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Jeff visits Almaden de la Plata

Province of Seville, 1 October 2006

Friends Karen and Sean were kind enough to lend their house in Almaden de la Plata to Jeff for the weekend. A quiet town in the Sierra Norte Natural Park, Jeff immersed himself in the local culture and tranquil surroundings, which included a Sunday dedicated to the Feria de la Tapa de la Caza (Fair celebrating tapas from wild game, and as we saw, celebrating the hunting dog as well).

Arriving on a Friday afternoon, we take in the sights of the pueblo. A 17th century church is the one of the principal sights.

The bell tower from the old Ayuntamiento, or town hall. The new town hall is now located by the above church.

In the morning we have coffee on the terrace and notice a large tent in the main square.

From our terrace we see the olive press for making olive oil (top right corner). Also important is the stand selling chocolate y churros. We will make a stop for breakfast.

After breakfast we stop by the tent to listen to the speech officially opening the days festivities.

Today a new plaza and statue were unveiled to celebrate the faithful hunting dog, which has played an important role in helping to bring wild game to the dinner table, both in the past and today.

Thousands of hunting dogs traveled with their breeders for this day. We believe there was an auction later that afternoon.

With the day dedicated to the dog, the Guardia Civil demonstrated the skills of their trained police dogs to a surprisingly large crowd.

This one has found something illegal in one of the bags left out!

After the show we visited the tent in the main square, where local products and food were available. Aside from cured meats and cheeses, there is also "Pan de Pueblo", the best bread in all of Spain. We bought a few items to bring back to the city and share with family before we left.

On the way home we take the wrong road which leads us through the back country, and finally arrive at the Castillo de Santa Olalla. The castle, located in the town of Santa Olalla, is a 13th century Mudejar-Gothic structure whose original purpose was to defend the border with Portugal. It is currently undergoing renovations.

Almaden de la Plata and the Sierra Norte Natural Park are about an hour and fifteen minutes from Seville by car.

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