Hotel Enfrente Arte Ronda blog

Enfrente Arte is a boutique hotel in Ronda, Andalusia, Spain.
Enfrente Arte es un hotel con encanto en Ronda, Andalucía, España.
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Welles enters into history with his made up story of mars invaders, broadcasted on national radio. The radio medium still in his early years, the story provoked a feeling of panic all over the United States. Welles concluded: If I would have done this in South America ,they would have put me in jail, here in stead I got a Hollywood contract. So, Welles criticizing the press magnate William Randolph Hearts in “Citizen Kane” , receives in 1942(at the age of 24) nine nominations for The Oscars ,something the establishment of the film industry wasn’t able to accept. At each announcement of the nine nominations, the public started booing, converting these moments in a rupture between the film-maker and Hollywood that would never heal.

With Europe, drained in bloody wars, he meets Margarita Cansino, alias Rita Hayworth. She was at the peak of her young career and receives marvellous critics on her role in “Gilda”. They marry and realise together ”The Lady of Shangai”. On one occasion Orson initiates his wife into bullfighting together with a Mexican torero. The press called the famous couple:” The Beauty and the Brains”. Hayworth was the daughter of Spanish flamenco dancer Eduardo Cansino, who emigrated from Seville to New York in the early19twenties .At the age of three, Margarita would dance in her father’s show ,touring small theatres and clubs throughout the United States. Welles never came along well with Eduardo, blaming him for having exploited his daughter since her childhood. At the age of 16 Rita is spotted by a talent scout of Fox Studios, soon after she would be known in Hollywood as ”The Goddess of Love”.

His movies, with poor results at the box office and due to the negative vibes with his producers, Welles decides in 1949 to emigrate to this beloved Europe. Before his definite move to Europe, Welles had spent already large periods in the old continent. Becoming an orphan at the age of 16,Welles heads for Ireland and in 1933 he installs himself in Seville, renting a small apartment above a lively brothel in the famous Triana suburb. In Seville he writes for various local magazines and meanwhile he gets fascinated by the bullfighting. So much, he soon starts fighting small bulls in public under the name “El Americano”. He soon realised his talents were limited in this art, especially the day when locals started throwing beer bottles at him during one of his acts,…leaving him with a scar on his lips for the rest of his life. Despite of this, Welles felt home, here in the south of Spain ,and would say later: If in that time ,I would have stayed a year longer, I would have fought together with the Republicans against Franco, which means that I would have died there most probably. In 1954 Welles is in Seville to film Mr Arkadin ,his first entire European production .Through the years ,the film-operator will work with production companies all over Europe and two of his films will be financed by the Sha of Iran, who wanted to invest in modern cinema. In the mid fifties he will complete a seven episode documentary for the BBC. In “ Around the world with Orson Welles", Welles is directing himself, with usual flamboyance and visual flair. This masterpiece of journalism evokes subjects as :”The Bask Country”, and “Bullfigthing in Spain” Its style was surely an inspiration for the recent and critically acclaimed travel documentaries done by Michael Palin, for example the six episodes document about the life of Hemmingway.

Shooting the episode about bullfighting ,Welles meets various famous toreros of that age and comments:I think I have a right to speak about bullfighting, because I was, for a while, I don't quite know why, but I was, an aspiring bullfighter. For me a bullfighter is an actor facing real things. I spent a good deal of time around the ranches where fighting bulls are raised. But don't be worried, you don't have to approve of bullfights, I don't ask you to, and I certainly wouldn't dream of defending the spectacle. I, was personally fascinated by the spectacle as a “whole” but whatever your attitude may be, remember that you can plug for the bull and there will be no hard feelings about it. Welles becomes very personal friends with Antonio Ordoñez, assisting the legendary “Goyescas” in Ordoñez´ birthplace Ronda .Years back, Orson played and directed together with Marlene Dietrich, a theatre piece of Hemingway´s novel ,”The sun also rises”, inspired on the father of Antonio Ordoñez, El Niño de la Palma. During a visit on the finca of Ordoñez, the director spots a well and comments ironically to his chap Antonio: ”I would love to have my ashes buried in your pozo(well), so my name will be always present in your garden. A man is not from where he is born ,but from where he chooses to die” In the mid eighties Welles daughter Beatrice actually brought the filmer’s ashes to the Ordoñez family in Ronda, where they now forever rest.

Between 1957 and 1973 Welles worked on his version of “Don Quichote de la Mancha”. Unfortunately for the history of film, he could never finish this movie, because each progress evoked new financial problems. The Madrid film library possesses 40 minutes of this unfinished masterpiece. Asked for what role he plays in the movie, he says: I just walk in between the actors and I play Welles, the director of the movie.
In 1973 ,in Ibiza Welles completes his last full length film. F For Fake is an experimental film done in a pseudo-documentary style that deals with lies and artistic charlatanism (fakes, forgery and swindling) as it demonstrates the elusive nature of authorship and truth. The film mixes fiction and documentary as it re-creates events that never happened and presents interviews with real people and with fictitious characters. Welles then narrates the following tale, which he describes as a "reenactment" of a "true story". In his later years, Pablo Picasso, living in the town of Toussaint, is struck by the beauty of the vacationing Kodar and paints 22 pictures of her. In payment for modelling, she gets to keep the canvasses on the condition that she neither sell nor exhibit them. Later, Picasso reads of an unauthorized exhibition of his work in Paris and decides to investigate. At the exhibition, the artist finds Kodar and 22 fake "Picassos." Kodar explains that she showed the genuine paintings to her dying grandfather, a talented art forger, who used them as inspiration for painting the fakes on exhibit and then burned the originals. He called it a new dimension in the art of Picasso. End of the story.

Picasso once said: ”Art is a lie”, Welles concludes at the end of the movie: ”Art is a lie that makes us understand the truth. Amazingly enough the role of the dying grandfather was played by the real art forger Elmyr d´Honry, who copied and sold various “Picassos” for real ones. At the release of the film, the French government, with the firm intention to jail the forger, was intensively after d’Honry, who desperately committed suicide.

