Today is the second anniversary for the CBBH Photo Challenge, beginning as it did on August 1st 2012. Since then we’ve covered many subjects from Repetition and Reflection to Street Art and Simple Pleasures. I’ve learned a lot about photography over the past two years and featured some wonderful blogs to link to. But, in the true time-honoured fashion, all good things must come to an end, so this month’s CBBH Photography Challenge will be the final one.
As a result, I’m going to indulge myself with one of my favourite subjects – BRIDGES.
According to Wikipedia a bridge is “a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.” Of course there are many different designs, from the most natural – such as a log across a stream, through to the most complicated of modern bridge designs we currently see around the world. Cantilever, arch or suspension and made of iron, brick or rope, there’s something about bridges I just can’t resist. I love to look at them, be on them and take photos of them.
My first photograph this month (above) is of the Roman bridge spanning the Rio Guadalquivir in Córdoba. To capture this shot, I walked over the bridge from the old part of the city, just as the light was fading. The building you can see in the background is the Mezquita.
Further along the Rio Guadalquivir as it flows towards the Atlantic Ocean is the capital of Andalucía, Sevilla (known to English-speakers as Seville). This shot of Triana Bridge was taken from the river as I was enjoying an early evening cruise. It’s a very pleasant way to spend part of an evening in Seville before making your way around the many tapas bars, for which the city is famous.
My final photograph is of another bridge in Seville, but this time a much smaller one. This ceramic tiled bridge spans the moat at Plaza España, a well-known local landmark and tourist attraction. If you’ve got the desire and the muscle-power, you can hire a boat and row around the moat, though on the last occasion I was there, most visitors were laughing at a couple who hadn’t got the hang of rowing at all, and were entertaining the crowd by going round in circles just a few metres from where they rented the boat! If you are visiting Seville, Plaza España features plaques for each province in Spain, all beautifully decorated in tiles and should be high on your list of places to see within the city.
So, will you join me one final time in this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge: Bridges?
Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways. First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month. Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, conejo blanco means white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.
That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!
Coincidentally, my Featured Blog Links for this month are both called Sue:
*** Living in Alberta, Canada and married to her best friend Dave for over thirty years, Sue Slaught hopes that her Travel Tales of Life will still entertain anyone who will listen when she is an old lady sitting in a nursing home. Still many years away from that situation, Sue always has me spell-bound with her adventures around the world – whether it’s a tale of a ghost in the lobby of the Banff Springs Hotel, getting stuck in the rush hour of gondolas in Venice or being chased by dogs while cycling in Turkey.
*** Sue Judd, on the other hand, has recently been re-defining who she is – transforming from scientist to very talented photographer and award-winning poet. Sue’s Beauty in Decay series has truly made me look at flowers through new eyes. I’m fortunate also that she seems to love peonies as much as I do! But, how can you not fail to be moved by Sue’s poem Am I Still the Same?, written in response to her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, expressing her view on how it affected her.
Please HOP over and say HELLO to both of these ladies, and tell them Marianne sent you!
So that´s the final CBBH Photo Challenge folks :)
Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’, link back to this blog and, most importantly, don´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.
For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.
My trip this month, is just the kind that I began this challenge for – to go somewhere I’ve been meaning to go, but have never got around to it!
The white, mountain village of Canillas de Aceituno lies, like several others, in the shadow of the largest mountain in the Axarquía region – La Maroma, a bare, pointless peak reaching to a height of 2065 metres.
I chose to take the back road to Canillas de Aceituno from Cómpeta, driving past Archez, Salares and Sedella along the way. It’s a beautiful drive, with a natural landscape of hills, mountains and ravines and it was worth stopping a few times to take photographs of the open vistas towards a shimmering La Viñuela reservoir in the distance, or the towering Monte Maroma, nearby. A quicker route would be up the A356 from Vélez-Málaga and then turn right towards the village, but I had the time to linger.
On the approach to Canillas de Aceituno, I came across La Rahige, which is a wooded area with a ravine, pools and waterfalls. As it was late July, the water was only a trickle, but I’m sure it rages through here during the winter months.
As I explored the shady ravine, I looked up and caught a glimpse of a mountain goat – the first I have ever seen. He seemed to be watching my every move as he expertly perched on the edge of the cliff face.
Records show that there has been a settlement on the site of Canillas de Aceituno since the Moorish occupation in the 8th century, when the main industry was the growing of mulberry trees for silk production. Indeed, there are still two Arabic arches preserved within the village, the first on Calle Agua (which is the prettier of the arches, pictured above) and another on the narrow Calle Calleja, a little higher in the village. These arches once formed part of a wall that surrounded the settlement, and in which gates were closed at night for protection.
After parking the car, I headed towards the Town Hall in Plaza de la Constitución at the centre of the village, to the Tourist Information Office (open Monday to Friday 10am-2pm) to obtain a map. Canillas de Aceituno is not a large village, but if you visit, it would probably be wise to ask the lady in the Tourist Office to mark the position of the 1000 year old Arab Cistern, as you would probably never find it without some directions.
As you leave the Town Hall, on the diagonally opposite corner you will see the white tower of La Casa de Diezmos (the House of Tithes). Now a private residence, this is where the production of the mulberry tree leaves and the manufacture of silk were controlled and taxed.
Wandering around the village with it’s impossibly white walls reflecting the summer sun and flanked by flowerpots overflowing with blooms, I came across the plaque where the old castle used to stand, and the Church of Nuestra Señora de Rosario, constructed during the 16th century on the site of the old Arab mosque.
