This autumn continues to be surprisingly dry. I’m not complaining as I love the clear, sunny days, but still water is a big problem here in Andalucia, as normally by now we should have had a few weeks worth of rain.
Last Sunday I went up to Cerro de Hijar, a small hotel perched on the foothills above the mountain village of Tolox. It’s about 10 minutes drives further into the Sierra de Las Nieves natural park. The views are stunning. The little bit of white in the far distance is Sierra Navada, all the way over in Granada province. To the right is the Med. and Malaga city, and in the fore ground is Tolox. A previous weekend I was up in Ronda, just as Autumn has set it, with the lovely colours of the chestnut trees. I’ve taken my picture here from the edge of Valla del Genal. It’s strange, but on the coast, the seasons are not very distinct, since most of the trees are either pine or imported palms, so you don’t get that autumnal-feeling I am familiar with in the UK. But once you drive up in the mountains you really do experience the difference.
The coast is gearing up for Christmas, with street lights up, the shopping centres decorated and the traffic a complete nightmare on Saturdays. In the run-up to Christmas the large shops open on Sunday which really isn’t the norm here, and you quickly see the impact that has on how incredibly busy everywhere is at the weekend. When I first moved here, shops shutting on Sundays used to drive me insane – but I soon got used to it and liked the peaceful day that reminded me a bit of how it was in the UK when I was a kid.
Up in the mountain villages you still see people dress up for Sunday. With a history of working long days in agriculture, Sundays always were an opportunity to dress up, eat out and relax and that tradition is still very strong here. In fact, on the coast, you still see the very smartly dressed, more mature Spaniards out walking on the Paseo de maritimo on a Sunday morning.