One of Welles’ assistants explains: In the Picasso story, Orson had me take pictures of Picasso out of magazines, blow them up and film them through Persian blinds and Venetian blinds, both inside and outside. "Don't let anybody tell you what to do," he said. "And never make a movie for anyone else, or on some idea of what other people will like. Make it yours, and hope that there will be others who will understand. But never compromise to make them understand, unless you really feel you have to. The lesson was simply this: Never need Hollywood, never depend on it for your financing, for support, for your ability to make films. Get your backing as far away as possible from what they proudly call their "Industry" if you have any intention of being an artist. For the rest of his career Welles would be relegated to supporting roles, voice over narrations, and finally hitting rock-bottom by touting cheap wine on television commercials, thundering "We shall sell no wine before it's time!", doing anything to raise enough funds in order to bequeath us such masterpieces as "Othello," "Macbeth," and "Chimes at Midnight."
"I subsidize myself," Welles said, receiving the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. "In other words, I'm crazy!"

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Gayetano Ordóñez is born in Ronda on January 4th 1904.His family runs shoe-shop
“La Palma”, the main reason why people start calling him “El Niño de la Palma”.

Soon he will spend all his free time around bull farms near Ronda, grabbing every occasion to rehearse with young bulls. At the age of 18 ,he gets a first opportunity to show his skills in a novillada (corrida with young bulls) in Algeciras. Curiously, this first official act was together with an Irish bullfighter, called “Trimbi”, who refused to kill the bulls. Only two years later ,El Niño de la Palma will triumph in Seville. Public and press go wild after his performance and local newspaper “La Union” titles: “The boy from Ronda shines out during this glorious debut in La Maestranza.”

Meanwhile , Hemingway lives in Paris ,where he associates with artists as James Joice, Dos Passos, Miro and Picasso. At that time, he works as a newspaper reporter for the “Toronto Star” and with his first savings, he buys a work of Miró which he will pay off in several times. Tipped by his ”Lost Generation” friends, he heads for the first time to Spain to see the bullfights. Impressed by what he sees in the arenas, his first article is entitled :”Bullfighting is not a sport, it’s a tragedy”. Hemingway is literally over flown by the spectacle and gets even more overwhelmed during his first visit at the “San Fermines” in Pamplona. He describes the “fiesta” as follows: ”For seven days ,the dancing, the noise and the drinks don’t cease, converting it in an unreal world. This is absolutely the funniest and most crazy experience to live.”

In 1924,together with his friends of Paris, he runs for the first time with the bulls through the narrow streets of Pamplona, not realising that, until today, thousands of foreigners would follow his example. The day after ,when a young Spaniard dies during these races, Hemingway and his continuously drunk friends are shocked. They realise that party and death, here, go strangely enough hand in hand .

A year later, back at the Pamplona arena, one afternoon, Ernest is blown away by the art and skills of that same “El Niño de la Palma”. That marvellous performance will be a definite inspiration for his world known novel :”The sun also rises”. Both meet up that same day in a hotel and Hemingway decides to travel along with “El Niño” ,to assist his next fights in Madrid. In the novel, “El Niño”´s character is named Pedro Romero, lyrical described on experiences shared during this voyage. Romero actually was the first known bullfighter ,immortalised on various occasions by cult painter Goya at the end of the 18th century. Hemingway will write another ,more technical book about the bullfighting named :”Death in the afternoon”, also known as “The Bible” of the art of bullfighting. He describes, alphabetically ordered, in more than fifty pages, the wide terminology of the bullfight and everything around it. Let’s for example enter that alphabet by the letter c:
Cojo: lame ; a bull which comes into the ring lame may be retired
Cojones: testicles; a valorous bullfighter is said to be plentifully equipped with these. Those of the bull are called criadillas, cooked they are a great delicacy. During the killing of the fifth bull, the criadillas of the first bull were sometimes served in the royal box.

A turning point in the writer´s frequent visits to Spain arrives when Spanish civil war breaks out. As mentioned before, he will come up for the republican cause by collaborating on the “Spanish Earth” documental. His experiences lived during the civil war ,served as the main inspiration for his novel “For whom the bells toll”.

When it appears that Franco definitely will come into power Heminway states: ”I can’t stay in a country where all my friends are in jail” and in 1938 he moves to Cuba where he will later write “The old man and the sea” for which he obtained the noble price of literature.

In the early fifties, in order to stimulate Spain´s poor economy ,Franco signs with The United States several agreements for the installation of U.S. air bases on Spanish soil.
From then on, no visa was required anymore for U.S. travellers into Spain. Almost 15 years after his forged exile was this the moment Hemingway had desperately waited for. His novel “For whom the bell tolls” was still censored in Spain, but friends told him that as long as he would shut up about politics, there wouldn´t be any problem. Still a bit paranoid about possible problems at the boarder, Hemingway is recognized by the custom police who surprisingly are very helpful ,one even being a huge fan of his work. Passed the three checkpoints at the boarder, the writer delightedly adds: “We are finally back in Spain and it seems to good to be true”
Ernest had no intention of getting introduced again in the world of the bulls, as he considered this a more or less closed matter. He did fancy his new wife to see the spectacle of Pamplona ,so that is where they head for. What happened there, one afternoon on the Pamplona feria ,the writer will later describe : “It was a historic thing when we saw Antonio Ordoñez for the first time, the son of El Niño de la Palma. I could tell he was great from the first long slow pass he made with the cape. When the writer after the corrida is invited by Ordoñez in his hotel, he doubts on meeting Antonio because he fears getting completely involved again in the whole fiesta atmosphere,…but of course, never taking good advice from himself, Hemingway goes to see

Antonio. Nearly entered the room ,Antonio asks him: “Tell me, am I as good as my father” The writer replies: ”No your father was very good, but you are better.” For Hemingway these moments definitely were like “reliving” the past, through the son of his “Pedro Romero” character from “The sun also rises”.

Throughout the fifties the novelist will become very close with Antonio, his wife Carmen and with Antonio’s brother in law and Picasso chap, bullfighter Luis Dominguin. At the well fortuned country estate of the Dominguin´ family, a man size statue of Miguel was installed and during one of his visits the writer concludes it had to be hard to compete your own bronze statue in your own side yard.

