Gaucin, Malaga

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map of Gaucin
Map of Gaucin

Sunrise at 7:41 AM,
Sunset at 21:09 PM

Gaucin is located in the province of Malaga, in the Community of Andalucia, Spain. Nearby towns include Benarraba (5 km away) - Algatocin (7 km away) - Genalguacil (7 km away) - Benalauria (9 km away) - Casares (9 km away). Nearest airports are - Gibraltar, (IATA code GIB) (41 km away) - Jerez, (IATA code XRY) (71 km away) - Malaga, (IATA code AGP) (74 km away) - Moron Ab, Sevilla (IATA code OZP) (77 km away) - Rota Ns, Rota (93 km away) (All distances direct, not road distance).

Population as at 2009 was 1,929 including 391 from the EU, making 20.27 % of the population, and which includes 27 from Germany, 1 from Austria, 2 from Belgium, 2 from France, 1 from Hungary, 14 from Ireland, 2 from Italy, 1 from Latvia, 4 from Lituania, 9 from Holland, 3 from Poland, 264 from UK, 1 from Czeck, 57 from Rumania, 3 from Sweden

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Gaucin

Gaucín (pronounced gow-THEEN) is a village in the mountains of Andalusia in southern Spain, inland from Marbella, Puerto Banus and Estepona, and not far from Ronda.

The village has a population of approximately 2,000. It lies about 600 metres above sea level in the Sierra del Hacho, dominated by the Castillo del Aguila (Eagle's Castle), originally a Roman stronghold, expanded by the Arabs.

Tourist appeal

Gaucín is known for its spectacular views of Gibraltar, the Strait of Gibraltar and Morocco, as well the surrounding mountain scenery. It can be used as a base for visits to the so-called pueblos blancos of Andalusia. The village is reached by a 24km climb up a mountain road and presided over by a medieval castle. The population is augmented by a growing group of British expatriates. In the tourist shops, cork items are very popular, because cork forests surround the village.

Gaucín has been the inspiration of a number of artists and writers, and has been referred to as the "balcony of the Ronda Mountains, where the Holy Child appeared to St. John of God: the illustrious, always noble, very hospitable village of Gaucín."

The Feria

The Feria is the town’s biggest celebration. It lasts for four days and is a celebration of the town itself. These festivities take part in early August. On the first day of the Feria a large parade is held that includes the town band, many children with masks on, and the ¨reinas¨ (queens) who are elected from the local girls.There are two sets of queens and their three damas (ladies) to each queen. One queen is around the age of 17 and the other of about 8, both queens have damas of similar ages. It is said that they are elected on their grounds of beauty - however this has always been a contreversial point. Finally there are two celebrated "mayores," or elderly people. They begin the parade in horse drawn carriages, which run through the village to the opening point of the Feria. The parade route is lined on both sides by the crowd and the parade has passed they continue to the opening area, known as the "Portechuelo". The parade culminates at the Feria grounds, and when the tape blocking the entrance is cut the Feria officially begins. Preceding the parade to alert the town to be ready is a small fireworks show. The Queens and their damas are also crowned at the beginning of the Feria and wear a banner throughout the Feria to show their status. It is a big honour to be crowned as the queen or dama.

There are many rides at the Feria, which the young children are said to enjoy. These are El Mono Loco a pneumatic rides that spins in circles whilst bouncing up and down, bumper cars, two small rollercoasters (very small), and other smaller rides such as trampolines and slides. EL Mono Loco blasts loud Reggaeton and American rap. The cost of a ticket to all of these rides is normally 2.50 Euros, but on Children’s Day they only cost 1 Euro. However, before and after the feria has started and finished some rides will set up and function at half price.

There are two games booths at the Feria. One, is a shooting booth where one must shoot a prize attached to a toothpick two win it. In esence on must break the toothpick with a BB shot from a crooked gun in order to win prizes from stuffed animals, to alcohol, to South Park relics. The other games booth is a darts booth where one must throw crooked darts at a wall of balloons in order to win a stuffed animal. The game is quite simple and it only operates for a profit because the price of the stuffed animals it doles out are cheaper than the price to play the game. However, these booths do not always make it every year to the Feria and some years there are other rides, such as bumper cars for little children.

