Saturday, 29 June 2013

Street Art - Olvera in a day

Today, we were on a mission to locate the numerous artists throughout Olvera who were taking part in the 2nd Open Air Art Festival, part of a national series of competitions that require the artists to produce a painting within a fixed time period of approximately nine hours or less. The artists can pick any outdoor location that they want within Olvera or out in the campo, so we started our quest with perhaps the obvious place, the historic "Barrio de la Villa" in the oldest part of town, working our way down to the Avenida Julián Besteiro and beyond.

 So, just a few pictures of the artists hard at work in various locations throughout town. Here, our friend Steen on the left learning some tips from a friend.

The strong wind today was causing particular difficulty for the artists as it was for these ladies leaving a wedding in the Plaza de la Iglesia.

This evening, all of the paintings will be exhibited and judged in the Plaza de Andalucia.
Tonight, we walked to Calle Llana to see all the pictures on show in the street before the judging took place.

We counted sixty one paintings on show, a fantastic improvement on the forty two of last year and we hope that this event grows year on year as it is a great promotional event for Olvera.
A slideshow of all the brilliant paintings can be seen here and a big thank you to all the artists who took part.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Lunch in Grazalema

Leaving Benaocaz, we continued on into the Sierra de Grazalema mountains heading for the village of Grazalema. Our route here took us through spectacular scenery with the mountains of the Sierra rising on both sides of the road. 
Passing by the lovely village of Villaluenga del Rosario, still one of the most beautiful pueblo's we've ever visited.
Our first sight of Grazalema.
We parked where we usually do in the free car park just outside the village and walked the short distance back towards the centre.
Grazalema is definitely on the tourist route and as such the houses and buildings are beautifully decorated and maintained.

Walking and hiking is a favourite pastime here and there are numerous routes in the area, most of which require a permit as the Sierra de Grazalema is a protected Natural Park area. 

Lovely floral decorations adorned most of the streets we visited.

After a very pleasant lunch we headed home passing slowly by this goat herd just outside the village.
Chilled or what!.

A refreshingly cold spring a little further along the road looked inviting on a very warm day.
The flowers of the Oleander plant are particularly stunning at the moment and there were numerous displays on the way home.

Return to Benaocaz

A return trip today to the mountain village of Benaocaz, a pueblo that we last visited four years ago. Our circular route, including a visit to Grazalema, is shown here.
We easily found a parking space and started walking uphill towards the centre of the village.

Benaocaz is a small pueblo of about 730 inhabitants founded by the Moors in the 8th century and set on the edge of the spectacular Sierra de Grazalema. 

The Ayuntamiento.
On the wall surrounding the Ayuntamiento were these and other ceramic tiles depicting local places of interest.

The remains of the old castle overlook the village.

Walking around this very quiet pueblo, it was very noticeable how clean it was and particularly clear of dog mess, perhaps attributed to the many posters that we saw making dog owners aware of their responsibilities. Perhaps Olvera could learn something here!!.

All in all, Benaocaz was a very pleasant, quiet and clean village although for us its main beauty was in its stunning location.