Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Los Palacios y Villafranca

Back in July we had the pleasure of meeting José and Mari Carmen, regular readers of our blog, who were here in Olvera visiting family but lived in Los Palacios y Villafranca. We said at the time that one day we would visit where they lived and today on a foggy morning that promised to improve we hit the road (our route here)
After a drive of about an hour and fifteen minutes, we arrived to a very busy town of approximately 37,500 inhabitants and not too easy to find a parking space. Eventually we did and then headed for the Town Hall to obtain a map before setting out to discover the town.
 An interesting piece of art on one of the roundabouts at the edge of town.
The Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) and below an unusual statue outside.

 Another interesting statue. This one represents the merger in 1836 of the separate pueblos of Villafranca and Los Palacios into the single town as it's known today.

 The pleasant pedestrianised area of Calle Blas Infante and the colourful facades of the buildings.

 Blas Infante leads to the equally pleasant Plaza de España where we sat and enjoyed a coffee.

 A new town and a new friend for Calcetines. Cute or what!!.

The entrance to the indoor market and below the delicious fruit and vegetables on display.

 We saw a church spire so headed in that direction.
 It turned out to be the 15th century Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves which unfortunately was closed.

 The 18th century "Capilla de la Aurora" (Chapel of Aurora).

  We enjoyed our visit to Los Palacios. Due to its size, we confined our wanderings to the central area of town and no doubt there is more to discover, perhaps on another occcasion.
 Returning home, we stopped at the Venta Los Molinos, near to the petrol station at Algodonales for what turned out to be delicious tapas as pictured below. Top left clockwise Pork in tomato sauce, Prawns in batter, Chicken croquettes and "Chicharrones", a delicious dish of salty pork. Not all mine I hasten to add but I could have eaten the lot.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

En la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación

 Yesterday, while waiting at the Iglesia for a friend to arrive for her wedding, we wandered inside for a look around. Built in the 18th century by the Dukes of Osuna on the site of a former Gothic church, it was originally the site of an ancient mosque. 

 On each side of the main centre nave there are many separate altars with beautiful and ornate religious figures and carvings.

The main altar here and below.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Flamenco Fantástico

Words really can't describe the fantastic evening we had last night at the benefit concert for Diego Reyes Flores who has sadly been paralysed after an accident. A fabulous array of talented performers created an incredible atmosphere for the hundreds of spectators present who were gladly and enthusiastically supporting this worthy cause.

One of the most popular groups amongst a host of spectacular entertainers was this band.

The family of Diego, some of whom we know as neighbours, gave a passionate and very moving display of dancing on stage, as shown in the pictures below.