This street leads to a Moorish fort above the small village of Frigiliana, Spain.

The route beyond the fort is on the same road that goes to El Acebuchal but turns east up a very steep hill. The locals still find metal fragments and bones around the fort from the battle of 1569.

Spain has had many invaders through the years because of its location on the Mediterranean. Pirates regularly attacked the coastal cities. This left the farmers and their families to die a slow death of starvation.

The area is still called Axarquia which is Arabic for “the eastern region”, and this describes the small, triangular, very fertile farming section east of Malaga. The intensively cultivated hillsides and orchards probably look much the same as they did 500 years ago, despite having different orchard trees growing now. The figs and olives have been replaced by avocados and mangos.

It is easier to destroy than to create. Wars and attacks are short and the loss of life is considered acceptable by royalty, caliphates and leaders of nations. Fighting needs nothing but ignorance. Farming on the other hand, requires daily hard work and a commitment to the land.

This walk still seemed to emit the chaos of the past. There was a palpable sense of loss and sadness. While the ruins of the Moorish fort were visible from below, we had difficulty reaching it and kept walking into dead ends and paths too steep to continue on. The final point, with the crumbling fort walls just above our heads, was a slick rock ledge corner with a fifty foot drop below. I thought about the many soldiers who fell in battle there here. Some soldiers supposedly threw themselves off the cliffs rather than surrender. The losers in battles were not treated well when captured.

I like hiking but I don’t really care for mountain climbing, so it was time to turn back. I believe there is an easier way to the top of the fort. Next time.

Published by Rod

I love walking and riding in the hills.

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