Circumnavigating La Mezquita in Cordoba

La Mezquita simply takes possession of old Cordoba: vast, sprawling, the Christian cathedral emerging from the ribs of the Moorish Mosque, its bulk and presence are unignorable. It’s a good idea to circumnavigate before you enter: wander the surrounding streets, catch glimpses of the spire from narrow alleyways or see it from up high, from…

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Small-town Andalucia

Small-town Andalucia – those slightly run-down settlements you find on the road from Granada to Cordoba, for instance, places that are not on the tourist route, that are a little hard-scrabble, impoverished – still surprise, with their Moorish keeps, their sense of history. But it is a pre-democracy Spain you sense here – the Spain…

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Ronda – Scenes in Black & White

As with the other pueblos blancos we visited, Ronda, with its cobbled narrow streets, its whitewashed walls, its tiled roofs, its plazas and churches, its sun-soaked vistas, lends itself both to colour photography and to black and white. Partly it’s a matter of taste and preference; more importantly, it’s a choice of expression. These images,…

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Colour interpretations – Plaza de Toros, Ronda

Following on from my previous post, here are two colour interpretations of the Plaza de Toros in Ronda. In contrast with the drama and rawness of the black and white image, I’ve softened the tones, and emphasised the pillars and the curve and flow of the structure to give a different sense of the enclosure…

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Puente Nuevo, Ronda

Puente Nuevo, the ‘new’ bridge, dates to the 18th-century and spans the 100m-deep Tajo Gorge, connecting the old and new parts of Ronda. Ronda was a surprise: approaching up a steep hill, and entering the town through drab, less-than-interesting neighbourhoods, we wondered if we had made a mistake, booking for two nights. We checked into…

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Zahara de la Sierra – Castles in the Sky

Between Sevilla and Ronda lies the Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema, a rugged, mountainous country of dramatic views and towering skies, where pueblos blancos – the white villages – cling to the rock. This is Zahara de la Sierra, where we stopped for lunch.  

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La Giralda, Sevilla

Seville Cathedral stands on the site of a great mosque, built by the Almohads in the 12th century. It is the largest cathedral in Europe. Its bell-tower, La Giralda, was in its original incarnation a minaret, on top of which were erected a Christian belfry and Christian symbols. You climb La Giralda not by stairs…

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