From Ronda we took roads that must have been former goat paths as we twisted and turned up, around, and down through the majestic mountains of Andalusia. The villages and towns Grazalema, Ubrique, Cortes de la Frontera, Algatocin, Atajate – to name a few – all have one thing in common – sparkling white and perching atop a mountain or nestled into the side of one.
.. and then there is Juzcar! Spain’s blue smurfs village! At one time it resembled all the other white villages, but changed its look in 2011 when it became the “first and official Smurfs village in the world.” The idea came from Sony Pictures as part of the campaign to promote The Smurfs movie. The locals agreed to temporarily paint all their buildings the bright blue, but the idea caught on and now Juzcar is benefitting from being different!
On our drives through the mountains we have noticed trees along the side of the road that have been stripped of their bark part way up – these are Quercus suber, commonly called the cork oak. The cork is harvested every nine years.