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Archive for January, 2012

Seville and Malaga: the star performers

Monday, January 30th, 2012

[caption id="attachment_4949" align="aligncenter" width="189" caption="The Giraldilla, one of Seville's most important symbols. She is normally seen atop the Giralda, the cathedral's minaret-tower."][/caption] Late last year, I did a post about Seville's positive tourism figures - airports and hotels were seeing record numbers of visitors. It goes without saying (but I'll say ...

La Pepa on tour

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

When I saw in the newspaper last week that a replica 17th-century galleon had arrived in the port of Sevilla, I realised it must be the same one I had seen some time previously, just before it left on a 6,000km voyage. [caption id="attachment_4892" align="aligncenter" width="203" caption="Galeon de Andalucia docked in ...

UNESCO’s verdict on the Torre Pelli: STOP NOW!

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In a recent newspaper poll, 25% of people wanted construction of the Torre Pelli to be halted (it currently has 15 storeys out of the planned 40, and measures around 60 metres). However a massive 62% preferred that the project continue as planned. This highly controversial building in Seville, designed by ...

Casa de Alba puts on a historic show

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

[caption id="attachment_4787" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Titian's painting of the Gran Duque de Alba, who started the Casa De Alba's art collection, now one of the most important private collections in the world."][/caption] The Casa de Alba - whose head, the redoubtable Cayetana, 18th Duquesa de Alba, recently wed for the third ...

The lions get their roar back

Monday, January 16th, 2012

One of the most famous parts of the Alhambra, the Patio de los Leones, has finally got its central feature back in full working order after ten years. The 14th-century sculpture in its centre, of 12 white marble lions holding a duodecagonal (12-sided) basin, was returned to its rightful spot last ...

Jamon al chino? Que no!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

If you live here in Spain, you'll be used to seeing Chinese shops in every town. They are stacked high with ridiculously cheap goods, from clothes to toys to garden furniture and household crockery. Much of it is poor quality - I call it "CCC" - cheap crap from China. ...

Nine new natural monuments for Andalucia

Monday, January 9th, 2012

[caption id="attachment_4652" align="aligncenter" width="578" caption="The Duna de Bolonia (Cadiz) is a protected natural monument. "][/caption] At the end of last year, the Andalucian government named nine new natural monuments, including five in Malaga province. This means that these beauty spots - such as peñas (hills), fuentes, ...

Here come the Reyes….

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

[caption id="attachment_4638" align="aligncenter" width="578" caption="The Cartera Real, precursor to the Reyes Magos, in their donkey-drawn carriage."][/caption] At this very moment, small children all over Spain are excitedly awaiting a glimpse of the Reyes Magos, the Three Kings (or Wise Men) who, according to Spanish tradition, bring children's presents tonight. Depending on the ...

2012: the year of Cadiz, starting with La Pepa, El Niño and Camus

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

[caption id="attachment_4627" align="aligncenter" width="578" caption="The atmospheric seafront city of Cadiz, home of Spain's first constitution, drawn up in 1812: La Pepa."][/caption] So we’re now a couple of days into 2012. The extended break struggles on to Reyes later this week. The news is full of pay cuts, taxes and freezes, so ...