Andalucia – Pueblos Blancos – part 4

RO: Spune lumea ca Frigiliana ar fi cel mai dragalas sat andaluz din tot sudul Spaniei! Si adevarul e ca n-am vazut o asa impleticeala de stradute si case imaculate, toate ca scoase din revista, perfecte, impecabile, cu flori la ferestre si varuieli proaspete, cat sa te orbeasca soarele puternic care se reflecta in albul exagerat de… alb. Gluma-i gluma, dar exista doua explicatii extrem de rationale referitoare la faptul ca spaniolii isi vopsesc de cel putin doua ori pe an casele in alb. Una ar fi o intelepciune mostenita de la mauri, care spuneau ca verile sunt mai putin sufocante si calduroase intr-o casa alba decat intr-una colorata, intrucat albul nu absoarbe caldura, iar al doilea ar fi faptul ca tot varul acela dezinfecteaza casele de insecte enervante. Ce e insa amuzant e ca localnicii sunt obligati sa isi varuiasca periodic casele, altfel sunt amendati de autoritati πŸ˜€Β Si da, admitem, Frigiliana chiar este cutosenia intruchipata in materie de pueblos blancos! Atata doar ca este construit in totalitate pe un munte, iar minunatele strazi pavate sunt mai ceva ca o sesiune de antrenament la sala πŸ˜€ Sinuoase pe verticala!

EN: People say that Frigiliana is the cutest Andalusian village from the entire southern Spain! And truth is that we have never seen such a tangle of tiny streets and white washed houses, all of them looking perfect, as taken out of a magazine, with flowers at every window and fresh bleaches, so that one can get blinded by the sun reflecting in that exaggerated white. Jokes aside, but there are two rational explanationsΒ for the fact that Spanish people white wash their houses at least two times a year. One would be a Moorish wisdom saying that the summers are less choking and warm in a white house rather than a colorful one, as the white does not absorb the heat, and the second would be the fact that the whitewash disinfects the houses from the unwanted insects. What is quite funny is the fact that the locals are forced to periodically whitewash their houses, otherwise they are fined by the authorities πŸ˜€ And yes, we have to admit it, Frigiliana is indeed one of the greatest pueblos blancos! The only so called downside would be the fact that it is totally built up on the hill, and all those cute paved streets can be worse than a gym training session πŸ˜€ Sinous on the vertical!
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RO: Si daca am mai fi avut putin timp la dispozitie, cu siguranta am fi vazut si Pampaneira, satul alb renumit pentru covoarele tesute manual, si de ce nu, si satele vecine din aceeasi vale,Β Bubion si Capileira – ca sa bifam intregul trio renumit din Alpujarra (partea de sud a Sierrei Nevada). Iar pentru cei cu ceva conditie fizica mai buna ca a noastra, chiar am recomanda o escalada (sau o incercare de escalada) pe cel mai inalt varf al Spaniei continentale – Mulhacen (de aproape 3500 metri inaltime). Dar cum nu-i chip sa le facem pe toate, lasam regiunea aceasta pentru data viitoare, si promitem ca exploram fiecare ramasita de arhitectura ori cultura maura, pentru ca da, pare-se ca satele din Alpujarras sunt ultimele locuri in care au locuit maurii. Asa ca influentele lor se resimt din plin, in special pe partea de mestesuguri. Pai unde am mai vazut noi covoare minunate lucrate manual, pielarie, obiecte din ceramica ori mancaruri locale mai gustoase si mai apetisante? Umbla vorba ca aici ar fi cel mai delicios jamon spaniol πŸ˜€

EN: And if we would have had more tine, for sure we would have visited Pampaneira, the white village renowned for its handmade rugs and why not, the neighboring villages from the same valley, Bubion and Capileira – the entire famous trio from Alpujarra (the southern part of Sierra Nevada). And for those that are in a better shape than us, we would honestly recommend a hiking (or at least an attempt to hike) the highest peak of mainland Spain – Mulhacen (almost 3500 meters high). But it was simply impossible to see them all, so we left this region for the next time when we promiseΒ that we will explore every tiny bit of Moorish architecture and culture, because yes, it seems that Alpujarra villages are the last places where the Moorish people have lived. So their influences can be seen all over the place, especially on the crafts side. Where else in the world have we seen such gorgeous handmade rugs, leather, ceramics or delicious and tempting local food? People say that here one can find the most delicious Spanish jamon ham πŸ˜€Β 

Pampaneira
Pampaneira Village – Photo Source:Β www.migratingmiss.com

RO: Dar cum n-aveam timp sa ne aventuram in Alpujarras, am dat o fuga rapida in Nerja, la doar o aruncatura de bat de Frigiliana. Pe vremuri de (foarte) mult apuse, Nerja era un satuc de pescari de toata frumusetea, cat se poate de spaniolesc si de linistit. A ramas la fel de frumos, insa cumva farmecul si autenticitatea ii sunt un pic stirbite de valurile interminabile de turisti. Centrul vechi este pliiiiin de oameni, fie el sezon ori ba. Stradute intortocheate, pline de restaurante imbietoare, o piata centrala unde banuim noi ca au loc cele mai nebune fiestaaaas, si preferatul nostru (si-al altor sute de turisti :D) este Balconul Europei, un balcon propriu-zis construit pe o stanca in mijlocul orasului, de unde se vad privelisti dementiale catre plaja si Marea Mediterana.

