I decided to make a few big trips in 2012, and things started off (as usual) with a conference, EuroGP, which took place in Malaga. I hadn't done a proper trip in Spain for years (decades), so I took a week off after the conference and rent a car to explore the wonderful Andalusia.
I was able to walk a bit around Malaga during the conference, and it is actually a nice city, despite being so touristy. Ignoring the seafront and exploring the castle and some of the small streets around it is a much nicer idea.
I was also lucky in that the conference organised an excursion to the El Torcal park. I had never heard of it, but I am glad to have joined. A beautiful park with sea fossils all over, and amazing limestone walls and formations.
But the real adventure began after the conference was over. I picked up my friend Veronika from the airport, and the next day we hit the road. Most of the roads in Andalusia are hilly and full of bends, with amazing vistas, and occasional little white villages perched on hilltops.
Our first stop was Ronda, one of those villages. This one has the particularity of being set on both sides of a really deep gorge, with a massively tall bridge connecting both sides. A particular site of interest was the Plaza de España, mentioned in Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls", when during the civil war, the fascist townspeople were marched to their deaths by the ravine...
|Vejer de la Frontera|
We also explored the surrounding tiny shopping and residential streets, soaking up the sun whenever it dared to turn up.
We spent the next morning visiting the cave district of Guadix. It is such a strange place: chimneys and antennas sticking out of the rocks, doors leading to the heart of small hills. We stocked up on provisions, and headed to our main destination of the day, Granada.
That was pretty much it. We said goodbye to the party couple, drove downhill in neutral until finally finding a town with a petrol station, and went back to Malaga, where we caught our flights back home. It was a great few days of discovery of what is truly one of Spain's most interesting regions.