Archive for March, 2009

I’m running my first ever special art offer this week to celebrate the fantastic reception my one off art commission received at Brazos Abiertos.

The offer is going to be this :

Any one of my Spanish Series paintings are available for ONE WEEK ONLY at a massively reduced price of FORTY POUNDS instead of the usual SEVENTY FIVE POUNDS per giclee print.

The prints from which you can choose are here : Special Twitter Art Offer – if you click on each image it takes you to another page where you can see the painting more clearly.

They are roughly 11 inches by 17 inches, watercolour paintings which I created in the North of Spain when we lived near Teruel. They were inspired by the fact that you simply cannot move in some of those villages without your movements being commented on by the locals!

If you are interested in owning your own copy, please do let me know by signing up at www.twitter.com and then following me at @dreamingspain – and we shall wing your print to you by the end of April!


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Having created our 101 Wonderful Things to Do on the website this month, I am now of course finding a billion other things that could just as easily be added to the site …

Today’s extra point of interest takes us from our Córdoba Bed and Breakfast down to a pretty unknown village called Macharaviaya, about half way between Málaga and Velez Málaga, and the Gálvez Family.

The flavour of the Gálvez family is one of Andalucia’s equivalent of France’s Three Muskateers : The family hail from Córdoba in the 15th century and in the 18th century, four brothers and one of the sons were awarded the Corona Española for services to Spain.

Their services to the crown over the years seems to have been second to none – in fact it is written in leaflets from Macharaviaya that you cannot separate the Gálvez name from the incredible progress Spain and America experienced during their involvement.

So why visit Macharaviaya? To see the gorgeous museum created by the Ayuntamiento (town hall) of Macharaviaya to spectacularly honour this extraordinarily historical family. The museum has been created in such a way that the Comarca de Axarquía can use it for exhibitions and theatrical events additional to the day to day visits from the general public …


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We all love a waterpark, especially in the hot summer months when the kids need to blow off steam and the parents need to remember to be kids …

Andalucia has LOADS of water parks – and several of them are close to our Luxury Guest House (bear in mind that close to us locals means an hour or so’s drive as driving through this country is in itself a total treasure because of the beauty everywhere …

Ctra. de Vera a Garrucha-Villaricos, s/n. Vera Costa.
Tel : 950 467 337 – 950 467 309
Open every day from 13 May – June between 11.00 & 18.00
From 1 July – 31 August between 10.30 & 19.30.
September, between 11.00 & 18.00.

Parque Acuático Mario Park
Ctra. de Alicún, dirección Roquetas de Mar.
Tel : 950 327 575

Aqualand Bahía de Cádiz
Ctra. N-IV, KM 647 El Puerto de Santa María.
Tel : 956 870 511
Hours : June & September, from 11.00 – 18.00
July & August from 11.00 to 19.00

Bahía Park
Avda. Virgen de la Palma, s/n
Ctra. Nacional 340 – Salida 106A
Tel. 956 63 33 30


Cno. de Córdoba, km 2,5
Villafranca de Córdoba
Tel: 957 190 699 – 957 190 298
Open every day of the week from 17th June to 3rd September between 11.00 and 20.00.


Parque Acuático Aquaola
Ctra. de Sierra Nevada,
Km. 4 Cenes de la Vega.
Tel : 958 48 61 89

Aqua Tropic
Playa de Velilla. Almuñécar.
Tel : 958 63 33 16
Hours : from June to September between 11.00 and 19.00


Aquopolis CARTAYACtra. Cartaya – Rompido, km. 3
Tel :. 902 34 50 23 / 959 39 26 60


Aqualand Torremolinos
C/ Cuba, nº10
(Antigua Ctra. Circunvalación)
Tel :. 952 38 88 88
Hours : May, June & September : 10.00 to 18.00
July & August : 10.00 – 19.00

Avd. Juan Carlos I,s/n
Torre del Mar / Vélez-Málaga
Tel: 952 54 27 58

Parque Acuático Mijas
Ctra. Nacional 340,
Mijas Costa
Tel :. 952 46 04 04 – 952 46 04 08 – 95 246 04 09
Open from May to October


Avd. del Deporte, s/n
Tel. 954 40 66 22

Hope you found this helpful for your holiday planning! And do remember, ALL tourist offices nearby should have information including maps, taxis etc.

