Cortes de la Frontera is the euphonious name of a locality in Andalucía where my family and I had a brief holiday last month, August 2012.
More down-to-earth than its arty neighbour Gaucín, Cortes welcomed us with a no-nonsense approach to everyday things. Gorgeous hills, simple food, bright sun, slow tempo, good ice cream, characterful yet unobtrusive inhabitants, and relative silence. Those were the place’s main attractions, until the feria begun. Quite suddenly, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin powered the town up into overdrive: outdoor bars, amusements, bullfights, ambulatory wind band performances and an apparent trebling of the population transformed our quiet refuge into a sunbaked mini-Las Vegas for a very long weekend. The children loved the amusements, and we enjoyed watching the local youths teasing the calves down the fenced-off main street. But we were relieved when, eventually, normal life returned. We never quite got the hang of the eateries‘ opening hours. We were splendidly fed and well treated further out at Quercus a few miles down the road in Estación de Jimera, and at De Locos Tapas a bit further north in Ronda.
Back in Northumberland, the rain had not stopped. I brace myself for the next challenges: complete String Quartet No. 2, face a couple of major admin challenges at uni, prevent this house from being overrun by nature.