La Mezquita, Cordoba – a photographic portfolio

La Mezquita in Cordoba, I wrote in a recent post, is a Christian cathedral emerging from the ribs of a Moorish mosque – and it is precisely this amalgam and emergence, this blending and superceding, that I find so infinitely absorbing and rewarding, such fertile soil for the kind of historical imagining and understanding that…

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Flamenco at the Restaurant Cinque in Ronda

In Sevilla we heard, live on stage, in a modern, airy, wood-panelled auditorium, the fabulous flamenco guitarist Paco Jarana: a wonderful masterclass that blew us both away. To see flamenco dancing, however, we went to Ronda, to the Restaurant Cinque on the Paseo Blas Infante – a small, dark stage, with three red chairs for the…

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A rooftop in Ronda

Back, then, from Paternoster, and back to Spain: Ronda, to be precise. Retracing our steps for the next couple of posts, to pick up on these images from our hotel rooftop before – in an upcoming post – sitting down in a small tapas bar for some foot-stomping flamenco.

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Men of Olvera

We drove up the steep hill into Olvera, one of the ‘white towns‘ or pueblos blancos of Andalucia; parked, climbed higher, to the monumental bulk of the Iglesia de la Encarnacion from where we could look across to the Moorish Keep on a rocky outcrop opposite; looked out over the roofs into the streets below…

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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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Doors, Ronda, Old Town

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Plaza de Toros, Ronda (compare and contrast)

I wrote in an earlier post that the decision to present an image in colour or in black-and-white was partly, perhaps, a matter of taste and preference, but more profoundly, a question of interpretation. Here are two otherwise identical images of the Plaza de Toros – the bull-ring – in Ronda, which illustrate the point.…

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Letterboxes, Ronda, Old Town

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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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Our favourite tapas bar in Sevilla

We came across this tapas bar near the City Hall in Sevilla one evening, liked what we saw, went inside, and liked it so much we came back the next evening. It must have been someone’s birthday – there was a celebratory group of people, laughing, drinking, singing, clapping, and the whole scene, the ambience,…

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In the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema

One of the best decisions we made on our trip to Spain was to head off the main road from Sevilla to Ronda, and take a detour through the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema. The ‘park’ is an area of wild beauty, rugged, steep, sheer, spectacular, dotted with isolated farmsteads and whitewashed pueblos…

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The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on Grazalema

The little white village of Grazalema, one of the pueblos blancos of that rugged region, has the highest rainfall in Spain. True to form, lowering dark clouds clung to the hills and mountains when we visited. We parked on the outskirts of town, walked down the hill to find a beer and something to eat…

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