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July 2008

You can read all about the great big battle of Bailén in the province of Jaen in Manual Bocero de la Rosa's historical novel published by Editorial Almuzara. That was the battle that marked the turning point in Napoleon's invasion of Spain. It was the first time Spaniards won a battle and began to turn the tide in their favour and this July 19 marks the 200th anniversary. Residents of the city of Bailén have been marking the event for 200 years now, but the bi-centennial celebrations promise to put this thriving inland metropolis on the map.
Is Andalucia getting a bit too hot for you? Why not head up to Pamplona this weekend? Right now the San Fermín "Running of the Bulls" festival is in full swing through the 14th of July. Yes, you've missed the Txupinazo - the customary drinking and spraying of champaigne that opens the festival on the 6th, and the big procession in which a statue of the saint himself (San Fermín, of course) is paraded around town.
Tarifa's big world Kitesurfing Championships drew thousands to the windswept beaches this past weekend. And the winners are... Gisela Pulido from Catalonia is celebrating her victory over the Polish surfer Karolina Winkowska. Kevin Langaree from Holland took all in the men's championships. He faced tough competition from Aaron Hadlow, who came in second. Also a native of Málaga, Álvaro Onieva, won third place and has been praised by the local community for this achievement. If you missed this year's Kitesurfing Championships in Tarifa, never fear.