MonfragueIIMonfragüe National Park

FIO es una feria internacional de turismo ornitológico que se celebra anualmente. Este año cumple su décimo aniversario. La Feria tiene lugar en el Parque Nacional de Monfrague, reserva de la bioesfera, del 27 de Febrero al 1 de Marzo.

Este es el enlace a la página de FIO: Feria Internacional de Turismo Ornitológico

This is the page of FIO Extremadura  in English Extremadura Birdwatching Fair.

You can also visit our page for birdwatchers and nature lovers here

Programa completo de #FOTOFIO2015

FIOprograma1 FIOprograma2 FIOprograma3You can find more information in english here



What is La Casa del Holandes?

(To Collin and Helen for inspiring me)

“The house of the Dutchman” is officially classified as “apartamentos rurales” (we have three studio- apartments) and a restaurant. We could also say it is like a B&B or a little apartment hotel. We are situated in Extremadura, probably one of the least known and unexplored areas in Spain, far away from the mass tourism of the coast, not so recently discovered by bird watchers… In terms of nature and bird-life, it is a extraordinary spot. But Extremadura regio is about the size of The Netherlands so, where are “we” located exactly?

We’re on the southern slopes of the Gredos Mountain range, watching the Almanzor face to face, in the east border village of La Vera. If you ask anybody what they know about La Vera, they would probably tell you about the beautiful mountain rivers and the transparency of their waters. Maybe, they would talk about the famous smoked paprika (Pimentón) “the red gold”, the smell of which envelopes the villages in October. Some others, more interested in history, will tell you that emperor Charles V ended his days close by, at the Yuste Monastery…

If you visit this area, I’m sure you will understand how we, like many others, ended up here, two hours driving away from Madrid.

‘La Casa del Holandés’ is, in first place, a love story. I fell in love with La Vera one autumn day at the “Devil’s Water Fall” some seven minutes away. Take that view together with the noise of the waterfall and you will understand it immediately!

Well, now you get the idea. Afterwards, there was a tough time to rebuild, trying to make it as comfortable as possible while conserving the “flavor” of a typical village house. I think we managed it.

So, what can you expect? You can expect a warm welcome, a comfortable room in the heart of Madrigal de la Vera. Nice walks around oak and chestnut trees. Maybe you get lucky and see the storks on the bell tower nest. Maybe you get really lucky establishing contact with the friendly local population… They can proudly tell you all about the smoking process of paprika, or about the tobacco fields or the lives of the goat shepherds who where their grandparents…

You can always have a slow-food meal at our restaurant with recipes from around the world, enjoy a wine or a Belgian beer on the terrace next to the irrigation channel. You can also be woken up by the sound of the birds or by the flute of the knife-sharpener or by the melon seller, depending on the time you decide to wake up…

But if, what you want is to indulge in luxury, far away of any contact with authenticity, or if you just want a bed to sleep on, then, this is not your place.

La Casa del Holandés not only is what we have to offer, but also what we are. We hope you would enjoyed it. You will always be welcome.

Surrounded by spring beauty

Spring beauty

I could recognize Extremadura in almost every single shot, except the flamingos that I suppose were shot in Doñana National Park. Don’t miss it; it’s splendid!

Primavera el regreso de la vida from 1080 Lineas producciones on Vimeo.

“Fainting, daring, be furious,
rough, gentle, liberal, aloof,
encouraged, mortal, dead, alive,
loyal, treacherous, cowardly and courageous;

While not finding out the center and rest,
be cheerful, sad, humble, proud,
angry, brave, fugitive,
satisfied, offended, suspicious;

face to clear away the disappointment,
drink poison instead soft liquor,
forget the good, love the damage;

believe that a heaven in hell fits into,
give life and soul of a disappointment;
this is love, who tried it knows it.

Lope de Vega

Spring the return of life”

Mayo el mes de las Flores…

Y de los pájaros, y de las gargantas, y de la naturaleza.
Estamos teniendo una auténtica primavera. Temperaturas perfectas para realizar alguna de las rutas de senderismo o, si lo prefieres en bicicleta, “el holandés” ha cambiado los neumáticos para rodar y rodar. En estas fechas lo recomiendo todo:

Visitar el Castro Celta del Raso: rodeado de jaras en flor, exuberantes helechos y con los paneles explicativos nuevos.
Acercarse al embalse de Rosarito para disfrutar del silencio o la pesca.
La Ermita de Chilla, en las inmediaciones, el entorno recuerda a una selva tropical, a lo mejor tienes suerte y te cruza un limón en el aire -Como dice Suren- las oropéndolas se están dejando ver bien este año. Y las abubillas. Y los abejarucos.
Este finde hay fiesta en el Tudal, se celebra también aquí San Isidro. Una ocasión festiva de conocer los secaderos de tabaco por dentro.
En Candeleda representan una boda, como las de antes pero ahora.
La Cascada del Diablo todavía debe estar digna de verse.
Y para los más valientes: baño en las pozas o si no, siempre puedes meter los pies y comprobar lo fresquita que está el agua que nos baja de la Sierra de Gredos.
En Casa huele a madera y en la cocina celebramos San Isidro con patatas bravas.
Pues hala, ¿A qué esperas?