In 1959 both Ordoñez and Dominguin are at the peak of their respective careers and during the most important ferias, a mano to mano (only two bullfighters for six bulls) between them is set up. These glorious afternoons, with sold out arenas everywhere, are written down by Hemingway in “The Dangerous Summer” and published by the famous Life magazine. Ava Gardner, supposedly involved in a secret affair with Dominguin only raise more speculations to this summer of glamour. The actress was introduced to the world of bullfighting when she played the leading part in the screen-version of “The sun also rises”

Spanish and international press blamed Hemingway for his open support towards Ordoñez, something he will confirm later on. The writer explains that for him Ordoñez was simply a genius. Dominguin, he adds was a wonderful companion, somebody who told me some of the damnedest things I have ever heard, but unfortunately his style did not move me at all. The more neutral Spanish press described the art of Dominguin as a “seduction” and the art of Ordoñez as “love”. On this statement Ordoñez would comment later on: “To say so, one should analyse what is seduction and what is love. Love is easy to feel, seduction is difficult to realise.

Reaching real love, needs an intense labour of seduction, a history… the union between both is the most beautiful in the art of bullfighting and in all relationships between two beings.
It was one of the last summers for the novelist because in 1961 he will shoot himself, just as his father had done before. Remarkable were the tickets, for the upcoming feria in Pamplona, that were found close to the body. Don Ernesto, alias Papa had symbolically reserved seats for eternity, being more then convinced that the fiesta should go on….

During an interview in the seventies ,Ordoñez would say: Hemingway had a tremendous sense of humanity and above all, he understood everything. The most absurd things, he would understand, he could perceive the circumstances of every act.
Once successful, we both had to face several times a classic Spanish matter: “Envy”

We had a little deal that while we both were alive, he would never fight a bull and I would never write a book and we frequently joked about that. To me, he is still alive today, I just tell myself that when I am in New York, he is in Kenya and when I go to Kenya ,he has just left to Paris,….we both travel but never coincidence.

When Ordoñez dies in 1998, his funeral is held in the arena of “his” Ronda. He had chosen his ashes to be buried under the gate from where the bull storms into the arena. His philosophy was that every bull would literally run over him at the start of each corrida,…another statement for eternity.

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Hotel Enfrente arte collaborations

Hotel Enfrente Arte has been collaborating with several national and international tour operators, providing accommodation to customers who book with them a route around the Serranìa of the Ronda.

Among them we can highlight at international level: Stap Reizen, Eigen-wijze Reizen, Cycle Tours Plus Bv ... Other national and Roads, Cycle Round, Pangea Active Nature.

These companies offer a package tour to anyone who wants to make a tour of Serranìa of Ronda making routes either on foot or by bicycle.

Stap Reizen is a Dutch company dedicated to organizing trips to different countries in Europe and in Spain. The customer between can choose between several areas in Andalucia, like Las Alpujarras, Cabo de Gata, Sierra de Sevilla, Los Alconocales and La Sierra de Grazalema.

Cycle Ronda is a local company of Ronda, Ferry Stelman is the manager, Dutch by birth and resident in Ronda. The company works directly with other international companies like Eigen-wijze Reizen, Cycle Tours Plus Bv, organizing routes through the Serrania de Ronda either on foot or by bicycle. The areas where these routes are made are: Grazalema, El Bosque, Zahara de la Sierra and Setenil. And the zone further west as Arcos de la Frontera, Algar and Jerez de la Frontera. Customers can also enjoy a road in the "green route" of about 40 km.

Otros Caminos is a company based in Granada which hosts bicycles and hiking routes at an international level. Normally when planning a trip to the Serranìa of Ronda, the accommodation and a night theme in our hotel is prepared. This means that we either do Spanish or Arabic dinner, where all customers can enjoy a very special atmosphere in our hotel.

Hotel Enfrente arte and his team is receptive to any suggestions from our customers. With extensive experience in organizing events, weddings, corporate meetings, dinners, working lunches, theme nights, preparing weekends with friends and relatives etc. .... We have material and equipment that enables us to carry it out.

These are some of our suggestions:

Thematical dinners

We can arrange dinners or lunch as different as:

Arabic: cooking and serving typical food of the Mahgreb, for example Tajín, couscous and not to forget the famous Arabic tea with mint.

Spanish: delighting our customers with a good paella and our typical Andalusian gazpacho.

Italian: lasagne and mozzarella salads.

BBQ: organising them in the terraces of the hotel. Meat, fish and vegetables, with our delicious Sangrìa.


We reserve all our hotel to anyone who wants to celebrate his wedding here with us in a very intimate atmosphere. Decoration, special menus…....

Work meetings :

We have a room reunion for work meetings in an environment so special as is our hotel. Or if you like in our outdoor areas.

Weekends with friends or relatives, bachelor parties:

We are at your disposal to organize a trip to Ronda and our hotel. Visits to monuments, wineries, lunch or dinner at the hotel.

Do not hesitate to contact or request more information to make your stay in our hotel unforgettable!




Four-piece rap act Orishas were formed in the late-'90s by ex-Amenaza known as Ruzzo and Youtel who moved from Havana to Paris as part of a school exchange program. Their collective name is based on divine beings worshipped by Yorubas from West Africa, later combined with Native Americans and European Spiritualists. Los Orishas remained in religious rituals in Cuba and Brazil. Orishas released A Lo Cubano in the year 2000, mixing Afro-Cuban music and universal rap beats and rhyme. Drago Bonacich, All Music Guide





P18 formed in 1995 as a collaboration between former members of La Mano Negra, a Parisian DJ and a family of musicians from Cuba. The group expanded into a collective of 10 Cuban and French musicians who combine the musical traditions of Cuba with elements of house, drum & bass and Afro-Cuban roots music. Their first album Urban Cuban was released in 1999. ~ Heather Phares, All Music Guide


Pierre Bastien (born 1953 in Paris) is a French musician, composer, and instrument builder. He began building mechanical-based musical instruments at an early age, using items such as metronomes, cymbals, and pulleys. In 1977 he began collaborating with Pascal Comelade and composing music for dance companies. He performed in ensembles such as Operation Rhino, Nu Creative Methods, and Effectifs de Profil.

