Trip to Almedinilla – February 2022

Our Trip to Almedinilla :

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On Friday 25th February, 38 of us made our way by coach from Nerja at 08.00 towards Cordoba, calling at our regular breakfast stop just outside Antequera. Breakfast consumed, we continued on, through wonderful countryside, olive trees as far as the eye could see, arriving at the Tourist Office in Almedinilla to meet Pacqi. She drove to the Iberian Poblado (pre-Roman settlement of Cerro de la Cruz) and we followed, superbly manouvered along a winding, narrow road by Miguel Angel, our regular driver, up into the Sierras Subbetica countryside. Despite the cloudy start, the sun shone as we alighted from the bus and most of the group tackled the walk up to the site, through a grove of olive trees, some of which are 200-300 years old. Those less able, were transported up in 2 vehicles provided by the municipality. After time to appreciate the views and consider the strategic position of the village, we were able to walk through replica houses and up to the tiered/ terraced area,  showing pavements and areas of houses & shops and also rain water storage. Those of us with smart phones were able to click on QR codes and listen to a narration in good English. Apparently, only 2% has been excavated so it must have been a huge metropolis.  Across the valley, on the opposite hill, a necropolis has been found, currently identified by a small pyramid. Excavation work hopes to continue when funding becomes available. We then descended to board the bus once more for a visit to the small Museum, where we were met by Elena Sanchez, our Guest Speaker from Thursday’s meeting. The Museum is in a former flour mill in a beautiful location by a stream, nestled in a gorge with trees and foliage. The ground floor houses original mill equipment and the next two floors, exhibit artefacts from Cerro de la Cruz and from the Roman Villa “La Rueda”. Elena talked us through each floor, pointing out the major exhibits. We then all had lunch at a local restaurant “La Bodega”. After lunch, we boarded the bus for the visit to the ruins of the Roman Villa, which were were discovered when work was undertaken for the A339 road. Elena described the first area of interest which is a a ceramics firing system. We then moved on to the remains of the house itself, which is very large and clearly belonged to a wealthy local family – they even had underfloor heating ! Elena described the rooms and the way of life, as we looked at the fine mosaics on the floors and colours on the remains of some walls – Elena answered questions along the way.
Finally, it was time to leave. Some people bought local olive oil before we said goodbye to Pacqi in the Tourist office and to Elena, with thanks for a full but interesting day. We boarded the bus back to Nerja, certain that we knew more about the pre-Romans and Romans than we had done that morning. We arrived back at approx 19.00.