Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mecina , Mecinilla and Fondales

These three villages are often referred to as Mecina Fondales. They are so small and so close together that they seem to be just the one village.

The first time I went there, was on yet another exploratory tour with Ole. We were invited to visit his Danish friends who I had met on some Monday or Thursday morning in Bar Santiago in Orgiva.

We drove past Mecina's church, past Bar Aljibe in Mecinilla (Mecinilla? What Mecinilla)...
locally known as Marisa's Bar and down to the small square by the little church where we parked the car. We had to walk down very narrow, deserted and rather steep streets to get to Fondales and to the house.

What a delight that was too! Surprisingly large once you got inside, it was fit to be featured in House & Garden or the like. All the traditional architectural features of old were left exposed.

The house had been a shop and the village's wine press and what an Aladin's cave it was indeed in terms of its architectural treasures and the original implements, ceramics, "tinajas" (large earthen jars in which oil was stored), wine barrels, the old press room, even down to the smell of maturing wine. There was a huge fireplace in one of the bedrooms, a tiny window in another where you needed to go on your knees to look out of and the two animal sheds that had been transformed into a workshop and a storage room with a window from which the neighbours' mule peeped curiously at us.

Above I put a question mark and asked what Mecinilla…This is because driving past the bar you see nothing else of the village except the signpost pointing at a very narrow lane where a car could pass, but just barely. Going down it, you find a little hamlet with just a few houses. But it is there where many walks start.

Leaving Mecina, the crossroad to Fereirola & Fondales, one felt a sense of calm and quietness seldom experienced in Spanish villages. All the time we were there, this silence was not broken even once by a motor bike speeding through the village with its silencer removed, so common otherwise.

No shops, no supermarkets in any of these small villages of La Taha. For supplies, one had to look beyond. Maybe this is why the Pitres street market (mercadillo) is so popular.

Mecina is the liveliest of the three villages, It has a substantial hotel with a swimming pool where many friends of mine go to spend weekends to relax and Bar Cueva de la Mora Luna. Small as it is, it's often the scene of some piano or guitar concert or even a dance show…their pizzas, Argentinian style, are to die for!

Photo 1, Mecina Landscape
Photo 2, Bar Aljibe, painting by Takashi Ishii
Photo 3, Early exterior photo of Hotel de Mecina

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