Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Monday, 20 February 2012

Building castles in the Sierra

On Saturday, we got up too late, were too disorganised and too lazy to go to the beach.

So we went to Sierra Elvira instead. It's only half an hour's drive away, in the direction Granada.

As you turn off the main road to the sierra, you pass an intriguing sign to the Thermal Baths or 'Aguas Termales'.

They're currently closed, but we peered through the gates and saw quantities of steam rising from where the pool must be.

(I do wonder why the baths don't open until 18th June. The waters have medicinal qualities (allegedly and I believe it) and stay at a constant 30 degrees.
I'm sure there must be more like me who really fancy the idea of being submerged in warm water in the the sun - in February!)

Anyway, they were closed....another day we will go but I was very tempted to climb the gates!

We continued up the hill and left the road and most of the civilised world behind us, entering a pine forest between the trees of which were strewn lots of small stones and boulders - and grass! The children were delighted and Darwin was so excited that he jumped out of the car window. (We were going very slowly and I knew he wanted to go, so I let him - all under control, don't worry!)

And we found a clearing where we parked up and had our picnic and then, whilst FR read his book, I wandered off and Mateo and Ruy set to and built fortresses, trading with an ambulant stick vendor, whilst Darwin ran in more circles than you would imagine possible.

Beginnings of a wall

Another bit of wall
In the end, the boys joined forces and built up a single wall between two trees. Then they found a skull which was manoevered onto a stick and set atop the castle walls.

Skull castle 

Darwin chewed pinecones to his heart's content

 Everyone thought it would be a good idea to make a fire.

So two sticks were prepared
And much friction was applied
Lots and lots
But in the end, there wasn't even any smoke and we all admitted defeat. The sun was so warm we didn't need a fire anyway.

Why can I never capture all three of my children at once? Oh well, here's a nice one of two of them.
And we eventually returned home, feeling like we'd spent a day in the sun having a great adventure.
Later that evening, I called in to one of our neighbours and told them where we'd been. They asked if we'd noticed whether the rocks were warm underfoot - apparently, the whole area is supposed to be a dormant volcano and the local myth is that you can feel earth tremors most days. I can't say I noticed either hot rocks or unexpected movements but the steaming baths indicate that the subterranea is pretty close. There are underground caverns as well as the baths and many people come to investigate them but so far, the volcano remains a myth.

At least I hope that's how it remains.


  1. What a lovely day trip for the family. I think my favorite picture was the view of the were looking UP through the tall trees. Have you been there in the fall?

  2. Darwin looks like a very content dog....and there is a photo of the kids together..... concentrating on trying to get the fire lit, just no faces. I think getting children to pose for photos gets harder and harder, especially if you are like me, wanting to capture every moment....4 year old Liam is already sick of seeing nana with her camera poised. Anyway, the events of this trip have been beautifully captured. A great castle. x

  3. What a lovely family day. The sort that memories are made of x

  4. crosptepA smashing post about a lovely family day out, Annie, and beautifully illustrated to boot. On a cold February evening in Wales water at 30 degrees sound so tempting that I'd climb over those gates with you. :-) As for a day in the sun....

  5. Thank you all - yes, Nerima it was a lovely place to go and we all enjoyed it very much. I admit to lying on my back as I took the tree view. And you're right, Janice - I did get that photo of all three kids working together - worth a thousand poses!
    Ayak, I shall take many happy memories with me of watching them and listening to the birds that we miss here in Alcala (they don't really like the olive trees, I think)and Perpetua - did wonder what you were doing just immediately before leaving your comment - I seem to have the tail end of something else here! I'm sure you'd love the baths but I love the image of us both scrambling over the gate more!!

  6. A skull atop a stick........ exactly what childhood should be about! Some brilliant wall building too. Sounds like a great day.

  7. LOL, Annie! I have NO idea what I was doing - didn't see that when I posted. Obviously yet another senior moment.....

  8. How exhilarating to lie on your back and take a photo UP. I don't think I've ever done that...yet!


I welcome your comments - it makes blogging even more fun to know someone is reading!