Thursday, 23 January 2014

MOLINO de INCA, Torremolinos

View from a pavilion inside Molino de Inca Botanical Gardens

While complentating over the news for the new year delivered to me (read the previous post) I noticed a small article in a newspaper about a Botanical Garden in Torremolinos that was opened in 2003. It is called MOLINO DE INCA and can be found behind the water park. The entrance is next to an old flour mill that has been completely restored. The mill has traditions going back to the 18th century and is powered with energy from a five meter high water fall. But already in 1501 AD the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella granted jurisdictional rights to Málaga over the natural spring waters in this region. The entrance fee to the park is only "UN EURO" which reminds me of the Saturday Flee Market in Fuengirola where most items seem to cost "UN EURO". I like this attitude! I also like the fact that once you pay a minimum parking fee before two o'clock you de facto park your car until the siesta is over for this nominal fee. I strongly recommend siesta to be introduced in Finland, too :)

Entrance to the Botanical Garden Molino de Inca.

The gardens are beautifully designed like so many things in Andalucia. About 50 different species of palms and hundreds of other trees provide for a greenery only disrupted by fountains, statues made of Italian marble and aviaries with different kind of birds. You can relax in one of the miradores or observation posts letting your feet and soul rest. If you prefer to "get lost", there is a large labyrinth designed for that purpose, too. The Four Seasons is an area popular for wedding photography. Here classical sculptures symbolize the circular movement of the passage of time. 

Marble statue in the park.

Shapes and colors often stun me.

The fresh, lush greenery is overwhelming.

Well designed paths guide you through the gardens.

Some palms grow a white "beard".

The visit to these lovely gardens was disrupted by the siesta break, but this gives all the reason for another visit. There are plenty of photographic angles to be discovered. Some of the above pictures are captured with an in-built HDR camera technique which allows for some of the sharp light to be compensated for by underexposed pictures. I like this technique because it provides for sharp and exciting photos as an alternative to traditional ones. Tell me what you like. Also, tell my if you have ideas for new places to visit and report back on. Next week we are in for Jerez and Formula 1 testing. As I mentioned in my previous blog post there has been "rumors" about us moving. These "rumors" have now materialized and a house is waiting for us in Skåne, Southern Sweden. The departure will take place before summer and the Andalucian blog posts will appear more seldom, but will not entirely disappear. Parallel to the Andalucian stories you can then read about Skåne, its historical places with castles and a countryside contrasting to Andalucia. Summer time in Skåne is full of activities. But before that I am looking forward to the Andalucian spring and to making more discoveries there.


MORE GOOD NEWS: The book about our Andalucian Adventure is now ready and can be viewed at   (ask us about details).

Andalucia Our Way


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

What's in for the new year? Reconnaissance of Axarquia.

What's in for the New Year?

Winter Blossom back in native Finland

Hi everybody! The holiday season is over  -  did you enjoy it? In Finland it can be freezing cold in January. The above picture was taken early 2013 after a cold spell and soon after this Mrs. T insisted on moving to Andalucia. Here in Fuengirola, Andalucia we have not seen much of a winter yet, but on the 5th January we saw "Los Reyes Magos de Orient" (the three wise men) arrive with a huge amount of candies with them. I like these oriental men with candies so we had to honor them and join everybody else by the streets where Melchor, Gaspar and and Baltasar distributed gifts and candies to the children. The candies where flying in the air and landed in my pocket, too. Silly me forgot to bring a "bolsa" along. A bolsa is a plastic bag that you get in the shops here. Below a picture of the parade.

The parade 5th January in Fuengirola.

And what else is going on early in the new year?  I have taken notice of the following: ONE - having arrived back from our christmas celebrations in London Ms. T informs she has serious plans to move to Australia. Wow!!! I thought we had fun in London! When will this take place then?   "Very soon"!   A double wow!!!  "When can we come and visit you?"  TWO - My sister-in-law is coming to visit us in January for TWO WEEKS!!!  We are already loading local goodies including jamon, tiger prawns, wine and cava for her…….Plans include a visit to Formula 1 testing in Jerez - should be blogmaterial, shouldn't it?  THREE - My good friend Uli in Germany says she praises our blog and the photo website. How do YOU rate them? You are more than welcome to like them also ;)  Just leave a comment on the blogsite or the website and remember the sites are for your entertainment. FOUR - Mrs. T says she is considering moving (we move every three years or so ;)) again. She says I will know more soon. So, what do  you think? IS MY JANUARY LOOKING GOOD?

Our Annual Yearbook is ready and printed.

Reconnaissance of Axarquia, Andalucia

The Málaga region is rich in so called white washed (mountain) villages and these have been the gem of our program in Andalucia. See e.g. the earlier post with pictures from Istán. An area where we had not been to earlier was the more remote area of Axarquia east and northeast of Vélez-Málaga. We therefore wanted to make a preliminary reconnaissance tour to this area in order to understand it and make plans for future visits / PhotoHikes. The area proved to be much larger than we had anticipated and the road network is "curled" as Mrs. T would call the serpentine roads. Traveling from one village to another is time consuming. We had time for Frigiliana and Cómpeta but had to leave e.g. Torrox, Comares and Colmenar for a closer look another time. 


Frigiliana and surrounding mountains.

Frigiliana is a much larger town than we expected with tourists around. It has an old town section dating back to Moorish times which is interesting. The road from Frigiliana to Cómpeta is narrow and not in best of shapes which suited us well as the road is not too busy. During our drive we stopped several times and photographed local villas and farms. Once in Cómpeta we passed a local olive oil producer that farmers in the region use. They state that they have a smooth olive oil with low acidity so we ended buying 10 litres of their product. Suppose one could say that we "struck oil" and are self-sufficient for a long time now. Of course we also bought some of the famous local sweet wine as well as locally produced honey.

Olive oil manufacturer in Cómpeta.

Frigiliana housing.

Small farm at the outskirts of Frigiliana.

Mansion at the outskirts of Frigiliana.

A smaller villa on the slopes.

A slightly larger farm en route to Cómpeta.

When driving on the highways we had observed that there are numerous villas and farms skattered on the mountainsides and now we got the chance to take a closer look at them. We appreciate understanding how Andalucians live and our tour in Axarquia was really useful in this sense.   This adds on to our wishes to experience a different Andalucia and report back on what we find interesting. The year 2013 has been rather productive. We have seen the birth of this Blog, the new photo website, our annual yearbook and now our main production of another photo book is ready for printing. It is also called "Andalucia Our Way - An Exploration into Life Beyond the Expected". Hope you have enjoyed this post of our blog, too.

Thank you for your continued interest in our journey into Andalucia!