Today is the last day of the year, and the time when we look back over 2015 to see what’s happened during the last 12 months.
Here is our pick of the blog posts from the past year, celebrating the best of Andalucian scenery, festivals and produce.
A new documentary about sherry was premiered in January – The Mystery of Palo Cortado, which has since been shown at a number of international film festivals.
Another year, another celebration of the bitter Seville orange in February, with Jornadas Gastronomicas de la Naranja de Sevilla including a market with gourmet food and luxury beauty products. One of our favourites is Benditaluz (literally blessed light), which makes delicious bitter orange-scented body and face goodies with pretty packaging, perfect for gifts.
March saw two major openings, covering cultural and outdoor activities, both in Malaga province: the Pompidou Centre in Malaga city, the first such museum outside France; and the Caminito del Rey, a hair-raising 100m-high clifftop path near the Embalse del Guadalhorce, which has been restored after years closed, over a century after it was first built.
The main event in April was a sunny Semana Santa, with blue skies providing a perfect backdrop to Holy Week processions all around Andalucia.
Madonna continued her love affair with the sartorial delights of bullfighting in May, preparing for her world tour with two new trajes de luces, while an Englishman’s book about a family which plays an important part in another very Spanish tradition, flamenco, was well-received.
June was the launching point for the summer season of outdoor concerts, plays, movies and other events.
Two houses to visit in Seville were announced in July – romantic French villa Casa Rosa, near Maria Luisa Park; and Palacio de las Duenas, home of the late Duquesa de Alba. The former is already receiving visitors, on Wednesday afternoons, while the latter is preparing to open to the public in early 2016.
Everyone swelters in August, so we offered some tips on coping with the heat of the Andalucian summer, but we were also saddened by the passing of British national treasure Cilla Black at her villa in Marbella.
The biggest TV series in the world, Game of Thrones, was filming in Almeria in September (and in the Alcazar of Seville in October).
An exciting new addition to the cultural agenda took place in October – the 1st International Contemporary Art Fair, Artsevilla.
Continuing with its small-screen stardom, Seville’s Alcazar Palace hosted another television show, the new NBC drama Emerald City, in November, the same month that Huelva won its first Michelin star, for Acanthum restaurant in the regional capital.
For the Christmas season this December, many cities in Andalucia have spectacular lights – as with Malaga’s gloriously illuminated calle Larios – and Seville has no less than three light-and-sound shows, on until 5 January. The most impressive of these is at Metropol Parasol, popularly known as Las Setas, the massive parasol-mushrooms in central Plaza Encarnacion.
All that remains is to wish our readers a joyous evening tonight and a happy 12 grapes at midnight, followed by a peaceful and prosperous 2016!