We stayed last night in Almeria capital and I actually quite liked the town. It has some heritage, with some decent period buildings; some of which are being converted into loft apartments. The streets are wide and clean. It also has some excellent public spaces, a positive legacy from last year’s Mediterrean Games. The place has a feel of a city that is certainly on the up and up. In fact, it would be fair to say, I really like the place.
This morning we set off to the Tabernas Desert.
However, I have to say, that even with my poetic license, it is hard to be say nice things about the area approaching Almeria. It’s basically bad and ugly! What hasn’t been covered in plastic green houses is being carved up for construction. But the coast beyond Almeria is more protected and the desert landscape has a striking beauty.
We took the new motorway up through the desert to the old film studios, made famous by Sergio Leone’s ‘spaghetti westerns’ of the 1960s. There are two main sites, Oasys/Mini Hollywood and Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood.
We went to the latter, as it the one that was least commericalised; although we still managed to take in a “show” that was quite amusing.
Supposedly the ‘Mexican village’ and the ‘Western town’ were used in the movies “A Fistful of Dollars”,
“A Few Dollars More”, “The Good, Bad and the Ugly” and Once Upon a Time”.
A little more recently, the desert has been used as the backdrop for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.