GUADIX AND ITS CAVE HOUSES

Coming from Caravaca dela Cruz, where we stayed for two days, we drove further to the province of Granada. Our first stop-over was in a small village of Puebla de Don Fabrique, considered as the gateway to Andalucia. We were able to fill our watertanks here and empty our chemical toilet. After that, we drove further to Baza, where we decided to stay for the night. The following day, we decided to explore Baza, and we were not so delighted. We stayed however for another night as we made use of the Wifi from the municipal Deportivo which we could access from our camper. The next day, we continued our journey, and arrived in Guadix.

COMING TO GUADIX

We arrived in Guadix on busy Saturday morning  . We parked at the public parking area, located at the beginning of the town,  just about 300 meters from the town center.   It so happened that Saturday is the weekly open market in town  and the parking area was changed into one busy commercial area with lots of stands selling clothes, shoes, textile, vegetables and fruits, among others. After roaming around the market, at about 3 in the afternoon, we walked to the city center only to discover that all shops were closed from Saturday afternoon until Sunday. It was quiet in the whole town! Even the tourist office (located at Plaza Constitucion) was closed. We were, however, fortunate to obtain a map and some information about the town from the nice saleslady of Rey Zagal souvenir shop located infront of the Cathedral.

 Campsite : Avenida Buenos Aires     Guadix

Coordinates :  N: 37.30360    W: 3.13345

  1. FOOTBALL NIGHT

IMG_20160402_204153 (375x500)That Saturday evening, the El Clasico (Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona) would be playing against each other. So we searched a nice local café where we could watch the game. Fortunately, we have found one, and we were just in time to go there, as there was almost no table free that evening. The café was really full; clients from all ages (and I mean, all ages, from toddler to grandparents) filled the café with their loud chatters and banters and cheers! It seemed that the Spaniards took this occasion as a family outing. The fathers were inside the café and the mothers were outside at the terrace, watching out for the kids. The crowd was apparently for Real Madrid, based from their reactions. It was a cozy and successful nigt for us, and also cheap, as we only had to pay 7.70 euros for 3 glasses beer, 1 glass cola and 2 tapas!

 2. SUNDAY MASS AT LA CATHEDRAL

After a late evening, we were awakened the following Sunday morning by the noise around us. When we looked outside, we saw that a flea market was being built at the place where we were parked! And a bit further was an air balloon trying to go up in the air. As we didn’t want to be trapped among the market vendors, we decided to transfer to a quieter place in the parking. At 10.30, we then went to the cathedral to hear the Mass. We were however late, as the mass was almost finished when we arrived. After the mass, we had a little chance to walk around the Cathedral and take some pictures. A couple of minutes later, a man from the curch informed us that we had to leave as they would be closing the Cathedral already! We thought otherwise. They just wanted that the visitors leave the premises so as to give way to the paying public who  would visit the Cathedral and Museum.

 3. BARRIO DE CUEVAS

One unique feature of Guadix and surely a must to visit is the Barrio de Cuevas. It is a small district in town with about 2000 inhabited cavehouses. We drove to this area with our D’Traveller, as it was a bit too far to walk (about 4 kilometers from the parking), following the sign to Barrio de Cuevas. There are 2 small parking areas near the church and interpretation center (which was unfortunately closed on Sundays). Hans and I spent about 2 hours walking around the area. What we saw was unique and first time experience for both of us. There were lots of cave houses of different sizes. Striking was most of the facades were painted in white. It is so charming to see the white chimneys arising from the hills. Some of these cave houses were so perfectly made up or constructed, while others were abandoned.

There were a couple of cave houses which were open for public : the Cueva San Jose located at the Mirador, and another one next to interpretation center. Both sell souvenirs and asked for small donation. We visited the Cueva San Jose, and bought a small magnet for refrigerator. The cave was very charming, well made-up for sightseeing purposes. It has an inviting front terrace , painted in white, with lots of flowering plants. Inside the cave is a spacious living room, and the temperature was just perfect. We learned it has a constant temperature of 20 degrees C all year round. Further, the cave house has 3 small sleeping quarters and small kitchen and bathroom.

The second cave house we visited was the cavehouse of Julien, a French man who was now living in Guadix. It was just a chance invitation for us, which we enthusiastically accepted. Julien was a proud owner of his cavehouse. He toured us around (about 150 sq.m) and patiently explained to us how he renovated the cave house and how much work was needed to do so. It took him one year to do some major renovations, and he was not yet finished. From the outside, the cave house looked small and desolate , but inside, it has a grand interior, with lots of living space!

There were charming alleys or halls that looked like labyrinth and arches that separate one room from the other. Every detail had been carefully thought about, like the lighting and decorations in each room. There are 2 living rooms, 3 big bedrooms, modern kitchen and bathroom!  We were greatly impressed by the cave house. It was far different from what we were expecting! And we know for sure, once the house is fully renovated, it will be one of the best cave houses in the area.

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