SPAIN'S WILD WEST; Undiscovered Is a Feast of Food and History

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 24, 2009 | Go to article overview

SPAIN'S WILD WEST; Undiscovered Is a Feast of Food and History


Byline: SHARON van GEUNS

"I WANT to go somewhere different in Spain this year," I announced firmly to my partner as we pondered where to go on our next holiday. "Somewhere off the beaten track where no one speaks a word of English."

It was with this spectacularly bad sell that I somehow convinced my doubtful beau Mike that we should hop on a plane and visit the plains. You know, like the ones in the rhyme.

Not just any old plains, though, but the breathtaking yet largely undiscovered region of Extremadura.

Otherwise known as Spain's "wild west", this part of the country is not on the radar of most British holiday-makerand by Spanish standards is undeveloped.

Yet the region offers a heady combination of lush forests and sweeping plains rising to ancient hilltop villages.

Bordering Portugal, Extremadura takes its name from the Spanish for "to go to extremes" - it can get blisteringly hot in summer and tremendously cold in winter.

With adventure in mind, it seemed the perfect place to get a taste of the real rural Spain.

But first we decided to take in some of the neighbouring regions before we hit Extremadura itself.

Flying to Seville meant we could see a little of western Andalucia before moving on to Huelva province.

Along the way we would stay in the historic "paradors" unique to Spain. These are magnificent, but very affordable, state-run former palaces, castles, mansions or even convents which have been turned into hotels. And they often have special offers on, making them excellent value. With so much ground to cover - more than 600 miles of driving - we were looking at a somewhat ambitious schedule.

Bring it on, we thought. Then, a few days before we were due to leave, there came an unexpected development. I was pregnant.

Overnight I began suffering some of the worst sideeffects of early pregnancy, including morning sickness.

Suddenly the idea of sharing a car with a hormonally-challenged, wildly irrational and nauseous mother-to-be didn't seem so appealing to my beloved.

Still, with tickets booked - and sick bags packed - we set off more determined than ever.

We started to relax as soon as we swapped gloomy England for glorious sunshine.

Picking up our rental car hassle-free at Seville airport (we found a great deal with Economy), we headed out of town.

We were dazzled by the scenery as we drove east towards the ancient Andalucian town of Carmona and the 14th Century Arabic fortress that would be our first pit-stop. With magnificent views across the fertile plains of the River Corbones, as well as splendid gardens and a grand courtyard, this parador is considered one of the best in Spain.

We were sad to leave after just one night.

Our next stop couldn't have been more different as we headed east towards Huelva province.

In Spain, pork rules the dinner The turned table. And in much of the countryside, many people still keep a pig, salt ham and make their own chorizo.

Huelva is the capital of cured ham because its home to the most famous pig breed of all - the black Ibrico.

Here, among the wilderness of rust-red earth, scrub oak and cork trees, the pigs snuffle for the acorns which give their ruby meat the fatty, grainy texture which makes the ham so melt-in-the-mouth tasty.

So it was pretty appropriate that we spent a night on a pig farm, the enchanting Finca la Silladilla (www.jabugo.cc). And no it didn't smell, despite the warnings of horrified friends.

Instead, in the middle of hundreds of acres of protected national park, there are half a dozen endearingly rustic, tumbledown cottages run as B& Bs by the charming Maia Araujo.

We woke to a breakfast of freshlycarved jamn ibrico de bellota and orange juice before heading out to feed some of the pigs.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

SPAIN'S WILD WEST; Undiscovered Is a Feast of Food and History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.