Monday, 28 February 2011
Alcalá la Real is a place surrounded by mountains and the town is dominated by the Fortress called ´La Mota´. Whilst walking around in the town itself is easy and flat, the moment you deviate from the main street, you are faced with old cobbled streets that seem to rise vertically in front of your eyes, making your knees shake just at the thought of walking up them.
Last week, Mateo and I summoned up the courage to walk up to La Mota and decided to go the most direct way from our apartment - which at first glance almost made Mateo change his mind - straight up!
And even when we got to the 'top', La Mota still towered above us.
Way, way above us.
It was a glorious walk, enhanced by the intense smell of rosemary that was in full bloom around us as we walked.
Isn't rosemary the most gorgeous herb?
Today is Andalucia Day, so the children are off school - it's like a bank holiday in England - and so after lunch, Mateo and I set off again to go up the hill at the opposite side to La Mota. Just as steep, just as worth it to get to the top.
Looks like the path is relatively flat, according to this signpost - but don't you believe it! We'd already done the 'up' bit from the historical centre
I wasn't lagging behind, I was taking pictures.
Looking south across the town to La Mota from our vantage point to the north.
Lots of wonderful almond blossom out on the trees here - and all the houses had gardens. Perhaps this is where we should be looking.
And when we reached the top, the countryside became quite wild, rocky and windy and we could see where stone had been taken from an ancient quarry.
And here we have my beloved Sierra Nevada in the distance. These mountains are overwhelmingly wonderful - some days they look like candyfloss, others like pure ice and on others, they seem to be the clouds themselves. I love these mountains.
Looking a bit windblown - but feeling on top of the world
This is Safa - or La Sagrada Familia - the school Mateo attends. He was so pleased to see it from the top of the hill that I knew he was feeling happy there - and that made me happy too.
And it was lovely coming down the hill too!
What a lovely place is Alcala la Real!
How many lovely walks there are around us and what a joy it is to discover them.