CBBH Photo Challenge: FLOWERS

Stephanotis - waxy flowers and delicate perfume I was surprised to see that I had never used the flower theme for the CBBH Photo Challenge before, because I take so many photos of plants, trees and flowers.  So, I thought I would remedy that situation by sharing with you some of the flowers that grow here in my garden in southern Spain, at different times of the year.

The first photo (above) is a waxy-flowered stephanotis, which creeps along my fence and gives off a delicate fragrance.

I sometimes find it difficult to photograph the purple agapanthus, as they flower at the end of long stems, so I got in close for these shots.  I like the effect of the first photo, in particular, but what do you think? First almond blossom in Andalucia, 2014 Here is a photo of the first delicate blossom on one of our 47 almond trees, in January this year. wild orchid….and these beautiful wild Butterfly Orchids also make their appearance each year, heralding the arrival of Springtime in Andalucía.  Raindrops on purple flower I’m a huge fan of the colour purple, so this plant is a favourite of mine, and it was only thanks to some of my readers that I finally found out its name.  Hardenbergia comptoniana, a native of Australia, is a vigorous climbing plant and the arching flowers look so beautiful after the rain.

So, I’ve shown you mine – now it’s YOUR turn to show me YOURS!

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!

CBBH Blog Hop

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

*** Travel writer Annie Bennett spends most of her time Mooching around Spain, researching articles for national newspapers and magazines, but often just sitting in cafés, reading the paper and drinking wine.  Not only does Annie love writing about her travels, she also loves writing about food.  So, if you want to know where in Lanzarote you can buy the best cheeseor exactly where you can find a traditional shop in Menorca that sells everything horse-related, then Annie is your woman!

*** Another blogger I always enjoy visiting is Tamara at A Foot in Two Campos who, two years ago, bought a beautiful old house in the village of Colmenar, in Málaga province.  She had me worried for a while when she admitted in one of her blog posts to stalking me – but fortunately, what she meant was that she was inspired to visit three places that I had blogged about!  Tamara has thrown herself into village life in Colmenar and also into learning Spanish.  Indeed, at the end of each of her blog posts she discusses a particular language point, which always proves helpful.

Please HOP over and say HELLO to both of these ladies, and tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for July, everyone.

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.

Make sure you follow this blog so you don´t miss next month’s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!

I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

 

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

 

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One Trip Every Month: La Fortaleza, Vélez-Málaga

Entrance to La Fortaleza, Velez-Malaga My trip this month is a local one – to La Fortaleza, the medieval fortress and Alcazaba in Vélez-Málaga, capital of the Axarquía region.  Of course, as with many other places, I see the fortress towering above the town every time I pass by, but somehow never got around to visiting before now.

La Fortaleza was in a bad state of repair for many years and, as a result, was not open to the general public – but that has now changed. Alcazaba - Fortress La Fortaleza, Velez-Malaga Located on the highest point of the town, about 80 meters above sea level, the Alcazaba or Fortress was built during the 10th century under Moorish rule, but achieved its greatest prominence during the 14th and 15th centuries, as one of the most important strongholds of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. It’s worth remembering that the River Vélez was once much deeper and wider than it is now, and that the valley formed part of a trade route through the Zafarraya Pass from Granada to Málaga, making the town strategically significant.  

Vélez-Málaga may not have been a very large town, but it was well fortified and defended by a solid set of walls, some of which can still be seen.

As with many Spanish monuments, the directional signage to La Fortaleza leaves a lot to be desired, but if you head for the Fernando Hierro Sports Stadium in Vélez-Málaga and take the Arenas road, following signs for La Iglesia de Santa Maria/Museo de la Santa Semana, you will find the Alcazaba (La Fortaleza) just before the church.

The restored Tower of the Alcazaba (the fortress La Fortaleza) is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 1pm and offers spectacular views over the town and the surrounding Axarquía countryside. Admission is FREE.   

Don’t forget your camera! One Trip EVERY Month Logo 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!

CBBH Photo Challenge: FOOD

We all need it.   Most of us love it –  some maybe a little too much!  But, whatever your relationship with it, FOOD is the subject of this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge.

Is there a food typical of your country or area where you live?  How about your favourite recipe or something you once ate that you would never try again?

Well, show me with a photograph!

Tapas of tuna and prawns in Malaga

Most people know that Spain is well known for it’s tapas – the tasty treats offered along with your drink.   I enjoyed these delicious prawns and tuna in the Atarazanas market on a trip to Málaga city, recently.  There are two tapas bars, one at either end of the market, both offering ultra-fresh ingredients, cooked to perfection, from the market.

Brujas - Ruta de la Tapa, Torre del Mar

During May, I’ve been following the tapas route around Torre del Mar.  One of my favourites has been this vegetable stack with a cranberry jus.  Yummy!

Figs stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon

Talking of yummy, how about this dish made with fresh figs plucked straight from the tree, stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped with smoked bacon?

Chop the chocolate fudge into squares and ENJOY!

And, to finish, a piece of my easy, chocolate fudge that will make you drool, which you might remember I took on a recent trip with friends when we rode on Mr Henderson’s Railway!

