White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Cold, Rainy, Windy Start to the Day, Carmona, Andalusia, Spain



It was a cold, rainy, and windy morning with a spotty forecast so we decided on a short road trip east of Seville to the town of Carmona (population about 30,000). 2000+ years ago in Julius Caesar's time it was named Carmo and on the road from Rome to Cádiz.



The town's main mercado (market) was nearly deserted due to the miserable weather.



Amy had just the right colored raincoat for this doorway.



A group of locals hanging out elsewhere in town were also wearing color appropriate clothing for the doorway.



We decided to visit the Parador de Carmona to see what it looked like (and get out of the rain, wind, and cold). Paradores are state-run national hotels built in converted castles, palaces, or monasteries, to preserve the rich heritage of the location.  In our area of Andalusia there is one here in Carmona, and also Cadiz and Arcos. There are nearly one hundred throughout Spain. I recall that Portugal also has a similar state-run system call Pousadas. Truly beautiful properties in both countries!



It was so warm and inviting we decided to eat lunch. Wow - linen and padded chairs - we haven't had any of that comfort in the tapas bars we have mostly frequented on this trip. It's usually either sit on a hard wooden stool or stand at the bar. Considering the weather, we decided to splurge.



And magically, as we ate, the sky cleared, the sun burst through, the cloud shadows raced across the fields and all was right in the world again. This view is from the patio just outside the dining room. Looks like a nice patio to enjoy in warmer weather, too.



Their unheated pool down below is probably especially inviting on a 100 degree F July day - today, not so much.



The lush farmland countryside to the east. (Panorama - click to view in full width).



With beautiful sun-dappled fields in the distance, the church below the hillside is momentarily spotlighted as a cloud passes by. Yes, that is cactus in the foreground - a lot of it here.



Truly spectacular countryside and appearing all the more beautiful by contrast with the gray, rainy morning earlier. More cactus at right foreground.



The town glowed with brightness in the fresh clear air.



The rain puddles made great reflections in the cobbled streets.



Blue sky framed the Cordoba Gate,.....



Small details and embellishments add a nice quality to the town.



The streets were quiet at midday. Folks at home for lunch and rest.



Church towers and spires rise above the horizon down many narrow lanes.



Some of the narrow streets are barely wide enough for a cart in days gone by.



The big black wire at right is a power line.  They don't use free-standing poles but simply attach the lines to the sides of the buildings.



The Church of San Pedro framed by cypress trees makes a nice silhouette against the dramatic sky.



It turned out to be a spectacular day. Another one of many for us here in Andalusia.

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