Monday, August 31, 2009

Spain 2009 - Los Arcos de la Frontera

Having tried my hardest to do absolutely nothing to improve myself while on vacation, other than deepening my tan, I ended up picking up this book and actually learning a lot about the history and geography of Spain.
This well written book, It's Not About The Tapas, by English journalist and travel writer Polly Evans, outlined her trip through Spain by bicycle. Not only did this writer perform the utterly incredible feat of travelling from San Sebastian to Barcelona which means cycling across the Pyrenees, she managed to weave an amusing story about historical and modern Spain. In each short chapter she described the villages and cities that she visited in terms of their local geography, culture, cuisine and history, and she did it with a sense of humor.

So in the spirit of learning something new about Spain I took a quick side trip to Los Arcos de la Frontera, one of the famous pueblos blancos of Andalusia.

This tiny town was set high on a hill with beautiful views of the agrarian country side.

Originally under Moorish control, like all of Andalusia, Los Arcos was Christianized in the 13th Century.

But the Moorish influence in architecture was still prevalent, especially in the small verdant atrium's within the oldest part of the village.

The village was quiet and not just because it was getting to siesta time. I saw only a handful of tourists, mostly french and South American. Of course it was obvious that we were the only two American tourists in the town...because who else would be wearing a pink Hawaiian shirt...

In fact I didn't see any American tourists anywhere in this region of Spain.
Did Americans stay home this summer because the dollar is so low against the euro or
did they only travel to the big cities in Europe?
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