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Published: August 18th 2015
Left the lovely mountain area and went down down, down back along narrow winding roads through Lanjaron (known for its spa waters) and on to the small city of Antequera.
This was a lovely place to spend a couple of days, very few tourists, quiet with plenty to see and pretty too. More narrow windy streets with an Alcazabar at the top of the hill. We were glad that our hire car was very small as it was super tight maneuvering in and out of the parking at the hotel around the streets of downtown.
Antequera was one of the first places to be re-conquered by the Christians in the 15th
Century, maybe because of that there are a huge number of old and huge churches and convents in the down town area.
The history stretches way back with some important ancient dolmens a few km from the centre. There was no one else visiting these amazing monuments. They did not take long to visit as they’re quite small, huge slabs of stone constructed into round man-made hills. The main one faces the 'sleeping giant' shaped hill that dominates all views in that direction from town. The information
centre had an interesting short video (in English) explaining how they believe the early people built and moved the stone slabs, made the visit more interesting as there was no other information at the site.
The Alcazabar sits on a hill of its own overlooking the town and the valley. There was an unexpected steep fee with an audio guide to look around the recently renovated castle. It was very good and the audio guide made it interesting, another place where the Romans built on a n ancient peoples site, the Moors built on this and finally the Chrsitians changed it again. Included in the tour was a look around the church that is next to it and the Roman ruins that can be looked down upon from the church square.
Outside of the city are two National Parks that were well worth visiting. El Torcal is 13km out of town, the drive has great views back into the town of the alcazbar and the white houses down the hill. El Torcal is a stunning area of natural beauty with limestone rocks in strange formations. We had an enjoyable couple of hours walking the yellow route, although there
were a few visitors no one was on this slightly longer route. The route ended at a spectacular high balcony looking one way into the park and the other out over the valley below. We saw ibex here too and more griffon vultures soaring overhead.
In the other direction it’s a few km to the huge lakes of Fuente de Piedra N-P. When we drove in it looked like the whole lake was dried up. It was 5 min before closing time (7pm) for the visitor centre and the helpful lady gave us a very quick summary of where to go to see the flamingos that were still there despite the low water. From just behind the visitor centre we could see one group in a small area of the big lake that had dried up and a short walk round the corner took us to a smaller lake with a hide that had a good number of flamingos quite close. It was lovely to watch them in the evening light. Lots of rabbits bouncing around too, we watched a fox come out and chase and fail to catch one, then sit quite happily in the open waiting to
see what else would turn up.
Definitely a good place to spend a few days.
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