Monday, 30 November 2009

El castillo sobre el cortijo

Just outside Olvera, on the road to Campillos, is the cortijo where we normally refill our water bottles from the natural spring, above which is the ruin of an old castle.
On so many occasions I have wanted to have a closer look at it and today in the company of our good friends Dan and Alison, who kindly asked for permission to enter through the farm, we climbed up to explore.

Our tour guide today was a small "Podenco" puppy from the farm.

When visiting these old places, I always try to imagine what life would have been like back in the 14th and 15th centuries when castles like this were built and wonder for what purpose they were constructed. We speculated that this site was a lookout point for the main castle in Olvera.
Looking around this one, although derelict, there is still evidence of the old wooden beams that supported the upper floors.

Looking down upon the cortijo.

Olvera in the distance.

The ancient wooden lintels, still in place across the top of the windows.

Alison exploring.

A part of the remains that appear to have been infilled over the years, with what appear to be arched doorways just showing above the floor level.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Puerto Serrano

We received a text this morning from our friend Inma, saying that our services would not be required for olive picking today. So instead, we took a trip out to the town of Puerto Serrano, about twenty five minutes drive west of Olvera.
As usual, we headed for the Centro Urbano and parked the car near to the Ayuntamiento.
A pretty tiled welcome plaque on the outskirts of town.

An attractive water feature on the way in.

Without the aid of a tourist map, we wandered into the pretty Plaza de Miguel Rodriguez Rivera, at one end of which was the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) pictured below.

Not too far from the Plaza is the 17th century Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Maria Magdalena, which with the now disused Carmelite Convent in the foreground were the first two buildings in Puerto Serrano.

The interior of the Church.

Roses blooming on the street.

This ceramic artwork was on the wall of the Biblioteca (Library) and depicts the agricultural heritage of the town together with it's more recent connection with the Via Verde, in the central picture.

Just outside of town is the Estación de Puerto Serrano at the western end of the Via Verde, 36kms from Olvera.

Our lovely little girl Calcetines really enjoys coming out on these trips, exploring new places and smells.

Looking down over the town.

On leaving town, we passed by this elaborately decorated but well kept roundabout displaying the name and crest of the town.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Views today

We are physically suffering today after our first day of olive picking yesterday (pics to follow shortly) with our friend Inma and her family. So it was as much as my aching body could do to get me to the bottom of our street to snap a few pictures of the always fabulous views south and west today from Calle Pañolillas (hopefully no noticeable camera shake).

The weather today is blustery though reasonably warm with temperatures at around 16°C. Over the next few days some rain is forecast which is desperately needed to green up the campo and help the olive farmers and those with animals to feed.

Looking west to the Peñón de Zaframagon, a habitat for colonies of vultures and other wild birds.

Tomorrow, its back to the campo for more long overdue exercise and exertion, or should that be exhaustion !!.
Our only hope is that we do not embarrass ourselves with our levels of (un)fitness and that we can contribute in some small way to the overall effort.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Misty morning

A misty start to the day as I took a stroll around the village this morning at about ten. Although a little light drizzle was falling, temperatures are still at about 14°C.
These are a few pics taken on the way up through the Barrio de la Villa heading to the Plaza de la Iglesia.

Looking up Calle Carnero or is it Calle Portillo !.

Walking into the Plaza via Calle Molino, the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Encarnación was shrouded in mist.
The Plaza de la Iglesia.

Normally, the views from here are quite spectacular but today not a hill in site.

Looking back up to the Iglesia from Calle Calzada.

Looking through the arch to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

Heading for a coffee at friend Gerry's, the scene along Calle Jesús where the water and drainage pipes are being renewed.

Likewise, looking down Calle Zorrilla where work is progressing and new paving is starting to be laid.