So, as promised, some pictures of the holiday in “Spaghetti western” land. These are not particularly artistic but give you a flavour of the countryside around Almeria. In 1964 this area was used as the setting for “A Fistful of Dollars” and for several more spaghetti westerns after that. There is even a cine-tour of the locations involved. So, while you read on, play this.
The land and the mountains are desert-like in many areas though in Spring the land is fertile and green.
Almeria is a province within the autonomous community (region) of Andalusia in southern Spain and is the beneficiary of a rich and varied history. The name, Andalusia, traces back to the Arabic language and is the obvious evidence of a history of Muslim cultural influence.
The area has remained a poorer part of Spain, economically, though it’s prevalent role in market gardening has been key to the growth in the region as Europe clamours for fresh salad for it’s table. Several of the plains in the region are now seas of plastic sheeting – vast incubators for fresh leaves. But that said, it is a beautiful area, and people have to earn a living !
Nijar is a large village in the hills above San Jose. Fi and I first visited here 15 years ago and I took this self same shot on film (in those days). I knew where to find the staircase and wanted to see if I could replicate the shot for the digital age. Hadn’t changed a bit.
Many of Spain’s regions have a strong cultural identity and Andalusia is no different since, I would suggest, it’s main cultural export is flamenco.
Hats off to rugged Spain – till the next time.Adios. (shuffles off whistling Ennio Morricone).