Saturday, 28 February 2009

El Dia Andalucia

On a dull, overcast day with a slight drizzle, we walked up the hill to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento to attend the celebrations for Andalucia Day, commemorating the day in 1978 when the region of Andalucia was formed.
Pictured above is the Ayuntamiento...all dressed up and nowhere to go!!.
We sheltered in the Pensioners Centre for a while before being told by our friend José that due to the weather the event was being transferred to the Pavilion, next to the Polideportivo (indoor sports centre) at the bottom of town.

Our friend Antonio's house bedecked with the flags of Andalucia in an otherwise deserted Plaza.

After several minutes deliberation, should we, shouldn't we, we decided that in spite of the rain we would stroll down to the Pavilion.

These couple of pictures show the steady rainfall on the walk down town.

Arriving at the Pavilion, I couldn't resist a free glass of Manzanilla, a pale dry sherry, poured in graceful style by this young lady.
Followed by free chorizo sausages and bread...yummy.
Our friend Juani with her daughter Celia. Juani is one of our fellow students at the Centro de Adultos, learning english.

The marquee quickly filled with people waiting for the first Chirigota (singing group) to appear.

First up were "Los Petardos de la Feria" (the firecrackers of the fair) from Olvera. All of the groups are amateurs but their harmonies are terrific and they sing with such passion.

Next, were another group from Olvera, regrettably name unknown. We must ask the lead singer next time we see him in Mercadona, the local supermarket.

Finally came a group, I think from Cadiz, again name unknown. All three groups were absolutely brilliant and well deserved the applause and cheers of the audience.

Well done Olvera. Just goes to show that a good time can be had regardless of the weather. We're really glad that we made the effort to turn up and support the event.

Linked posts:

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Pavilion

We haven't really got a clue as to what is happening this week, despite having a copy of the official programme, which is rather vague regarding the actual location of some events. Timings also, as we know, are purely indicative so we thought the best course of action would be to head for the Pavilion (marquee) situated beside the indoor sports centre.
We knew we were on to a good thing as on the way we were passed by several groups in fancy dress and sure enough when we arrived the party was in full swing.

We soon met up with several friends, the first of whom was Carmen, one of our lovely neighbours..........

.......and with her lovely grand-daughter Lara.

Anne getting into the party spirit. We really must get costumes next year...many of our spanish friends asked why weren't dressed up !!.

The Pavilion was buzzing and everyone was having a good time, encouraged by music and commentary from the stage.

Mari our friend on the left, Maricarmen our neighbour on the right with hijos (children) Nuria, friend unknown and Paco in front.

Mari's daughter Laura, dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

At some point during the party, a suspended box overhead burst open, dropping confetti, glitter and balloons....much to the delight of everyone underneath.

Not a very good picture but one of the party games involved these large plastic balls that were bounced around over the heads of the crowd and when the music stopped there was a mad scramble to grab the ball, whereupon you would be pronounced the winner and gain a least I think that was what was happening!!.

Alejandro, the son of our neighbour's Rosalia and Eduardo.

Paco, the son of our lovely friend Maricarmen.
I know we have said this before in previous posts on different occasions but we feel so privileged to have so many lovely friends here who have welcomed us into their community. We hope in some way, sometime, we can return their generosity.

Palacio de Mondragón

The Palacio de Mondragón in Ronda houses the municipal museum.
It contains a collection of archaeological and historical artefacts from the Ronda area and illustrates the rich history of the region from the 3rd millenium B.C.

The building itself is very impressive with some of the internal areas dating back to Moorish times.
The main entrance however (pictured right) and the external building were built in the 18th century.

I must admit that for me the main interest lay in the building itself with its many lovely courtyards and arcades.

At the rear were some ornamental gardens, looking out over the precipice of Ronda to the mountains of the Serrania de Ronda beyond.

This lovely vaulted ceiling with what looked like original plaster and painting was a surprise on one of the stairwells.

The exhibition halls were well lit with many exhibits and explanations in both spanish and english.

The gift and souvenir shop on the exit from the museum.
Click here for much more information on the history of the building and the museum.

We left the museum and walked the short distance via the Plaza Maria Auxiliadora to stop off for a coffee before returning to where we had parked the car. Incidentally, the Plaza is the starting point of a footpath that winds it's way down the cliff face to the bottom of the gorge.

Before returning home, I was determined to find the route and then get a view from the bottom of the Punte Nuevo (New Bridge), built in the 18th century, 100 metres above the Tajo Gorge.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

El Carnaval de baile (The Carnival dance)

It doesn't seem a year ago since we attended the 2008 Carnaval dance at the "Centro de Dia para Personas Mayores". We have been up many times since then of course, for breakfasts, coffee's and dances but this particular dance is a bit special.

Many of the dancers came dressed in costume, ready for an evening of fun. We met up with many friends and as always we were made to feel really welcome and encouraged to join in the fun. So, just a few pictures of the party.

José and his lovely wife Carmen who take care of refreshments at the centre and, as we have said before, are so patient with us when we attempt our spanish.

Anne with our friend Maria who has more energy than anyone we know. She dances non stop from the time she arrives.
In fact, I think I will refer to the centre as the "fun factory" in future as everyone enjoys themselves so much.