On This Day – Guadix in Spain

In the previous post I told you that I visited Granada but stayed outside of the city in the village of Romilla. We regretted that so two years later returned and stayed in an apartment in the City centre.

After three days in Granada we left the city on 25th April 2018 and drove to the town of Guadix…

Guadix was quiet, almost as quiet as Puerta de Don Fadrique and we needn’t have worried in advance about car parking because the streets were empty, the shops were closed and there was almost no one about. We found the hotel easily enough, checked in, unpacked only what we needed for an overnight stay and then went back out into the centre.

I liked it, it wasn’t Trujillo in Extremadura or Almagro or Siguenza in Castilla-La Mancha, it wasn’t Santillana del Mar in Cantabria but it was authentic and rustic, Spanish and Andalusian and I was glad that we had chosen to spend some time here.

We walked around the centre, along the banks of the crusty dried-up river bed and through some lush public parks but in late afternoon there was never much sign of life. I looked for a shop to buy some wine but I had forgotten my corkscrew key-ring thingy that I can smuggle through airport security and there were no screw cap bottles anywhere in my price range so I was forced to buy a carton of Don Simon Vino Tinto which is really cheap and tastes just the same.

The product manufacturers make this extraordinary claim… “Don Simon Vino Tinto Wine offers an expertly and exquisitely manufactured wine with fruity aroma; light fruit flavour, crisp acidity, light body and dry, tart finish. Good for every occasion. Best when served chilled. It looks as good as it tastes.”

No grape variety information or expert tasting tips and in truth it is the sort of wine that at about €1.50 a litre, if you have got some left over you don’t mind pouring down the sink when you leave if you are not too concerned about environmental damage or taking the risk of destroying the hotel plumbing system.

We sat for a while in the lonely Plaza Mayor which was abandoned and quiet but decided anyway to return later for evening meal. Two hours after it was transformed, the square was busy and there was fierce competition for tables but we swooped on one and the owner talked us into a Menu Del Dia which, as it turned out was a brilliant bit of salesmanship by him although not a brilliant decision on our part, but we had a hearty meal which filled us up including a truly enormous portion of Tiramasu for sweet for Lindsay which arrived just as she was explaining her planned dieting schedule.

I liked Granada and I liked Guadix, two completely different places which all adds to the richness and diversity of Spain and keeps me wanting to go back again and again.

The following morning we had a good breakfast at the hotel and we cleaned them out almost completely of tomato for the tosta and then we checked out and drove a short distance to the cave houses.

This is the main reason for visiting Guadix. It is like Bedrock and the Flintstones. People still live in caves.

People still live in caves!

Just outside of the City old town there is a community of residents who cling to and persevere with the old ways which includes digging a hole in the limestone cliffs and then setting up home inside. Not just any old cave however and today the mountain homes have brick façade and all of the modern home conveniences inside.

After a walk to the top of the village to an observation platform and then down again a man asked us in to his cave home and invited us to look around. People in Andalusia used to live in cave houses because they are cool in summer and warm in winter and they are cheap to build. Some people, like those here in Guadix still do!

We spent an hour or so investigating the intriguing village and then we left and set off back east towards Rojales and the Mediterranean coast.

34 responses to “On This Day – Guadix in Spain

  1. I have a vague recollection of watching the spin-off of Escape to the Country (Escape to the Continent). Presenter Alistair Appleton was given a tour of the caves. Fascinating places.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The cave houses are certainly intriguing. Don’t they get rather dark inside?

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  3. Not sure I could live in a cave house but Guadix looks nice enough 🙂 🙂

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  4. Another white town of Andalucia!

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  5. Every time you post about this region I get more and more interested – Granada has been on our wish list for years but thus whole region looks terrific. The cave houses are a bit like those in Matera, the so called “shame of Italy”.

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  6. LOL, I keep a carton of Don Simon in the fridge for cooking and emergencies, like if I want/need a glass of sangria. I´ve been by Guadix but haven´t spent time there. There are cave houses in San Miguel de Salinas near our place. They are so cool.

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  7. Another place I’ve yet to visit. Spain is the destination that keeps on giving.

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  8. Coincidently Andrew I saw quite a few of those cave houses in a program the other night, had never heard of them before, I too was intrigued. They must feel very cool in the hot sunshine. A great article again!

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  9. I like the cave city, Andrew. It makes sense. And I like your clever cork screw! 🙂 Enjoyed the photos. –Curt

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  10. Smart looking cave houses, I stayed in a renovated cave as part of a hotel in Matera, bust the Guadix ones look smarter

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  11. We used to drink cartons of wine in camping in France in the early 80s. Somehow it tasted alright outdoors at the campsite, but when we took some home we discovered it didn’t travel well.

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  12. Pingback: On This Day – Guadix in Spain – Your Traveler’s Assistant

  13. If I could talk Melisa into it, I’d live in what we call a berm home (earth home). We saw one when we were looking for a house here, but it needed a lot of work.

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  14. If you liked the cave houses of Guadix, you should (when such things become possible again) check out Coober Pedy in Australia. People there live underground, also to escape the searing heat.
    Some examples here:
    https://www.cnet.com/pictures/the-strange-underground-homes-in-the-coober-pedy-desert-australia/21/

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  15. Enjoyed that read. Thank you for sharing. Cave house look amazing. I could probably spend a night or two, but certainly not anything permanent haha. Thank you again 😊

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