Observations on Andalucia

Ever go to Andalucia, Spain?

It’s one of Europe’s hidden gems, in some ways. Hidden mainly because of its location sprawling across the final part of Europe before the sea, then Africa.

If you look at Andalucia from the air and then look at Morocco from the air, you will see very similar landscapes. Barren, dry hills, dusty roads and small stone white houses forming villages here and there. Donkeys. Farming, there’s actually very little difference between the two countries from the sky.

Modern ways have not found Andalucia, at least, not completely. It is still possible to lose yourself in the Moorish streets of Granada’s Albaicin and without trying too hard you can find people living off grid, supporting themselves using only the sun and nature.

Supermarkets have arrived in the form of ‘Mercadonna’ (unapproving locals rip down signs pointing the way) and others but they are mostly empty as nobody can afford to shop there.

Dog faeces is still widely tolerated in village and city, something which you cannot really avoid to notice. It’s OK though, pesky dogs can be murdered during fiestas with a little poison. Dogs don’t get much sympathy and are regarded in a similar way as to how the English might treat the rat.

On the subject of faeces, it did come to notice that most points of beauty in Andalucia have their own special pile of human waste complete with toilet roll almost without fail. The prettier the viewpoint the larger the pile.

Where this comes from I can only imagine, either way it seems to be accepted and is left monument like for your viewing pleasure.

Nature is viewed merely as a resource, rubbish is thrown out of moving car windows at any opportunity and litter can be found universally.

Pigs are murdered slowly in garages and their limbs hung like prizes proudly from the ceilings of various restaurants and shops. But it’s not all bad.

The sun shines most days, and for a long time. Summer temperatures can get into the 50s which if you haven’t experienced is totally disabling. Everything closes in August, when it is impossible to do anything, including for example visiting the vet.

Winter can be delightful with temperatures in the day staying around 20 if you are lucky. Winters are colder than expected and houses are certainly not built to withstand the weather. Locals are frequently killed by their rooves collapsing on their heads during the rains in winter.

Some fiestas consist of incessant bangs throughout the whole night the like of which can only be compared to life in a war zone – constantly in fear of the next huge explosions. The ‘displays’ are a salute to previous victories in the area through visually tend to be unimpressive with energies all devoted to the many many loud bangs.

The free tapas with drinks is a wonderful thing, however.