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The Port of Almería

I frequently drive to Almería from my hometown of Roquetas de Mar. Approaching the city from the west, the first glimpse I get is a dramatic view of the town with the magnificent Alcazaba on the mountainside on the left and the port on the right.
Most days, in this part of Spain, the sun shines and so I can appreciate how the city of Almería got its name – it was the Arabs that called it al-Mariyah, meaning ‘Mirror of the Sea’.
It is a working port with both fishing vessels and pleasure boats large and small.Tourist cruises stop here and there are ferries to North Africa – to the Spanish enclave of Melilla and to Algeria and Morocco.

 

 

 
more blogs by Robert Bovington…
“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“bits and bobs”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”
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Puerto de Roquetas de Mar

One of the most attractive places in Roquetas de Mar is the port.
My wife and I frequently visit one of the many cafes there, particularly at breakfast time. 
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We went this morning (28 January 2017) and have regularly spent time here for many years.
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Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – Jan 2017 © Robert Bovington
Early in the morning, fishermen load their catch.
Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – Dec 2016 © Robert Bovington
 more photos of the port of Roquetas…
 
Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – Jan 2011 © Robert Bovington
Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – Aug 2007 © Robert Bovington
Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – April 2015 © Robert Bovington
Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – Jan 2011 © Robert Bovington
Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – Jan 2009 © Robert Bovington
Puerto de Roquetas de Mar – Jan 2009 © Robert Bovington

more blogs by Robert Bovington…

“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“bits and bobs”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

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Canary Islands

by Robert Bovington

The Islas Canarias are not part of mainland Spain or even Europe. They are located just off the coast of Africa – the nearest countries are Morocco and Western Sahara. There are seven islands and all are volcanic but that is where their similarity ends – all of these semi-tropical paradises are quite different from one another.

 

Tenerife is the largest and has more to attract the visitor including parrot and penguin parks, tropical gardens and the Las Cañadas del Teide National Park where Spain’s highest mountain – Mt. Teide 3,717m is situated. 
Las Cañadas del Teide National Park

La Palma is lush and green and is perfect walking country.

La Zarza, La Palma
Gran Canaria is quite diverse with a coastline ranging from awesome cliffs to golden dunes. Inland there are stark mountains and tranquil valleys.

 

Gran Canaria dunes

Lanzarote is startling! The island has over 300 volcanoes and the locals raise all manner of fruit and vegetables that grow profusely due to the abundance of volcanic ash. A visit to the ‘Montañas de Fuego’ – ‘Mountains of Fire’ is a must in order to witness the bizarre landscape of lava flows and red mountains. The island is a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Playa de Papagayo, Lanzarote
Fuerteventura is only 60 miles from Africa and has miles of golden sandy beaches.
a golden sandy beach in Fuerteventura
La Gomera and El Hierro are less well known than the other five islands. The former consists of steep green terraced hills and tranquil valleys. It is another good place for walking, especially the Garajonay National Park.
La Gomera

El Hierro is the most westerly and the smallest of the islands. It is mountainous and steep cliffs surround the island except at Valverde, the capital, where wooded slopes meet the sea.

Echedo, El Hierro.

The islands are split into two provinces. Tenerife, El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera belong to the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is also the administrative capital. The eastern province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria comprises Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.

Panoramic view of the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

more blogs by Robert Bovington…

“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“bits and bobs”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

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Parque de María Luisa in Seville

by Robert Bovington

This lovely romantic garden was donated to the city by the Infanta Maria Luisa Fernand at the end of the nineteenth century.  The famous landscape gardener, Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier, added further enhancements. 

Parque de María Luisa in Seville – Monument dedicated to Bécquer © Robert Bovington

In 1929, the park became the centre of the Ibero American Exhibition. Adjacent to the park is the beautiful Plaza de España which was used to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits.

Seville – Plaza de España © Robert Bovington

 more blogs by Robert Bovington…

 

“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“bits and bobs”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

Elche

The Moors formally laid out the ‘Palmeral of Elche’ in the 10th century. They installed elaborate irrigation systems and these are still functioning today as are the agricultural practices developed by these enterprising people. Elche is a World Heritage site because the palm forest is so impressive and important.

Basilica de Santa María

Elche has a number of historic monuments and one in particular is worth a visit – the ‘Basilica of Santa María’, a spectacular building with a bell tower and an imposing blue dome. The present Basilica is the fourth religious building occupying the same site. It was the site of a Muslim mosque when Jaime I, King of Aragón, conquered the town in 1265. The present building was started in 1672 and finished in 1783. A visit to the bell tower is worth the effort. From the top, panoramic views of the city can be enjoyed – in particular, the groves of palm trees. On the different landings of the tower information is displayed about the building of the Basilica, its architectural styles and its importance in regards to Elche’s other claim to fame – the ‘Misteri’ or ‘Festa d’Elx’ – a medieval sacred play. This ‘Passion play’ is acted out in the Basilica every year on the 14th and 15th of August. It is listed as ‘World Heritage’ making Elche one of the few places in the World to have two ‘UNESCO World Heritage’ awards.

The ‘Huerto del Cura’ – the Priests Garden. It is known as ‘The Jewel of the Palm Park’ and rightly so – it is a calm relaxing place – a delightful garden of palm trees, tropical plants and cacti. It even has a pond with ducks!

Imperial Palm

The tree got its name following the visit of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1894. The spectacular tree clearly impressed her. She commented to the proprietor “…the date palm has the power and strength of an empire”. The Empress was just one of many prominent visitors to the ‘Palmeral’ of Elche.

I like the cacti garden – La Rocalla has many types of cactus ranging from small spherical specimens to tall pipe-shaped ones that almost matched the palm trees for height.

I would recommend anyone who visits the Costa Blanca to pay a visit to Elche and to the ‘Huerto del Cura’ in particular. Magic!


Playa de Aguadulce – a pristine coastline!

Source: Playa de Aguadulce – a pristine coastline!


Pampaneira in the Alpujarras of Granada

by Robert Bovington 

Pampaneira is an extremely photogenic location with narrow streets, a fine Gothic church with a wooden roof in Mudéjar style, and several cafes and shops, which though ‘touristy’ are nevertheless delightful. The view from the road leading down into the town is breathtaking with the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada forming an attractive backdrop.

 

Pampaneira © Robert Bovington