In 1986 he formed his own orchestra, Mecanium, comprised of Meccano machines which play various instruments, such as Chinese lute, Morrocan bendir, Javanese saron, koto, and violin. These machines were often driven by the rotation of old turntables. By the 1990s Mecanium consisted of up to 80 machine 'musicians', and toured various art and music festivals, including events in Norway, Australia, Japan, Canada, Poland, and the United States.


"Eboman specializes in the production of audiovisual sample compositions, the development of audiovisual sampling software and hardware and performances as a DVJ or with his SenSorSuit. The SenSorSuit is part of an audiovisual sampling system, called SenS, which Eboman is developing in cooperation with SmadSteck."




Soul hiphop group from Haarlem that has built up a solid reputation as a live act.
Relax is formed by Llewy Is Sel and some of his fellow musicians from punk rock band Nayberhood. Their aim is to make hiphop with a live band. They record a demo and reach the finals of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands talent show.


Germany's Mardi Gras BB are a vibrant jazz, funk, soul, rock, and hip-hop ensemble with a distinctly swampy New Orleans feel, led by the charismatic Doc Wenz (aka Jochen Wenz) and former Grug Grug bass player Reverend Uli Jug, who plays sousaphone in the band.




A smooth mix of earthy breakbeats, classic house, and jazz-funk made Buscemi an interesting addition to the ranks of trip-hop acts. The work of Belgian producer Dirk Swartenbroeckx (who indeed named his project after the American character actor of Fargo and Reservoir Dogs fame), Buscemi debuted in 1997 with the Plus Belle Africaine EP and earned airplay on Kiss FM through Gilles Peterson's radio show. The following year brought debut album Mocha Supremo and in mid-2000, Our Girl in Havana. Camino Real arrived in 2003 with guest vocals from Michael Franti and Isabelle Antena. Antena returned for the 2006 release Retro Nuevo. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide



Vive La Fête (French for Long live the party) is an electropop group, founded in 1997 in Ghent (Belgium). The core of the band is formed by lovers Danny Mommens (guitar and vocals) and Els Pynoo (vocals).


Tom Barman (born January 1, 1972) is a Belgian musician and film director.
Barman studied at the film school of St.-Lucas (Brussels) but didn't finish his studies because of his other passion: music. He preferred to begin a music career with his rock band dEUS formed in 1989. But he didn't throw away his experience with film because he directed his own music videos for dEUS and made even a short film in 1996: Turnpike. He also directed videos for other Belgian musicians including Axelle Red and Hooverphonic among others.


Perhaps a bit of initial confusion about this group might be permitted, although by the mid-2000s the ensemble's raison d'être appeared to be coming into clearer focus: Think of One would like you to think of one world with all its musical threads coming together in a multicultural celebration of rhythm and song.



- GABRIEL RIOS (Puerto Rico / Belgium)

Though born in Puerto Rico, Gabriel Ríos vaulted to stardom while living in Belgium, with a similarly pan-cultural electronic pop approach embracing elements of rock, hip-hop, and salsa. Born in 1978, Ríos learned to play guitar from his father, and as a teen joined his church's choir. At 18 he relocated from Latin America to Ghent, Belgium, with his then-girlfriend, studying painting while playing in local bands including the Nothing Bastards and L. Santo. Over time Ríos' music began channeling the rhythmic influences of salsa, bomba, and plena, and eventually he befriended Jo Bogaert, the Belgian producer best known for his work with house music hitmakers Technotronic, famed for the international smash "Pump Up the Jam" -- together they began work on Ríos' 2004 debut LP, Ghostboy, a critical and commercial smash across the BeNeLux nations. A stopgap live album, En Vivo, followed a year later, and in early 2007 Ríos resurfaced with his second studio effort, Angelhead.


Commonly known as "the wawa's". Born in the summer of '97 and still going strong. The four group members met in Jazz-Studio in Antwerp and started a rhythm quartet. Then they went to Havana for schooling and came back as party-band.

Eagerly they adopted a guitar player and debuted their first CD "Voor Mama" (for my mother) in '99. Two years of touring in Belgium, Holland, Spain and Italy brings forth the second CD "ABCD". This album, recorded live in the AB portrays that period beautifully.

In 2002 they discover children's theater. The wawa's named themselves actors and made children smile. A taste of this adventure can be found on the mini-cd "Wawakristalla", already a collectors item.

End of 2002 brought some more tours to Spain and Moscow, for good or for worse. Spring of 2003 marks the parting of percussionist Kobe Proesmans. Now they're 4 again. In this format they choose to go ever onwards, harder, slower, darker.

The summer of 2004 sees the boys back on the road, in the studio and ever plotting their next smooth move.



Calle Ronda 10 , Arriate.

Los Caireles opened its doors in 1956. The old –timers knew it as the bar with the movies, because, apart from the bar, the first cinema in the village was here “Cine Ideal”. You could eat some tapas here, watch a movie, and finish your evening with some wine in the bodega. When they showed a popular picture in those days, people even brought their own chairs to sit behind the last row seats.

Local bussinesses showed their commercials with slides projected at the beginning of each movie. Frequently, the enthusiastic spectators sang along with the songs during the films.

In 1988, they decided to convert the cinema into a tablao de flamenco, and they started organising all kinds of flamenco concerts and evenings where all of the villagers could sing, act, or just improvise. At the start of the nineties, they closed the big hall and turned part of it into a cosy, clubby bar. With a more diverse program , you can now experience a DJ session as well as traditional Cuban show or flamenco gig.

Many bands have passed by, such as Color Humano, Buscemi, and many more. In the afternoon, they serve all kinds of teas and coffees, the Arab mint tea being one of their classics.

Los caireles is situated in Arriate, 6 km from Ronda. This pleasant village has very few tourists, which gives it a quite and more authentic feeling. Two brothers, Manolo and Roberto run Los Caireles, and they litterally know the whole village. Young and old come and go here.



Text by David Boulter

My fist memory of Spain is a family trip to Benidorm in the late seventies, eating egg and chips in “British Pubs”. I think even at fourteen, I knew something was wrong about flying acroos the sea, across a large country to eat egg and chips in a “british Pub”.

