Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day Trip to Almería


Saturday, 21 February, 2015:

At mid-day, I joined Roberto Durán, his lovely bride Imma and their friend Ramon for the two 1/2 hour drive Southwest of Murcia to yet another Mediterranean seaport city, Almería.

The reason for the trip was Roberto and Ramon's assignment this afternoon as referees in the Granada Lions at Almería Barbarians Serie C American football game.

 The Lions were the heavy favorites
according to Roberto

The area around Almería was used to film Clint Eastwood's classic spaghetti westerns, the equally classic Conan the Barbarian and the scene in the Indiana Jones film where Sean Connery uses his umbrella to scare a flock of seagulls into flying into a Nazi plane. Almería's movie industry history is the reason that the local team is called the Barbarians.

As for Almería, it is a city of about 190,000 inhabitants located on the sun baked south coast of Spain's Andalucía region.

During Moorish days in the 10th century, it served as the main seaport for the Córdoba caliphate.


Some call it a stubborn city as during the Reconquista it remained Moorish until 1489 when Christian invaders took the city just three years before the Moors were driven out of Spain with the loss of Granada in 1492. Almería was also the last city in Andalucía to surrender to Franco's Fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War.


 It is also a GREAT beach town

Imma and I left Roberto and Ramon eating with the rest of the referees and opted to explore a city that neither one of us had ever visited.

 Couple sun bathing

 Music Chicas

Almería Icon

Who wouldn't love to attend
TRAMPOLINE SCHOOL!!!

Moroccan influence is . . .

 . . . everywhere in Almería

 Agreed

 Catedral de la Encarnación

Catedral Gargoyle

 Catedral Plaza

 Catedral Lion

Catedral Sun

The Catedral looks more like a fortress than a cathedral to be sure. Begun in 1534, it was built to look like a fortress due to the threat of pirate raids from North Africa during those days.

Moorish Fountain

Bull Fight Season is HERE!!!

If you are in love, lock it down here

Lunch Stop

It was a warm day so we stopped here for tapas and a beverage. In Andalucía, people tend to take their time doing things, our waiter included.

 It was quaint inside but we ate al fresco

 I get all warm and fuzzy living
in a country that still has a strong
Communist Party

 Fiesta

This one was, surprise, food based. Fortunately, for all concerned, it was siesta time so all was good.

 Spikes

The Alcazaba

It was built in the 10th century by Abd ar-Rahman III, the greatest caliphate of Al-Andalus. In its day, it was the most powerful Moorish fortress in Spain. 

We were short on time as we needed to get back to the stadium to see the game that was getting ready to kickoff. Thus, we did not go up to enter the Alcazaba.

I definitely have to return with Laurie for a weekend to enjoy the beach and see more of the Alcazaba.

 Palm Court

Coral Art

We were told that the Beatles stayed in the hotel in the background back in the 1960s.

Seaport Railway Overhead

It was used to load and unload ships in the harbor.

Harbor

Start of a Beach on the Med

Game Stadium Entrance

WR for the Almería Barbarians

Granada Lion pressuring the QB

 Roberto looking good in stripes

Barbarian Punt

Game Action

Scrum

Sunset at game's end


OUCH!!!

Roberto's prediction was spot on.

FINAL SCORE
Granada Lions 61 - Almería Barbarians 0


Another great day in España thanks to the Duráns. Almería is a wonderful place to visit, especially on a warm day like today.

More days . . .

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