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It’s a STUNNING day here today and the calm before the tourism storm for me ….

So I went for my morning walk as usual – this time with the giggly Mari Trini – a Spanish friend of mine with whom I walk now twice a week. We walk in English on the way out, and in Spanish on the way back – and complement each other a LOT on how brilliantly we can communicate in each other’s language. It’s extremely good for the ego, as well as for the bum size!

We took a different track today simply because I am now branching out in my walking away from tarmac and towards tracks – they take you absolutely everywhere in the Campo and you have no idea what’s coming next – boar sunbathing; butterflies dancing – or today, we stumbled across a pond that I had no idea existed at all – and it’s all of 15 minutes’ from my front door!

And since coming back, getting my frighteningly hairy legs dealt with by our hairdresser-cum-hair-remover Toni, I spent a moment on the roof terrace making a few phone calls while lazily watching our potty cat Aphrodite lick out a tiny pot of tuna. I’d deliberately given it to her in order to distract her from the wasp I’d seen land on one of our recliners.

But she’s a daft cat of course – so swiftly went to work on the wasp rather than the tuna and BLAM – got stung. She squeaked, tried to carry on the chase before realising that “God this bloody hurts” … and now she looks as though she is wearing one white and black boxing glove because her right paw has swelled up to twice the size of her left!!

Aphrodite the clinically insane cat

Aphrodite the clinically insane cat

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I’m focussing on the breathtakingly fabulous “Los Patios De Córdoba” today – without a doubt my favourite local fiesta – you can see why :

Just ONE example ...

Just ONE example ...

There are over 136 separate Patios and Gardens to wander through …

You simply never tire of it ……

Every sense is drenched to fulfillment in this stunning floral display ….

It is Art, Creativity, Beauty and Fun, all rolled into one ….

Many offering refreshments and entertainments …

And this year, Casa La Celada, my gorgeous Guest House in Córdoba, is offering a 10% room discount for all guests attending the Patios …. Just quote Patios 10% Offer 2009 on our booking form to claim yours …

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I have a thing about walking … I absolutely adore it. And yesterday I had a total epiphany ….

My fantastic friend and Casa La Celada Luxury B&B Guest House Chef David Masters and I were having a coffee yesterday morning when I managed to persuade him that he really DID want to stretch his legs and go for “the usual” walk with me. Hats off to him for not fending me off which he could so easily have done!

So we headed out on the usual road up the hill to get our Cardio Vascular systems up and running, before easing off as we walked under the crest of “Window Mountain” which has some of the most breathtaking views of this area – our village of La Celada in the foreground, enveloped by the staggeringly stunning teetering village of Iznájar in the back ground – and then of course the vast Lake Iznájar ….

And after a while, when David said “how much longer are we going to do this for?”, I looked down the hill and said “why don’t we go back via that olive road down there?”

So we found a track leading off and down to the right away from the albeit extremely quiet mountain road.


Birds twittering and tweeting in the manner achieved before mobiles and computers; lizards and ghekkos basking in the delerious March sunshine; spring flowers bursting out from every rocky crevice; and the colours ….. !! I was enchanted!

We managed to find our way down to the very clearly visible track we’d spotted from the higher road and, making note of a couple of waymarkers in case we became disorientated within the olives, started our walk back.

It was just brilliant – I LOVE circular walks, but what I don’t love is trying to figure one out on my own and getting lost!

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I say that quite advisedly because it literally happens all around us … and it is BRILLIANT fun in the most gentle, traditional, tiny Spanish village community way possible.

The “Calendar” tells you clearly that the races begin at 5pm, so obviously there was no sign of life before 6pm! At which point the street was cleared of all cars and a gaggle of mothers and friends started stringing what looked like garotters across the main road from my Bed and Breakfast to my lovely neighbour Luisa’s house.

Since then, it’s been bedlam! And I guarantee it won’t get any better …. Why?

Well, remember the egg & spoon race? The three legged race?

In my day, those were two bona fide races completely independent of each other – but NOT HERE!!

Here, the kids have their legs strapped and then each has an egg on a spoon IN THEIR MOUTHS! And the eggs aren’t hardboiled either!

To say the street outside my house looks like an omelette would not be an egg-zaggeration …..

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