31 March 2010

Springtime in Andalusia

After a brutal month at work, I was able to take a couple days off to go back to Spain to meet my sister and niece. After wrapping up a business trip, I left from Baku to Moscow to Paris to Malaga. Finally got to my hotel in Benihavis about 1 am after a long long travel day. Got up kinda late the next morning and headed up to Granada. Got there in late afternoon, and found a hotel after a minor incident with a Spanish parking lot attendant (ooops!). Walked around town. Here are some sunset shots of the Alhambra:

I was staying at the Alhambra Palace, a cool old place with an Alhambra-esque interior. After the sun went down I walked back there, got a few more shots:
I walked around Granada until late in the evening, maybe midnight or so...there was some kind of religious holiday in Granada (the Friday before Good Friday??), so there were marching bands and religious processions all over town, even past midnight when I was heading home:
Got up early the next morning for a stroll through the Alhambra. I was a little underwhelmed, although didn't go inside. I took a large number of rather mediocre pictures, but thought best not to post them. Here is one to prove I was there...
OK, next day I left from Granada to go down to Marbella to meet my sister and Cathy for a while, and then back up to Ronda, which I had heard great things about. As usual I took the smallest roads I could find to Marbella, through some very nice countryside:

Got to Ronda by early evening and stayed in a great, and cheap, hotel right next to the bridge, with a great view (don't worry, you'll see plenty of pix of the bridge...). Ronda is a very pleasant town, just the right size. Walked around looking for some presents, had some beers, bought dinner, took some pix, and then back to the hotel for a cigar and some wine. A very nice evening! Anyway, here are some pix of the area from just before sunset:The views from town around sunset were very nice, but after dark the town was not as interesting as I expected. But I took a bunch of shots anyway, so bear with me...
This is Ronda's bullfighting arena (below). Ordinarily not particularly interesting, but apparently Ronda was where bullfighing was invented, and many of Spain's greatest bullfighters come from there. Apparently where was a fighting school for Spanish nobility in the town several hundred years ago where they taught them how to fight with lances by charging bulls. One hapless fellow fell off his horse, and when some unarmed standers-by jumped in to save him by distracting the bull, the sport was born. Sounds a little dubious, although there is probably no rational explanation for the genesis of such a sport. OK, I went to bed early so was able to get up really early to get more shots of the town around sunrise. By now the same old shots were getting a bit tedious, and I'm sure you'll be as glad as I was to move on...
Another self-portrait just before setting out...After leaving Ronda I got on some of the usual very nice Spanish roads, heading sort of westerly through some mountains, etc. I didn't need to be in Estepona until evening, so I basically just planned to ride around during the day. Here are some shots of the scenery:

Got this shot of a bunch of riders that were on the same road...all of them, maybe 75 people--stopped at a gas station in Cortez de la Frontera; not sure why people would find rides like that interesting...Photography is cool. Below, same tree, same time, same everything but exposure, very different moods!

Anyway, by mid afternoon headed back to the warehouse, rode along the coast. Stopped at some random beach in Manilva (?), these two lonely sunbathers must be Russian...

Sat here for an hour or so waiting for the appointed time, then headed back to the rather dreary warehouse (see below), where I had to wait for Hana for an hour.

1 comment:

Zoltan said...

I should have read this before I mde my previous comment about Ronda... Interesting blog, keep going!