Tindersticks arrived in Spain about 15 years later. We enjoyed our first gigs, but then all places were new, and we enjoyed everywhere.
The first”special” moment was playing the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona. Such a wonderful building, very much a part of what we wanted to do then, and great honor to be able to go. Going back later with the strings has put the building and Barcelona in a special place for me. Driving to Ronda after a miserable gig in Malaga was also special. At the time, we were In the middle of touring our “Simple Pleasure” record. It had been hard to make and was impossible to play. We'd been invited to see a studio in Ronda and decided to spend our only day off recording new songs. Not a goof idea when you hate each other. But I still have good memories about it. The wonderful welcome we felt and the beautiful distraction of being there,although the massive drop in to the ravine felt very tempting for a while. The most recent trip to Spain was being invited to play Garcia Lorca´s House in Granada last summer. We met his family and saw his home. I don´t know if it´s the climate or the people or the egg and chips or for many other reasons Spain hold a special place for me.

Text by Tom Barman

Andalucia is like springtime. It´s old men smoking Ducados and shouting at each other. It´s the walk uphill, puffing from the heat, just to go to the one bar that serves your favourite lechuga. It´s the sweet wine of Malaga.

It´s the way people throw everything on the floor of the restaurant, even the ashtrays. It´s the coulour of the sky, the colour of her eye, the velocity of speech, the humour you don´t get cause you hardly understand it, but you laugh anyway.

´Cause Andalucia is smiling at you, and if it seduces after ten o´clock, it kicks ass one.

It´s the sea and the foreign newspapers, the sickening drives through the mountains, the intensity, if intesity is what you look for. It´s the navajas, phallic delicacy, better than mussels, bigger than snails, only available on Tuesdays and Fridays, on the other side of town, maybe.

Andalucia is glamorous without stars, rich without money, warm- hearted, and welcoming. Andalucia smiles at you.

Text by Kelvin Smits

Tarifa: one step further and you´re off the continent. Tarifa is not just a place;it´s an experience, and a full blown one too….Either you love it or you hate it, but one thing´s for sure: you´ll never forget it.

I first came here on a whim 16 years ago, drifting through Europe, looking for the nastiest wind spots. And what I found in Tarifa changed the way I looked at life forever….

Picture the scenery from films like “Wild at Heart” and “Baghdad Café”, and mix in some music like “Blue Hotel” (Chris Isaak) or “Tumble Weed” (Cinerex), and you can start imagining what Tarifa is like. It´s the place Sergio Leone stayed at before filming the Dollar Trilogy, and just know he found some inspiration for the movies by driving around the countryside here. (As a matter of fact, all of the so-called “Spaguetti westerns” were made just a couple of hundred kilometers east of here, in a village called Tabernas, and the relics (villages, cemeteries) are still standing there and can be visited)

Located on the southernmost point of Europe, Tarifa is a gateway between two continents. On clear days you can get the impression that Africa is so close you could take a big leap and try to jump the distance. Tarifa is also the place where the Atlantic Ocean cascades into the Mediterranean, and this makes the sea a very treacherous place. (the Mediterranean is about 100 m lower than the Atlantic. This is cause by the enormous evaporative effect of the sun on the Mediterranean, and the sea is only refreshed by the small Strait of Gibraltar running between Morocco and Tarifa.) It is this unique feature that has made this place so popular with surfers, and during the summer Spanish continent warms rapidly and produces a local high pressure that is deflated by the cold Atlantic, producing the levante, a strong, hot, and dry wind blowing from the land towards the sea. This is also the reason that Tarifa is one of the best places for whale spotting in Europe. (There’s a special service that takes out on a boat to actually go whale spotting: Calle Callao 6, tel. + 34 956 682247.)

Apart from being a really cool surfing spot, Tarifa and the surrounding countryside have a special atmosphere that you often find in places in the Middle East or North Africa, but still with the conveniences you’d expect in Southern Europe. I suppose the reason for this strange atmosphere is that it was the first place to be conquered by the moors, and it was the last place they left some 700 years later. Therefore, the old town of Tarifa is completely surrounded by thick walls of fend off attacks by Arabs, and inside the compound, lots of houses have a distinct Arabian feel to their porches and patios.

Although Tarifa can hardly be called a big town (15.000 inhabitants), you definitely need to take your time and show down to beat of this place in order to take in all of the elements that make it so special.
I could tell you about the locos del viento that hold on nights before the strong levante starts or about the fisherman with the 3000 Jesus statues. I could also tell you about spending the night in prison, charged with nothing by corrupt policemen demanding my watch before letting me go. I could describe the steel- blue skies while being swept away in gale force winds cutting through giant waves, but I guess everyone just has to go there and find out themselves what makes this place so special for him or her.

Further down, I have made a selection of all the best and most special things I remember from many stays in Tarifa. I hope it can guide you and that it makes your stay more interesting when you decide to come down to “the wind capital of Europe”

Café Central Calle Sancho IV el Bravo

As the name spells out already, this is the bar/café situated in the center of the old town. People go there for breakfast, a fast dinner or supper, or just to get together and drink a bit. Most people meet up there to start the night!! Some nice special coffees and tapas to have here!!

Chiringuito Las Dunas

Located on the beach at Las Dunas, this is the typical han loose beach bar where everyone gets together during the day between noon and midnight. Good salads, fair prices and lots of bikinis and surf dudes.
I must stress the fact that it isn´t easy to find. (driving away from Tarifa to Cadiz, abaout 12 km from Tarifa, you should see the big white dunes of Las Dunas. Near pasteleria on the left side of the road, turn left, and trade the asphalt for a dirt road, leading to the sea-shore. You should see the Chiringuito on your left. During the summer months, the chiringuito organizes beach parties. Ask for the fliers at the bar!!

La Ruina Calle Trinidad

A great bar with open roof and balcony looking our over the old twon. During the summer holidays, this is the main place to meet up. Good music and atmosphere.

El Baleneario

A big open- air discotheque situated near the seashore. During the summer months, there´s a special party every weekend of the full moon. Located at the beach near the beginning of the island, where the military reside near the port.

Bar Pepé´s Calle Castelar 4 tlf 619 85 38 07

New place to be in the center of the old town. Copas and music to start off the night.