So, now it’s YOUR turn.

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!

CBBH Blog Hop

Before I move on to my two featured bloggers for this month, I want to offer my CONGRATULATIONS to Maggie Woodward who’s blog The Trepidatious Traveller I featured in May.  Maggie was about to commence walking the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  I can report that during the month of May, she has walked a total distance of 669.9 km, completing her Camino walk on May 28th, and is now safely back home in Spain, only a few kilometres away from me.  I know that a few of you have been following Maggie’s progress as I’ve seen your comments on her blog posts.  VERY WELL DONE, MAGGIE – you are an inspirational woman!

 My Featured Blog Links for this month:

*** Christine of Dadirridreaming, lives near to the sea in Australia, surrounded by bushland and beautiful wild beaches.  Kangaroos and wallabies graze all around her house and red bellied black snakes hunt the frogs in the dams nearby.  Christine takes time to explore the spiritual side of life, which is reflected in her lovely blog posts, all of which have stunning photographs.  She is currently exploring my part of the world, and has visited Ronda, Seville and Córdoba, amongst many other places.  We will be meeting up in Málaga city on Thursday June 5th.  Can’t wait!

*** Another blogger I always enjoy visiting is Kathryn at Vastly Curious.  Her recent post in the WordPress Photo challenge had me amazed!  She showed a photograph of the buds of a plant that looked like liquorice twists and wanted to identify it.  It was only when I looked at Kathryn’s later photos of the flower fully opened that I realised that I have one!!  She has also been travelling recently to The Netherlands, from where you can see her wonderful photos.

Please HOP over and say HELLO to both of my featured links, and tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for June, 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.

Make sure you follow this blog so you don´t miss next month’s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!

I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

 

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

One trip EVERY month: The Dolmens of Antequera

Antequera, Spain
The city of Antequera is known as “the heart of Andalucía” (el corazón de Andalucía) due to its central location between the major cities of Seville, Córdoba, Granada and, of course, Málaga, which lies only 45 kms to the south.

Because of the sedimentary basin forming extensive plains that begin where the mountains of Málaga dramatically end, Antequera is a bustling, agricultural centre where farmers from the surrounding fertile land in the Guadalhorce Valley, go to stock up on everything from seeds to tractor tyres.

The city owes its main origins to the Romans, who named it Antikaria, meaning “the Ancient City”, because they recognised several pre-historic sites located in the town, which indicated that the area had been previously inhabited.

Menga Dolmen, Antequera, Spain

On the northern outskirts of the city there are two Bronze Age burial mounds (barrows or dolmens), the Dólmen de Menga and the Dólmen de Viera, dating from the 3rd millennium BC.  They are the largest such structures in Europe.  The larger one, Dólmen de Menga, is twenty-five meters in diameter and four meters high, and was built with thirty-two megaliths (huge stones), the largest weighing about 180 tons.  After completion of the chamber (which probably served as a grave for the ruling families) and the path leading into the center, the stone structure was covered with earth and built up into the hill that can be seen today (Wikipedia: Antequera).

Animated film at theDolmens, Antequera

When we arrived at the visitor centre last Thursday, there were two coach loads of Spanish school children outside, waiting to see the 10 minute animated film showing how the dolmens were probably constructed.  We nipped in ahead of them to watch the film being shown in French, which was easy to follow, but it can also shown in English on request.

We then followed the newly-laid path from the Visitor Centre to the Dólmen de Menga.

Menga Dolmen, Antequera, Spain

The entrance to the grandest of these megalithic monuments, the Dólmen de Menga, faces the prominent rock formation known as Peña de los Enamorados, (“The Lovers’ Rock”), which you might remember I wrote about last year. 

View from the Menga Dolmen, Antequera, Spain

Sleeping Giant, Antequera, Spain

 It is clearly no accident that if you stand just inside the entrance to the Menga dolmen you can see the head of the Sleeping Giant perfectly framed in the portal, suggesting that the rock may have had some cultural, ritual or religious significance.

Indeed, during the summer solstice, as the sun rises behind the mountain, it penetrates right into the mouth of the burial chamber.

The Dólmen de Viera is a corridor tomb with better-cut stones, consisting of a long narrow passage, barely two metres in height, leading to a smaller burial chamber.  The Viera dolmen is not as impressive as the Menga dolmen, but still well-worth a look.

El Romeral Dolmen, Antequera, Spain

We had to jump back into the car and drive a further three kilometres to the third megalithic sepulchre, the Tholos of El Romeral, built five hundred years later than the other two dolmens.  In many ways, this was my favourite tomb and bears a striking resemblance to the tholos tombs built by the Minoans in Crete, also during the Bronze Age.

A large number of smaller stones were used in the construction of El Romeral dolmen which, unusually for this type of monument, faces west.

As with many Spanish monuments, the directional signage to the Dolmens sometimes leaves a little to be desired, but if you’re persistent you’ll find them once you’ve turned off the A45 from Málaga.

Entrance is free, with opening times being Tuesday-Saturday 9am – 6pm and Sunday 9.30am – 2.30pm.  Closed Monday.

One Trip EVERY Month Logo

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!