exciting detours along the way ..
02/09/2010 - 07/09/2010 30 °C
While very much excited to be heading for Granada, we took time to check out a couple of interesting sites along the way, which also gave us the opportunity to travel through some lovely 'out of the way' areas.
Our first stop only 12 km from Ronda was Ronda la Vieja. This is the modern name for the Roman city of Acinipo which was an important town in 1st C AD. While only a little of the site has been excavated, the remains of the the lower seating levels of the ampitheatre are clearly visible. It makes one wonder "What amazing events happened here?", and reflect on the evolution of our world since that time. The views out to the mountains also made the detour well worth the trip .
Our next stop, took us through what is termed Malaga's "Lake District", three artificial lakes created by a dam built across the dramatic 200m. high Guadalhorce river gorge, known as the Garganta del Chorro. Very impressive. As you can see there is a small bridge across the middle of the gorge which was built during the construction of the reservoir. It is called El Camino del Rey (The King's Path), as apparently King Alfonso XIII walked along it when the dam was opened in 1921. The walk is closed to the public at the moment but if you really, really, really want to see what it is like (and do not suffer from vertigo as I do) have a look at the video on this web link. Not for the faint hearted!!! http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/chorro/home.htm
Notice the structure to the right of this pic. This is part of a rail network build in the second half of the 19thC with tunnels which cut through the hard limestone. These are still in use today. The skill of engineers constantly amazes me.
To top it off we were able to have a fantastic lunch at the little restaurant right there beside the road, and .... with a delightful English lady to serve us. I was therefore able to ask for, and receive, a lovely vegan lunch. Just goes to show .... We had a very relaxed and lovely time.
The opportunity to see one of the most exquisite birds in the world took us next to an amazing expanse of wetlands called Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra. One of the largest natural lagoons in Spain, measuring more than 6km long and nearly 3kms wide, the lagoon provides an ideal breeding spot for an amazing array of birds, including the pink flamingo. Since conservation and anti-hunting laws have been introduced, and the area declared a sanctury, numbers are increasing. It was very hot - in the 30'sC - when we arrived. Unfortunately the visitor centre was closed for siesta. Access is very restricted so as not to disturb the birds but it was awesome to see thousands of these beautiful birds.
Note also in this pic the number of wind farms in the distance. We saw several wind farms and quite large solar panel farms as we travelled through Andalusia. Hopefully this is an indication that renewable energy initiatives are being encouraged in Spain.
Finally arriving in Granada we were thrilled with our accommodation, Hotel Cerro del Sol. Well situated, with everything we needed and more, a little outisde the city, but with a magnificent view of the Sierra de Nevada. Wow!
Once settled, we headed out to find a nice restaurant for dinner. Not that easy at 7pm as the locals eat their meal later in the evening. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm. However we did find Restaurante Los Faroles and I had a lovely meal - fresh salad with a side of butter beans (very delicious), after an entrée of sliced fried eggplant coated with honey batter. Yum. Note Chas's meal, mussels with mussels!!!
Now, off to see the sights of Granada - El Alhambra here we come!