Pizza Nº. 1 Huertas del Rey

Definitely the best pizza I´ve ever eaten. The owner came down from Naples in the mid-eighties with his family and started a shop with all kinds of Italian products. Mama started making pizza on the side. Ten years on, can still see that the restaurant one was a shop, but sure isn´t the main activity anymore. Wacth out for the owner though: he can sometimes be from another planet. He once chased me with a butcher´s knife because he had the impression I didn´t want to pay while I was walking up to the counter with money!Weird guy,but….you should risk it, because the pizza is the best!!

Souk Calle Huerta del Rey 11 tlf: + 34 956 627 065

Traditional Moroccan food in authentic Moroccan setting

La Estrella de Tarifa Calle San Rosendo 4, tlf + 34 956 681 985 + 34 670 739 723 e-mail:

One of the first places I stayed at in Tarifa was an old13th century rundown Roman- style house bought by a few Belgian guys for next to nothing in the mid- eighties. It has been totally redone now, and you can stay here in what has become a Moroccan – style luxury house. Best to reserve long before your stay, because it´s becoming quite popular, and it´s not that big.

100% Fun Playa de Valdevaqueros

A small Polynesian – style hotel beautifully situated near one of Tarifa´s nicest beach spots. Las Dunas.
Different freestanding condos in a garden setting with a nice wind – free pool. Ideal for surfers or romantics

Hotel Dos Mares tlf + 34 956 684 035 fax + 34 956 681 078

You can´t get a hotel situated closer to the beach than this one. It was a built on the beach years ago and has been renovated recently. Nice facilities (swimming pool, bar, fitness room ect) plus the possibility of storing you surfing gear inside the hotel compound.

These are my special spots around Tarifa:

Las Dunas: beautiful dunes that are some of highest in Europe (65 m). if you´re looking for some private sunbathing, this will do the job. Also, you can find a unique type of woodland behind these dunes. Because of the high winds that blow here during the most of the year, genetic selection has forced the pine trees to grow no higher that three meters. Therefore, you have a beautiful fluffy low – growth forest. Watch out though, as there is a military base situated here, so if you want to go further, you´ll have to go by the beach.

Playa Los Lances: Walking away from Tarifa, you can take the beach and walk all the way to Las Dunas. To get there though, you will have to cross the Rio Jara, and then you´ll be walking on the los Lances beach. It is here where Bjorn Dunkerbeck set the world record for speed surfing (over 85 km/ h) in the mid- nineties. It´s unique, white sandy beach which goes on and on for miles.

Bologna Drive: About 16 km on the road Tarifa – Cadiz, on the left side of the road, you should encounter a run-down sign for Tio Pepe. Just before, there´s a small road that leads up a mountain. Follow this all across the mountain ridge, which is named “the Devil´s back” for its pepuliar shape, and drive down the other side. The village down near the beach is Bologna, and it is situated near an old Roman villa, which looks out over the most beautiful beach you can imagine. Totally secluded and inaccessible from all other sides, this is a very quiet and heavenly spot for those searching for a day of total bliss!! There´s a nice little fish restaurant on the beach, which is not very pricey.

Must- see In the neighbourhood: Caños de Mecas, Zahara de los Atunes, Barbate, tour of the pueblos blancos.

Text by los Wawas

Night has already fallen when we enter Cordoba in our touring van. On the other side of the river, in the far distances, we spot an enormous bundle of light…coming closer, we see huge fair, bathing in light and sound. A spontaneous party vibe overflows the van in les than a minute. In between the typical fair attractions, hundreds of different tents are crammed with people drinking, eating and dancing. We are told that this is the annual Cordoba fair, and the whole town doesn’t have to work for five days.

We enter one of those tents while a classic Boney M is booming out of the speakers. All wearing the same yellow band shirt, we are soon spotted by our fellow Spanish partygoers. Approximating the center of the dance floor, we have the impression that all dance around us. Get some beers… We will show these guys how to party!! We shake our bodies, we jump, we laugh, we dance… more drinks… fuck, what a glorious feeling of pure happiness and unspoiled joy. Then , at once, at the peak of our party control, the DJ puts on a classic sevillana. All hands go up… and here they go, all natural, rhythmically sliding their bodies next to each other, with measured foot passes and gently controlled arm gestures. Open-mouthed, we stand there in the middle of the dance floor, like a bunch of stupid tourists, all dressed in their holiday outfit. As discrete as possible, we wisely head for the bar, concluding we’re not yet capable to tame the Spanish “fury” …

But, hey: there was plenty of beer left…

E viva España !!!!

Text by Simon Lenski

Spain has always welcomed us at the right moment, somewhere between madness and insanity.

Voices echo through narrow patios, the smell of fleshy lunches, drying laundry, an old lady with walking sticks, Fortuna fags.

Twaddle and laughter after too much night, too much of everything. The old Spain always keeps on going, day and night, looking for something new. Iberia crosses from north to south, mysterious rituals fuse gently into day-to-day life, only distinguishable by northern eyes. Views of sunny, greenish-brown hills where poverty suddenly turns into wealth, the scent of green olives, horse shit, and seaweed on the same day.

Let go, enchanting people, the odor of oranges on a bronze, hairy, salty skin. Fitfull shadows, lustful but with an intense Catholic consciousness of guilt. Te quiero!

Text by Dennis Dellaert

If there is one country that combines a rich culture, sun, southern temperament, siesta, and music with all of the conveniences of a European welfare state, it is definitely Spain.
Who doesn’t daydream of escaping their stressful, hectic, northern day-to-day life and exchanging it for the southern downtempo rhythm?

Is there anything better than waking up to Radio Olé, with its gypsy-Moorish music, sipping the best café con leche in the world, while looking forward to the upcoming siesta.
Unfortunately, I’m not the only one and certainly not the first one to understand what richness Spain has to offer. Generations of wealthy Germans, Brits, and other have constructed massive, ugly marble blocks with their own pools, activities, and other forms of timesharing horrors. The bungalow parks where you can order, without a raised eyebrow, a knackwurst and chutney in our own language spoil the authentic atmosphere in lot of these little cities on the coast. Not to speak of those brown-baked pensioners who, ten years down the road, can’t say much more than “hola” in Spanish to their gardener.

On one occasion, I was sitting at a terrace when, much to my surprise, I heard some old-fashioned hooligans say: “Spain would be great without the Spanish.” I could only imagine that the only reason for them to migrate was the climate, and all the rest had to be as similar as possible to their home country…. sad people.