EN: But as we did not have enough time to venture in Alpujarras, we went to Nerja for a short visit, just at a stone’s throw away from Frigiliana. Sometime ago Nerja used to be a gorgeous fishermen village, as typical and tranquil as possible. Nowadays it is equally beautiful, but somehow its charm and authenticity are a bit affected by the endless waves of tourists. The old town center is fuuuuull of people, in every moment of the year. Winding streets, full of tempting restaurants, o central market where we think that the craziest fiestaaaaas are held, and our favourite of them all is Europe’s Balcony, a terrace built on a cliff in the middle of the town, where there can be seen gorgeous views towards the beach and the MediterraneanΒ Sea.
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RO: Si am lasat la final Malaga, doua ore inainte de plecarea inapoi acasa. Si asta pentru ca eram fermi convinsi ca dintre toate locurile pe care voiam sa le vedem in Andalucia, Malaga va fi cea mai dezamagitoare, cea mai turistica, cea mai aglomerata, cea mai neinteresanta. Si adevarul e ca am gresit ca am plecat cu astfel de preconceptii, pentru ca orasul chiar a fost o surpriza placuta πŸ™‚ Cumva ne-a adus aminte un pic de Nisa si intreaga Coasta de Azur, insa parca ne-a placut chiar mai mult πŸ™‚ Palmieri, cladiri care mai de care mai frumoase si mai dichisite, plaja la doi pasi (renumita Malagueta), un centru vechi pliiiin de oameni si o atmosfera de eterna petrecere si voie buna – ce altceva sa-i mai ceri orasului unde s-a nascut Pablo Picasso? πŸ˜› Stim ce! O tortilla imensa, un platou de tapas si sangria cat cuprinde!

EN: We left Malaga at the end of our trip and we only had two hours to visit it before our return home. And we did that because we were sure that it will be the most disappointing, touristy, crowded and uninteresting town from all the places we wanted to visit in Andalucia. And truth is that we did a terrible mistake having this kind of misconceptions, because the town is a real nice surprise πŸ™‚ Somehow it reminded us of Nice and the entire Cote d’Azur, but we liked it even more πŸ™‚ Palm trees, nice and posh buildings, famous beaches just around the corner (especially the famous Malagueta), an old town center full of people and a very nice atmosphere of endless party and cheerfulness – what else should we ask from the city where Pablo Picasso was born? πŸ˜› We know what! A huge tortilla, a plate of tapas and sangria, as much as possible!
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RO: Si acestea fiind spuse, s-a cam terminat periplul nostru printre sate andaluze. Coride (peste 70 la numar in toata Andalucia!), matadori neinfricati, ritmuri de flamenco, relief de-a dreptul impresionant (cine ar fi zis ca sudul Spaniei nu este doar despre plaje intinse si soare mai tot timpul anului?!), vulturi plesuvi planand deasupra capetelor in Alpujarras, arhitectura tipic spaniola dar cu influente maure, sate de un alb imaculat, mancare delicioasa, dealuri intregi de maslini, spectaculoasele Sevilla, Cordoba ori Granada, cu o istorie si o identitate fascinanta si bineinteles, Cadiz-ul cu al sau carnaval in februarie. Si-apoi sa nu uitam de renumitul Caminito del Reeey! Unde mai pui ca intr-o ora poti ajunge pe continent african, o singura plimbare cu feribotul duce din Tarifa pana in renumitul Tangier. Sau si mai si, cine ar fi crezut ca in patria soarelui si-a verii aproape permanente poti sa schiezi in Sierra Nevada?! Andalucia le are pe toate, si chiar de nu o fi cea mai bogata regiune din Spania (ba chiar se afla la polul opus, alaturi de Extremadura, cea mai saraca regiune spaniola), are de toate pentru toti. Preturile sunt decente (desi am zice noi ceva mai mari decat ne asteptam), vremea e buna mai mereu, iar peisajele si road trip-urile sunt dementiale!

EN: In view of all these, our journey through the Andalusian villages was almost over. Bull rings (more than 70 of them in all Andalusia!), fearless matadores, flamenco rhythms, impressive relief (who would have thought that southern Spain is not all about endless beaches and sun any time of the year?!), bald eagles flying above our heads in Alpujarras, the typical Spanish architecture but with some Moorish influences, white washed villages, delicious food, hills covered by olive trees, spectacular Sevilla, Cordoba or Granada – with a fascinating history and identity and of course, Cadiz with its carnival in February. And ;et’s not forget about the famous Caminto del Rey! But what is even more is the fact that in only one hour you can get on African land, with a simple ferry ride from Tarifa to the famous Tangier. Ah, and who wouldΒ have thought that in the land of sun and almost permanent summer one can go skiing in Sierra Nevada?! Andalucia has it all, and even though is not the richest region in Spain (on the contrary, close to Extramadura is one of the poorest regions in Spain), has something for everyone. The prices are decent (even though higher than we would have expected), the weather is good throughout the year and the scenery and road trips are to die for!

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Caminito del Rey – Photo Source:Β www.lilistravelplans.com

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