May Day in the Mountains

20130501-232735.jpgWith people taking advantage of the day off (día del trabajador) in Spain to demonstrate and protest I went with a couple friends back to Aracena for the day. We left the palm trees and city streets behind in Huelva for the rolling green hills of the Sierra, spring blossoms, and the best ham in Spain.20130501-232930.jpgIt’s a short, and beautiful, drive up to la Sierra– and there’s lots to see out the window…I was mesmerized again by the landscapes at the Rio Tinto mines.20130501-233148.jpg20130501-233420.jpg20130501-233524.jpg20130501-233546.jpg

Aracena [Everything With Ham On It]

20130201-015305.jpgThe last weekend of January saw us take a lovely little road trip up the Sierra de Aracena; a little mountain town just north of Huelva. After a few scary moments as our intrepid driver got used to our standard rental car, we were off for a short drive through beautiful scenery up to the pueblo.

20130201-015258.jpgFamous for their ham and mushrooms, the food did not disappoint and we tried a lot of it in great, cozy restaurants. The sunny January weekend was perfect for exploring. Las Grutas de la Maravillas, the ham museum (where I bought a little cookbook…we’ll see if I can recreate any of the mountain specialties!), hiking up to an old castle, and wandering around the white washed town– it was all a lovely change from the city.

20130205-154227.jpgDespite an incredible amount of fog, we stopped to look in awe at the Rio Tinto mines on our drive back to Huelva. (This is where NASA is doing research on what life would be like on Mars!)

20130205-153948.jpg Thanks to my mum and dad for suggesting this gem, and to lovely Emma for the picture of me (you can see her fabulous photography here!). If you’re in the mood for some fresh air and the best ham in Spain, Aracena might just be your town!