Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TARIFA AS I'VE SEEN IT

A couple of weeks ago, we decided....ah, I decided, to make a little trip to Tarifa, a small town not too faraway, just a 40 minutes drive. I didn't know much about the place, only that it's very crowded during the summer, due to the strong wind which allows all types of surfers to enjoy the sea, the sun and... the girls !!!! Also, all the electricity consumed by Tarifa's 15 000 inhabitants, plus the tourists, is provided by the wind via lots of windmills, located around the town. I found out later there are many interesting birds resting here on their way to Africa; Tarifa is a famous place among the ornithologists, especially those interested in migration of the storks, twice in a year, in spring and autumn. Our day was lovely, sun, 32 degrees Celsius ( October, he, he, he....), no wind at all, a perfect day for a trip. Like all tourists arrived in Tarifa, first we visited the castle of Guzman El Bueno. In fact the castle was built by the Moors in 960AD, under Caliph Abd al-Rahman III orders. After the Christian Conquest in 1292 by Sancho IV el Bravo (which statue can be seen in front of the castle), in 1294 the event which made Tarifa known worldwide was the defeat of Guzman el Bueno who preferred his own son to be sacrificed rather than surrendering the castle he had been entrusted with by his king. He threw his sword from the high of the castle to the Moors to kill his child, what they immediately did!!!. Nowadays the castle considered the most well preserved in Spain, can be visited in change of 2 Euros the ticket; you don't have access inside, but even wandering through the alleys or going up on different levels and different terraces you can get an image of the ancient splendour of the place. I found interesting the rocks they used to build the castle's foundation have been taken out of the sea and contain fossils of sea creatures.
The view is magnificent, either we looked towards the windmills shinning in the sun up on the hills or we looked at La Puenta de Tarifa, located on Islas de las Palomas, where it is the most southern point of Europe. At only 14 kilometres by sea are located the rising Rif mountains of North Africa; that day they looked blue surrounded by a yellow fog.
Next, we followed the city's wall built by French in XVIII century, then we took a rest in a park taking photos of Africa's shore; later we had a nice lunch at a little tapas bar and last we lost ourselves wandering the streets till we met another lovely park next to the municipal library and in front of the police, where we spent some wonderful and peaceful moments surrounded by silence, flowers and singing birds.
On our way back we stopped at a miramar, a belvedere point, very popular there, where one can admire the windmills and of course the Rif mountains. It was only a 4 hours trip, but we want to go back soon, to visit the rest of the city, because there are still many beautiful things to explore and discover. And many photos to take.

4 comments:

  1. Great post. I love the detail of the fossils in the stones that make up the castle. Your post reminds me of one of my favorite songs, take a look:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtO9UoTfiHk

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  2. Great post, Danangib. I love castles and your photos of what was available for you to see of this one are a delight. Beautiful day, and your background information regarding the subjects makes it all that much more enjoyable.
    And thanks for your Glorious Comment on my portrait :) lol
    Soon again!

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  3. Thank you for your kind words, Gary. Your pictures are amazing and love your blog, I think it's great !

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  4. Ahhh... fascinating! Makes my yearn to travel grow even stronger.

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