From the square at the side of the Town Hall, a maze of narrow streets climbs steeply up the hillside to the Mirador Blas Infante, a scenic viewpoint which offers panoramic views across the terracotta roofs of the village towards La Viñuela reservoir. There are many other white villages dotted on the hillsides in the distance.
If you are a hiker, it is from here that you can continue the 6 kilometre climb to the summit of La Maroma – but as it was a hot July afternoon, I decided to pass on that option.
In the upper part of the village, I stopped to chat with a Spanish couple who had almond shells spread out on their doorstep, ready to be cracked open to expose the nuts inside. This is a laborious, time-consuming job which I know only too well, as we have 47 almond trees on our land (though this is not something we do as we have never developed the knack of being able to extract the whole nut from it’s tough exterior with ease).
It’s difficult to explain where the old Arab cistern is, but I’ll try. Sadly there are no signs and the area is in a state of disrepair. If you have the mark from the Tourist Office on your map, you will see that you should head for Calle Placeta and as you pass the parking area, there is a row of houses on your right side. Walk past these houses and you will now be next to a patch of rough ground. As you approach the next house on your right, you will see some very rough steps going down to the side of the house, and an opening in the side wall. Here you can see into the 1000 year old cistern full of water, which is still used to irrigate the nearby terraces.
Each year, on the last Sunday in April, the village of Canillas de Aceituno hosts the the fiesta of El Día de la Morcilla (the Day of the Black Pudding) when the speciality black-pudding stuffed with onion, and for which the village is famous, is celebrated and available for all to try.
If you don’t fancy the black pudding, I can certainly recommend Asador La Maroma for lunch, where not only are the food and surroundings very pleasant, but we were treated like old friends by Paco, the owner and his family.
OH and by the way, don’t forget your camera when you visit Canillas de Aceituno!
This post is my contribution to the One Trip EVERY Month Challenge. If you’d like to join me, here’s how:
- Each month, visit somewhere and then write about your trip or describe it using photographs – whichever suits you best.
- Don´t forget to title and tag your entry ’One Trip EVERY Month Challenge’, and link back to this page.
- Display the Challenge logo on your post or in your sidebar.
- HAVE FUN!
Are you ready to join me by taking ONE TRIP EVERY MONTH? What are you waiting for? GO!
Black pudding Image credit: Town Hall of Canillas de Aceituno
If you’re searching the internet for information about buses from Málaga airport heading to the eastern Costa del Sol, here’s the current situation for Summer 2014 (until 28th August).
Yes, there´s good news for visitors arriving at Málaga airport who don´t want to hire a vehicle to continue their travels. During the summer months, Alsina Graells (ALSA) operate an airport bus service along the coast between Málaga airport and Maro, with lots of stops along the way.
The bad news is that the service only operates twice a day in either direction, though that’s twice as many buses as there were last year – so I guess there is some progress!
Travelling from La Axarquía to Málaga Airport (AGP)
Starting in Maro ten minutes before, the bus leaves Nerja at 8.10am and 3.10pm, and calls at Torrox Costa, El Morche, Lagos, Mezquitilla, Caleta de Vélez and Torre del Mar before proceeding to the airport without further stops (arriving at 9.40am and 4.40pm respectively).
The cost (from Nerja) is €4.52 one-way (ida) or €8.18 return (ida y vuelta).
Although there are only two buses each day direct from the coast of the Axarquía region to Malaga airport – don’t let this worry you. There are plenty of buses ALL YEAR ROUND to Málaga bus station in the city centre, from where you can get another bus to the airport. This second bus (every 20 minutes) will drop you off right outside the new terminal (T3) building.
If you prefer to continue your journey from Málaga city to the airport by train, right next door to the bus station in Málaga is the Maria Zambrano railway station, where you can jump on one of the frequent trains direct to Terminal 3 of the airport. You will need to catch the local commuter train (known as Cercanias) C-1 in the direction of Fuengirola. Trains to the airport leave every half hour between 5:23am and 10:33pm. The journey only takes 10 minutes and the fare costs between €1.70 and €2.60 depending on the time and day of travel.
Travelling from Málaga Airport to La Axarquía
The journey on the direct-bus to the coastal areas of the Axarquía begins at Málaga airport, Terminal 3 (Arrivals Llegadas) at 11.45am and 5.15pm travelling via Torre del Mar, Caleta de Vélez, Mezquitilla, Lagos, El Morche, Torrox Costa and through to Nerja (arriving at 1.20pm and 6.50pm respectively). The service actually terminates in Maro ten minutes later.
The cost (to Nerja) is €4.52 one-way (ida) or €8.18 return (ida y vuelta).
If the limited direct-bus times don’t fit in with your schedule, then just hop on the C19 Malaga city bus (every 20 minutes) from right outside Terminal 3 and for approx.€1.20 you’ll soon be at the Estación de Autobuses (bus station) in the city, from where you can catch a bus to anywhere in Spain (including other towns and villages of the Axarquía).
Alternatively, to get into Málaga city from the airport, jump on the local train (the station is just across the road from the bus stop) heading towards Málaga Centro and get off at Maria Zambrano railway station (the journey takes approximately 10 minutes and costs between €1.70 and €2.60 depending on the time and day of travel).
The bus and railway stations in Málaga city are next door to each other.
The Alsina Graells (ALSA) website is in English, where you can study bus schedules and often purchase tickets in advance of your trip.
Disclaimer: It says on the ALSA website “These timetables are for guidance purposes only”, so please check the times before you travel as they may be subject to change.