February 2011

This bank holiday weekend we're having fantastic weather here in Andalucia. It's unusually warm and sunny for the end of February - today is Dia de Andalucia. Which means that it's perfect weather for heading to the beach for the day. One of the great things about living in Andalucia is that there is so much coastline that wherever you live, you are bound to be within reach of a beach for a day trip (well, almost). Yesterday we went to three beaches in Cadiz province. At the first, Bolonia, we went to a marvellous new museum/visitor centre for the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia.
We're just coming up to the first puente of the year here in Andalucia - for Dia de Andalucia, this Monday - which is a three-day bank holiday, although many children also have tomorrow off school, giving a four-day break, almost like a shorter version of the English half-term. It's a great opportunity to get away and explore all the amazing cities, beaches and scenery that Andalucia has to offer.
When you live in a city, you begin to feel some kind of ownership over, and loyalty to it, as I've mentioned before on this blog. You rejoice when it triumphs, and feel downheartened when it has a bad day. In my last blog post, I wrote about Malaga's next big art museum, opening next month.
If you’ve ever been to the Costa del Sol for a beach holiday, you'll have been to Malaga, even if only to the airport. But what used to be simply a gateway city, glimpsed from the windows of your taxi, hire car or shuttle bus on your way to the Costa del Sol, is shaping up as the cultural capital of the region, especially when it comes to 19th, 20th-century and contemporary art. It was Andalucia’s most-visited city last year, with foreign visitors up by a staggering 28.1% (domestic by 14.35%), and of those, British tourists increasing by 13.17%.
A night in a convent for only 15 euros The Monasterio Santa María del Monte Carmelo is perched on a hill outside Estepona; its accommodation is basic and clean, with a shared bathroom, commu
If you've ever been in Sevilla for Semana Santa , you'll know that it's a pretty extraordinary experience: life-size Mary and Jesus statues being carried slowly, wobblingly slightly as they go, along packed streets, preceded by hooded, robed figures, accompanied by mournful music, and watched adoringly by hordes of the faithful. These slightly sinister, pointy, cone-shaped hoods (capirotes), of whose wearers you can only see the eyes, serve to offer anonymity.