Dos Amigos en España

I visited Spain for the the first time in 1963; I was twenty-four. It would be another twenty-eight years until I returned in 1991 and again in 1994.


Campello Esp 62_1
Campello Esp 62_2

Campelló in 1962

I went to Campelló in 1962. Dusty, dirty streets; unkempt houses and
real-life local bars, no pubs. I didn’t realise at the time that it made a strong positive impression on me. Now Campelló is a mega tourist and holiday centre, especially for British and Northern Europeans.


The Godman cometh

Toledo was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural and monumental heritage and historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim
and Jewish cultures.
The old city is located on a mountaintop with a 150 degree view, surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River, and contains
many historical sites, including the Alcázar, the cathedral (the primate church of Spain), and the Zocodover, a central market place. It has a history of Catholic and Moorish rule with a strong Jewish footprint. This Catholic church was once a mosque.

Toy nuns
Dancing Cherubs
For the tourists
Clothing, coffee, booze, whatever
DA+ gargoyle
David Abelló. He gets around.
Alaczar Moscardó

The Alcázar

In 1936 during the Spanish Civil War,  Republicans controlled most of Toledo and sought the surrender of the Alcázar by artillery bombardment. For the duration of the siege, the Nationalists, under the control of Colonel José Moscardó, engaged in a passive defense, only returning fire when an attack was imminent.
Colonel Moscardó was called on the telephone by the chief of the Worker’s Militia, Commissar Candido Cabello, on the morning of July 23 in Toledo and told that if the Alcázar were not surrendered within ten minutes, Moscardó’s 16-year-old son, Luis, who had been captured earlier in the day, would be executed. Colonel Moscardó asked to speak to his son and his son asked what he should do. “Commend your soul to God”, he told his son, “and die like a patriot, shouting, ‘¡Viva Cristo Rey!’ The Alcázar does not surrender.” “That,” answered his son, “I can do.” There is a legend that Luis was immediately shot; he was not shot until a month later “in reprisal for an air raid”.
Being there was chilling.

The Picos de Europa is a range of mountains 20 km inland from the northern coast of Spain, in the Autonomous Communities of Asturias, Cantabria and Castile and León, forming part of the Cantabrian Mountains.

Casa Gustavo 4
Our lodgings for a week

Though a bit shambolic it was one of the best places we stayed. We walked in the hills and along mountain trails, visiting Potes, the local market town, where we bought cheap wine and excellent local Manchego cheese.

This is what we saw each morning from our bedroom as we pulled
back the curtains. An excellent start to any day.

Mountain 2
DA on the trail
Walking along the summit trail with our host and her dog. It was not the tourist season, so we barely saw another person during our daily walks in the spectacular mountain range, Picos de Europa (clearly, the are not the ‘peaks of Europe).

The Alhambra
After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, Alhambra was rediscovered in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories. We stayed in the Hotel Washington Irving, a slightly decrepit, but very comfy, old hotel, very conveniently situated across the street from the Alhambra.

Generalife fountain
Alhambra Palms2
Alhambra detail 3
Alhambra DA well
Abelló in the well at La Alhambra
Abelló relaxing in the Alhambra garden, opposite our hotel.

The advantage of staying so close to the Alhambra was that we could sit in the beautiful gardens for as long as we liked. We read a lot.

Empúries, formerly known by its Spanish name Ampurias, was a town on the Mediterranean coast of the Catalan comarca of Alt Empordà in Catalonia, Spain. It was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists from Phocaea with the name of Ἐμπόριον. It was later occupied by the Romans, but in the Early Middle Ages, when its exposed coastal position left it open to marauders, the town was abandoned.

Empuries title
Trees & tiles
DA @ Empúries
Erotic Empuriés
Hard as a rock


Dalí Museu Figueres
Dalí theatre and museum in Figueres
Cadaques Shutters
Shutters in Figueres


Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona


Labarint, Barcelona


Sitges 1991
Beach opposite our hotel in Sitges, one hour from Barcelona.

Spain fog2

A misty drive to Puig Cerdá (pron. poosh sirdah) on the French border.

2 responses to “Dos Amigos en España”

  1. Dear Professor. Your dusty pueblo reminds me of the Andalusian place my friends John & Von McInnes first stayed in when they went to Spain. It’s very 70s! I never saw that pueblo but did spend some time in the place in the Sierra outside Seville where they eventually settled. No tourists at all. Just me. Glorious. Hope u & DA r both well. The PHG Names Project launch on Saturday went well. About 30 people. Caught up with some folks I’d not seen for a while but the anxiety kicked in after an hour or so and I had to flee. Went to Maitland Regional Art Gallery last Friday with John W. Great show of works on paper. Really big gallery. Good food in cafe. No crowds in front of pictures. The show closes 12 July I think if you want to consider a visit. Hooroo Edd xx

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. See you at the next Senate meeting?


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