So my proposition for the Spanish leaders is as follows: Neglect the Kyoto Agreement by encouraging the use of all kinds industry that stimulates the heating of the earth. If you do so, we won’t have to travel anymore to enjoy the warm climate once we’re pensioners, and the Spanish people will be freed of these cultural barbarians…Do we have a deal here ?

Text by David Bouvée

As I consider our band to be a ballroom orchestra, we can only go back home happy when our audience has been dancing along. For us, the Spanish audiences have confirmed their fame as a party people all the way. A s soon as the first musical note is launched, they start moving, they stir each other, and incite the musicians passionately. Before you realize it, you’ve played the whole set, and of course they want more, by shouting “ otra, otra, otra “. As we sing in flemish you might think this could be a handicap, but no : Open mouthed they sing along in our dialect, not having a clue what it all could mean.

On the way to our next gig. I buy a CD by Camaron de la Isla in a petrlo station, and, in spite of the 40 degrees outside, cold shivers crawl all over my sweating body. Absolutely amazing how this flamenco music fuses extreme happiness with the deepest sorrow, just like life itself.

This tour, we play on our wooden truck, “Barkas”, and today we gig at a festival on a soccer field. Having only just arrived, people gather round our vehicle, and we decide to drive around the soccer field while playing. Soon the whole crowd is tribal dancing around us, and to our surprise, they start climbing on the moving truck, followed by a dive onto their semi-hysterical compatriots…It’s the day truck stagediving was invented and a truly unforgettable party, again, all night long.

To get back to my senses the morning after, I’m advised to drink a few “Red Bull Andalus”, called gazpacho, and I must say it works. On our last day, we have a concert at the club of Los hermanos ( the brothers of Los Caireles ), and after a splendid night, I learn another thing : never mix tinto de verano with Jerez wine.

In the morning, on our way back to the cold north, I make a promise to the passing Serrania landscape: we’ll be back, hopefully as soon as possible.

Text by Joschen Wentz

When Maria approached me for the first time after a concert in Brussels years ago, she told me: “to me, your music is somehow like Jamon Serrano. You must come to Spain. I know that my people will love you.”

Honored and inspired by the tasty comparison, we had the opportunity to test the effects of our music in the South of Spain. And truly: The crowds went berserk. Something about Mardi music seemed to appeal to the people.

Was it the funky rhytms, some dramatic aspects, the specific sense of humour , the air of romanticism, or the sheer variability of all these things, almost like an assortment of tapas, small teasers of the senses, each of them different and strong in taste? Inspired by the movies of Saura and Almodovar, as well as by the reflection on modern Spanish architecture and some “ satanic “ moorish influences in the melodic lines, Mardi finally comes “ home “ to Spain.

When I recently met Maria again, she perplexed me with an another idea: “ that last song you played tonight: to me, it was truly like queso Manchego semicurado!”

Text by Manolo Charry ( reporter Charry TV )

Millionaire came down to the South of Spain around 1999. Tim, Dave, and engineer Bernardo gave their absolute best, almost not leaving the studio, and after an intense ten-day session, a brilliant demo saw daylight. Without a record company interested, it was their own management, musickness, who invested in these recordings, something the band will not easily forget. Thanks to this demo, they were able to find a record company, and from then on the Millionaire rocket was launched, with gigs all over the globe as a result.

In 2002, they visited Spain again during one of their tours, and it has to be said that the Spanish audiences here in the South felt a bit “uncomfortable”. Not used to seeing live rock bands such as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Queens of the Stone Age, you could say that the public- in Ronda for example- was slightly “ afraid” of Tim Van Haemels’s wild stage performance, and they thought he had taken too much of something. The audience literally stood back, away from the stage, eyes open, and ready to counter any attack from Planet Rock. On the website of Enfrente Arte, you can see part of this gig.

Text by Dimitri de Beuckelaer


There was a time the people of Santi-Petri (Cádiz) had nothing: nothing to talk about but football, bullfighting, and, of course, their work. They gathered in the only bar the village had to watch the fights with El Cordobes, one of the Spain’s most famous toreros.

They were all fishermen (tuna) on this isolated peninsula in the south of the province of Cadiz that once was the property of los Cañizares, who sold their land to the Consorcio Nacional Almadrabero in 1929. Soon the people who worked here started to build shacks and tried to live their lives here. Each year, from the second half of march, people from all over Andalucia, especially from Cadiz and Huelva, came to Sancti-Petri to work for only five month in the almadraba (tuna fishery). In this small factory, they selected, cleaned, and packed the fish and soon some people could be given work throughout the year. More and More, the shacks became houses, and, at the end of the forties, Sancti-Petri became a “village”. There was a church, a bar, a cinema, and a fish shop. One teacher stopped two times a week for the children of the fishermen. But life in Sancti-Petri was different, was hard. Or several years, people are given only one bucket of water each day. They had to pay for their food (fish) with allowances. At that time the salary was 35pts. (60pts in the sixties), but they didn’t have to pay for electricity or their houses. The postman brought letters and bread, and for a lot of people he was the only connection with what happened outside of Sancti-Petri and in the rest of the world. The city barrier out off all access, and the closest village, Chiclana, where they had to go to buy clothes, etc.., was seven or eight kilometers away. (Sancti-Petri has allways been part of Chiclana). A lot of people had no choice and had to walk to chiclana. By foot to Sancti-Petri to Chiclana: Check-out “La venta el Molino” on the crossroads de la Barrosa and de Sancti-Petri. Sancti-Petri has also been the setting for a lot of movies. The most famous film is probably “ La niña de la Venta” with Lola Flores and Manolo Caracol (bth famous Flamenco stars) in wich you can clearly see how life was over here, the houses, how the people worked, the pier …

Check out Bar Bocaccio on the beach of Sancti-Petri, where in the sea, you can also see the Castillo de Sancti-Petri.

Straight from the heart

You will find Jesus comments in the second section of this book. He runs one of the establishments in Malaga that participates in this guide.

