Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A daytrip to Alora (and El Chorro)

Flag and Coat of Arms of Alora, Andalucia

The village of Alora northwest of Málaga

The other day we decided to make a day trip to El Chorro and its famous canyons. Not by train from Málaga which you also can do but using our "pretend-to-be-four-wheal-drive" KIA that already has seen Andalucia from west to east. Normally we do switch on our car navigator (let's call her Mrs. N because it has a female voice) and so we did. The road to Alora is not straight forward. First we advised Mrs. N to take the fastest way and she gave a direction that we did not like. We wanted to take the small (and sometimes curly) roads instead. I believe we already are notorious for choosing the unexpected alternative just for the sake of adventure. Therefore Mrs. N was given new instructions to take the most direct way; YES, our KIA accepted simple unpaved roads, too.  No problem! Off we went, towards west later to turn for a northerly direction. Sometimes, but only sometimes, Mrs. N gets confused and mostly this is easily predicted because all the nice new highways along the coasts are not familiar to her. This time the road to Alora was a complete puzzle for her. We kept turning left and right, passing narrow streets in villages that we where not supposed to pass (or at least there was a direct faster alternative, too). About halfway to Alora we had been driving for an hour and we should have reached the village by then. NEVERMIND, this time we let deliberately Mrs. N have her way. Choosing unexpected directions sometimes take you to unexpected, and exciting, places. This once also happened to us when driving to Sierra Nevada - read about that in the SN section. This time we crossed river Guadalhorce at a place that easily gets flooded. Do not worry, no problem this time, but they do actually close the road very easily. Below a few pictures from the river next to the river crossing.

Guadalhorche river bend at our crossing.
Same river bend from another angle.

The excitement of the journey as guided by Mrs. N was somewhat exhausting and a toilet was in need for Mrs. T at one point. The coffée shop owner was a good samaritan that understood the dilemma and, with a true gentleman's gesture, offered a relief instantly. For those not keen on traveling by car we can advice that the Córdoba-Málaga high-speed train stops at Alora. This white washed village is fairly sizable with 13.500 inhabitants and was originally founded by the Phoenicians that built a castle on the hill which Romans later fortified. The other impressive sight of the village is the old church in the centre dating back to the 16th century. Below some pictures from these sites.

Mrs. T sensing the atmosphere and watching over the tripod in the church.
A very decorative altar.
The Saint Fransiscus of Assisi
The Holy Family.
Another decorative view.
The Church of Nuestra Senora de la Encarnation.

Cervantes lived in this village between 1587 and 1593 ( Monday is the market day. Alora is an agricultural village that offer tropical fruits, olives and grape vines.
Then a short walk uphill, you can also drive there if you wish. Just disregard from the "No-Way" sign as everybody else does. Half way up there is a nice alley with a view out of the village. Once up you get a magnificent view over Alora and the Guadalhorce river banks.

Along the route to the Castle.

A break half-way up.

View over Alora.

A segment of the village.

A section of the Castle.


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