“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Benalup-Casas Viejas

Hola Todos,
I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. I’ve been quite busy the past few days – but I am happy to say that for once, it is raining here in Cadiz, which is great because I have a ton of homework to do!
On Friday, Natalie and I went to Benalup – Casas Viejas, a small little town about 40 minutes outside of Cadiz. Our history professor had organized a conference and invited us to come and learn about some of the new research related to the Prehistory of Andalucia. We spent the ENTIRE day (about 12 hours) listening to presentations by professors, archaeologists, and other researchers. It was a great learning opportunity. The highlight of the day was our 2 hour lunch break. We decided to explore the town a bit and look at what we discovered!
Beautiful church

Natalie and her sheep!

A colt and a baby! They were gorgeous in person

Check out the view!


 On Saturday we returned to Benalup for the last part of the conference. The better part of the day was dedicated to a roundtable discussion/debate about the role that local government and private business play in archaeological discoveries. My favorite presentation was by a director in Malaga who discussed some of the amazing things that are being done to display the ancient history in the area. He provided us with some materials to take home – so I hope we can plan a day trip out there sometime soon.  The highlight of the entire weekend came later in the day. Even though we were about 2 and half hours over schedule and were both tired and exhausted – we didn’t care! The entire group – about 60 of us – traveled by bus to the base of a mountain to explore the ancient Cueva del Tajo de las Figuras. This cave was discovered in 1913 and dates back to the Neolithic period – or New Stone Age which is believed to have begun about 9500 BC. Inside, we saw some cave drawings. These drawings represent the culture and daily life of groups of people over a period of hundreds of thousands of years. 
The view from the top

Look closely - we had to climb that ladder to enter the cave opening

Cave drawings

I had to pinch myself when I finally got back to Cadiz. I could not believe I had hiked a mountain, entered a Neolithic Cave, and had seen drawings from thousands of years ago. I am glad I gave up part of my weekend to attend this conference. I will never have an opportunity like this back home in the States!

Hope you all have a great week! I will be in touch when I get back from Italy!



  1. wow once again - unbelievable - stay healthy and safe - Love, MOM

  2. Alicia, You will need to take a month when you get home to tell us all about your expierences. it is just unbievable what you have seen.

    Love you, gigs