Text by Els Pynoo

A feast of Horses

It’s a quiet summer morning in Ronda. When I wake up, the sunrays shine trough the wooden shutters. It makes me think of those paintings where you see clear rays lighting up the heavy clouds, as if God “watches” over you. The streets are calm, and my man Danny and all of the other hotel guests are still asleep. As we’re only staying here for a couple of days, I decide to act the full time-tourist. I take a fresh drive into the pool, squeeze some juicy oranges, and lay myself down into the almost burning sun. An hour later, our tour manager Eric asks me if I want to come along to some kind of “horse feast”. They can’t make me a better proposition on a day like this. Ben, our bass player, is also up for the idea, and the three of us hit the road.

This annual festivity (Romeria) takes place in a valley facing the famous bridge Puente Nuevo in Ronda. A huge statue of the virgin Mary is installed on a beautifully decorated hooded cart, drawn by enormous oxen. Accompagned by hundreds of dressed-up locals, the statue is brought from Ronda to a chapel carved out of the rocks. On this route people pray, sing and shout “guapa” (beauty) to the Holy Virgin. I notice that we’re the only tourists, and soon a real “pilgrim” feel surrounds us. Fascinated, I can hardly believe my eyes… the men with their high, tailored pants, whiter than white shirts, the gorgeous black leather boots, and the classical hats. The women wear these typical flamenco dresses made out of colourfull patterns. It has been a long time since I have seen so many beautiful people gathered together. But, most of all, I’m stunned that they all bring their magnificent horses. From granddaughter to granddad, they all come to show off their Andalusians. The horses seem to represent the pride of the family. The Andalusians most characteristic colour is grey, and with its honesty, elegance, and intelligence, it’s a perfect horse for dressage.

Now I start understanding what Eric meant by “ horse feast” , because throughout the day, different contests are organized, where families can win important prizes. On the main, improvized, rural square, local food is served with fresh beer. In this authentic atmosphere, we are soon joining the culinary offer…. Everybody really feels happy here, eating, drinking, and dancing. After the lovely cuteles, we head down for the cave where the Virgin is set up. We are intrigued by the fact that down here everything is extremely serene, while just 50 metres up the hill the noise of the party is all over. I say a short prayer myself while the locals probably pray for the trophy their horse might win at the end of the day. When we arrive back up the hill, the locals are fully occupied with the splendid horse parades. The air is filled with all kinds of primitives shouts and screams, people encourage each other; some try to be the best, others just try to impress the young girls. The whole scene reminds me of the Jacques Tati movie “ Jour de Fête”, but with a gypsy flavour this time.
After more beers and food, we are a bit tired on our way back. At once, we see a horse, all alone, just grazing at the side of the road. Immediately I realise this is my moment of glory on this special day, and I junp on the horse. Ben takes a picture of it, the picture becomes my personal trophy of the day. When I arrive back at the hotel , my man, Danny Cool Rocket is just awake…I describe my experience to him in full detail, and by doing so I relive that same magic day yet again…


Text by Dirk Swartenbroeckx

It must be around ten times now that we´ve come down to tour Andalucia.

Each time, the sunny En Frente Arte hotel was our base from which we explored the southern nightlife. I have to say thet a lot of the experienced impressions are shaken up all throughout my head, the ever- present alcohol probably in it for something. A magazine that once traveled with us on one of these nocturnal trips decided to give its article the following headline: “Appealing Band Who Sometimes Plat in between Drinking”. They forgot to write that, after the great Granada gig in Planta Baja, their photographer almost broke his leg because he was even drunker than we were.

Then I do remember clearly that gig we played in Los Caireles, in Arriate, near Ronda. The packed room with about 200 locals, young and old, went absolutely out of their heads.
I really thought the old roof was coming down, and it felt as if we were playing on the main stage of a big festival. On top of that, an exotic-looking woman spontaneously jumps on the stage, kneels down, and starts belly dancing between us, inciting the steaming audience even more. It was one of those rare moments when magic and hilarity fuse gently into each other.

Another great night was one at the CC Theatre in Malaga. We had a few doubt about playing at 9 pm on a Tuesdy with a seated audience. Surprisingly , an hour later, the whole audince was energetically dancing around us on the large stage, and we ended up somewhere in the sun on wednesday, late in the morning. Once we also played an outside gig at two in the morning at the gigantic feria in Malaga and had a great Experience giving our best in a rtruly beautiful old dancehall called La Paloma in Barcelona.

Looking back, I remenber more than I first tought I would, probably because those trips have become part of my system.


Text by Tom Kertsens

I have visited Spain and Andalucia a couple of times, and they’ve always been good to me. Not only do they deliver sun and excellent food, but also a certain vibe.

Altough you work your ass off in the studio, you will not stress out. No stress, no worries : I guess that the Andalucian way. We recorded for more than two weeks, seven day a week in El choque. Picture a bunch of with, young lunatics sitting in front of monitors, pushing buttons, hitting ( sometimes wrong ) notes on guitars and keyboards. But while working indoors, we overlooked the terrace outside the studio : a very chilled-out vibe on a sundrenched terrace. You’re working hard, but pleasure is always within reach. After all of the craziness we’d drive home. Our van would smoothly glide past the Ronda mountains, and, later at night, we’d swim and, of course, get drunk on spanish red wine. You suddenly find yourself in the mist of a postcard picture…That’s when Ronda is at its best.

Next thing you do is check out ( night ) life and meet the good people in the small but charming city centre. There are barsand clubs, and everyone seems to know everybody else. Ronda rocks, and it begins to feel like home!

Text by soundsurfer

Andalucia…. It didn’t really ring a bell when we were invited for recording sessions in Ronda. Well, obviously we knew it was in the south of Spian, but more specific knowledge? Thank God for Google! To be honest, we really did use those search engines to learn more about the area. Then we just jumped into the van, for a hell of a ride…

Four hours and 14 cans of beer later, I’m getting in the mood for Spain.

Spain… I’ve been in barcelona and Madrid, metropolitan cities with many seductions: the food, the wine, the sangria, the beautiful ladies, museums, arts, and the siesta. It’s probably the best habit in Latin-based cultures: the little nap in the afternoon. It more or less simbolizes a moment of conscience in the crazy fast lane we’re living in, without really understanding what’s happening. I know that we will also have an overloaded schedule, in order to get our new album recorded in just a few days, but I also would like to find some peace of mind, some time to consider, some time to enjoy