They say that every dog has his day, well it seems that we are not alone and that Andalucia also has its day, and that is February 28th - or this weekend just gone. And since this year is also a leap year, then it feels all the more special since February has one extra day and many Andalucians are going to spend this extra day having a fiesta (well, what else?). Since the actual Day of Andalucia falls on a Sunday then this regional holiday will be marked by having an extra day off, on Monday 29th. There, I said it was special!
This holiday exists to celebrate the establishment of this particular autonomous region of Spain, founded in 1980, fairly early on in the relatively young life of Spain's modern democracy. So, what happens here, we have been asked? In reality, not a great deal; town halls and noteable buildings display a large green and white flag of Andalucia, school children are taught songs and might act out a historical drama or two, then people get together and eat bread with the best of Andalucian olive oil. But it is a holiday, and so anybody who can books a trip to somewhere else in Andalucia and shows solidarity with the region by going out to explore it - and thereby boost the tourist economy. This weekend we have two Spanish bookings for our accommodation, one couple plus dogs from the Andalucian town of Jerez de la Frontera and another family from Malaga, all coming up to explore the Alpujarras and to discover more of their beloved Andalucia.
So, I am proposing to show you some images from my Andalucia and how I am spending the weekend of this regional holiday. Now, I haven't actually been to the great cities of Sevilla and Cordoba and had the opportuniuty to marvel at the Moorish heritage so abundant in this reagion, nor have I travelled to the province of Cadiz and eaten freshly cooked sardines on the golden sands of the Atlantic coast, although I live in hope that someone might one day take me there! But for me to appreciate the best of Andalucia there is no need to wander further than my own beloved region of the Alpujarras. Firstly, at this time of year we can enjoy the emblematic sight of the hillsides covered with almond blossom - a spectacle that has been remarked on many times over the years on this very blog, and a sight that can always be gauranted to delight at this time of year.
A big part of my Andalucia experience is walking, and this is how we spent our Fiesta day this year, starting here at one of my favourite spots. It is a place called the Junto de los Rios, or The Meeting of the Rivers and is actually very close to Cortijo Opazo. From here we usually walk up into the pine forest and reach far into the National Park of the Sierra Nevada.
It is a beautiful spot with fanatastic views down over the valley of La Taha. For Ella it always offers her the chance of a quick dip in the water. Although on our walk today, I noticed she was not so keen to brace these icy conditions. Can you believe it, these pictures were taken just one week apart!
Looks like this is the effect the cold water had on my crazy sister!
The snow has come late this year but there is plenty of it in the mountains right now, much to the delight of the Sierra Nevada ski resort. Hopefully this will remain into Spring then start to supply the irriagtion channels that bring water to our land and to our garden. Speaking of which, the other activity we enjoy at this time of year is watching the land sprout into life after a brief winter pause.. A short stoll around the garden was also on the agenda for Andalucia day and here is a sample of some of the things to be enjoyed.
So, that's how we have been spending our Dia de Andalucia, enjoying our corner of this fabulous region. If you have been out and about this late winter weekend enjoying your region then tell me about it via my comment box below.
Yours, in Andalucia,