There is a great wealth and variety of food for sale at the Feria. When one first arrives at the entrance of the Feria, there a large stand is set up, its wares include candy and nut filled sacs and other sweets in there normal packaging. Then, in between El Saltamontes and the bumper cars, there is a Hamburgesa stand which sells sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Next, in front of the disco area there is a traditional Spanish food stand where lamb chops and french fries are plentiful. Another popular stand is one in front of the pavilion which sells freshly made potato chips. Lastly inside the pavilion there is a Spanish caterer which has a service in which they bring food to and from your table.

For the adults at the feria there is a Spanish pop band playing inside the pavilion every night. For those too old to go on rides and restless in the company of the towns old people, a discotheque has been set off on a part of the fair grounds. Little dancing takes place there however. Nevertheless, this depends on the quality and popularity of the bands in the main pavilion, as in 2005 the discotheque for the young was packed, yet in 2006 and 2007 it was empty.

The Feria is a big event for everyone in the town and is the almost the highlight of the summer. Everyone goes out, even the young children and babies, which many people can not comprehend but this is part of the Spanish culture with a very strong family unit. Many women dress up in traditional dress, as do most of the children. The feria is a time to have a fun and be with your friends and family and many people return to Gaucin and their parents to celebrate it.

Commerce

* Pepe's: grocery store

* Teresa's: a clothing/flower shop

* The Panaderia: A former bread shop, it is entering the grocery market

* The Pasteleria (also known as "La Argentina": A dessert shop that serves fresh baked goods, ice cream, and candy)

* Unicaja: Bank

* Cajamar: bank

* Campsa Santa Isabel: a gas station and restaurant

* Ferrgenal: A Hardware store

* Lavandería Gaucín: a laundry mat

* Papeleria: school supplies and adult magazine store

* Nanta Feed Store: Veterinary Clinic and pet food store

* La cube at the Convento : assorted sweets

* There are also three chain Goviran supermarkets, there are also a few small grocery shops, which appear outwardly to be a normal house.

* A dvd rental shop

* Various hairdressers such as Ani and Lele

* There is also a municipal swimming pool (which is only open in the summer)

* Manolo Vera has an electrical shop, which sells many items and repairs them as well. However, he mostly deals with televisions

* "Electroz Mendoza" - the real electrical shop, sells almost everything

* There is a post office

* A gym

* A public library (however it is seldom open and you need a passport or social security card to remove any books)

* Under EU requirements there is a free internet cafe, however in order to access the internet it is best to go early in the morning.

* Pura Vida - sells organic and local food, natural cosmetics and household products. internet, tea house and juice bar, all organic.

* There is a "Carnecaria" (meat market) which does sell good meat

* There is also a pharmacy and if it is not open, then it will tell you which nearby (as in another village) farmacía is, as one is always on duty in case of an emergency.

Cultural life

The cultural life of Gaucín is rich and plentiful. Many claim there is a great cameradarie among the inhabitants and there are often village-wide events that receive great showings of support.

Palm Sunday includes a procession to the church. A widely-attended Easter vigil takes place the night before.

A large carnival features chirigotas, fantastically-costumed groups that sing of current events in a humorous way. A party held on the main square with an orchestra goes on until dawn.

The feria, which lasts three days, is a celebration of the town itself and is held annually in early August. It is complete with a variety of carnival rides and games booths. The festivities also include a large pavilion where one can eat, drink, and watch musicians perform.

The pilgrimage of the Holy Child is a romeria on the last Sunday of August. The image of the Holy Child is taken in procession from the castle to the site of his supposed apparition, now a hermitage, for a rociera (flamenco) mass followed by dancing, singing, eating and drinking until dawn.

A feast in honour of the Holy Child takes place on the 7th and 8th of September. Over nine days townsfolk climb to the castle for a novena, held in the Chapel of the Holy Child. Mass is celebrated and guest preachers preach. A party is given in the main square with processions, food, drink, music and dancing.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Gaucin

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