionalde Musica y Danza de Granada.

As Granada is only a two and half hour car journey away from here, we decided it was too good an opportunity to miss. It was to be our first night away together since we moved to Spain, over two years ago and what a memorable couple of days it turned out to be. Our dear friends and nearest English neighbours Rosie and Jim kindly agreed to look after our ever-growing menagerie, which allowed us to leave early on the day of the ballet and to return home late the next day.

We were lucky enough to obtain some good seats near to the front of the outside theatre, set in the Generalife gardens of the Alhambra and reserve a room in the fabulous Alhambra Palace Hotel, which turned out to be the most perfect location, being only 5 minutes walk from the Generalife gardens.

The entrance to the Alhambra Palace Hotel

Views of Granada from our hotel room

We had a delicious dinner at the ‘Casa Lopez Correa’ restaurant in the arty district of Granada before the ballet, where we discovered later the cast of the Swan Lake were going to dine after the evening’s performance.

Restaurant Casa Lopez Correa

On the following day, after a hearty breakfast, we spent a few hours sightseeing in the city centre of Granada, which was the most perfect end to a most enjoyable couple of days.

Granada Cathedral

Plaza Isabel la Catolica


Pilar Becerra

The summer months in Ronda are really exciting and eventful. There are numerous activities and social events taking place in many locations throughout the town centre. These are all organised by the cultural office of the Town Hall or to give them their correct title - La Delgacion de Cultura del Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Ronda

They include performances of traditional flamenco, music concerts and dance festivals and the entrance fees are usually just 3 euros or free.

Last Saturday, we saw a performance of flamenco by Pilar Becerra y Familia Nunez at the Convento de Santo Domingo, located on the side of Ronda’s famous Tajo Bridge.

Next week we have the annual ‘International Folklorica Gala’ which we are really looking forward to.