Yesterday, Sunday, started off with an overcast sky. Despite it being December, it was the very first really cloudy sky Lisa ad I had seen since we arrived here in Spain. But, before you smile too much, I should point out that the sun did come out in time for us to enjoy a siesta-timed lunch in a delightful restaurant right on the beach.
It was at a place called Mojácar Playa (‘playa’ means beach) where we went after taking a look at the amazing town of Mojácar itself. It is unlike anything that I have ever seen in the UK; and Lisa says that she has never come across such a sight in the US either.
Although I called it a town, it is really a village that has become much more than that in both size and importance. It has been inhabited since around 2000 BC and, at various times has attracted different peoples. These have included the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks and the North African Islamic Moors. When the Moors established themselves in Spain in the early 8th century, the province of Almería came under the authority of the Caliphate of Damascus.
Visually, and I suppose architecturally, Mojácar is stunning. In its lofty hillside position, its white buildings glisten in the sun as it commands amazing views over both the surrounding countryside and out over the Mediterranean.
It is hardly surprising that, despite the overcast start, we were able to enjoy lunch in the sun as Mojácar has more than 3,000 hours of sun per year. Rainfall is seldom and weak, with an average rainfall of just 200mm (that’s less than 8 inches) per year. The average yearly temperature is around 20 °C.
The average temperature in summer varies between 26 °C and 32 °C. while in winter it is between 10 °C and 18 °C. Winter is normally mild and never lower than 4 °C.
Thanks to Mojácar’s being close to the sea, the maximum temperature in summer is considered mild. However, in the inland zones of Almeria, during summer, day time temperatures can reach 40 °C; even the low evening temperature is high enough to warrant the use of air-conditioning, especially during June, July and August.
Today is a bank holiday because yesterday, Constitution Day was on a Sunday. Another grey start but already we can see patches of blue sky and have some sunshine.
Before closing today, I need to draw your attention to it being the74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. We went there last December and visited the memorial that stands over the USS Arizona that lies where it sank on that fateful day and which is the last resting place of 1,102 of those killed on board that ship.
We all owe everyone in our armed forces a debt of gratitude for the service they give and the risks they take on our behalf. To those serving now, and to veterans of former wars and campaigns, I salute you.
Picture: Part of the Roll of Honor in the Memorial, listing all who died.