I guess that I can’t continue to write about Gaucín without talking about that view – after all, the village is famous for it!
Every so often, it is possible to experience something that evokes so pure an emotion it is almost spiritual in essence.
For some this can be a fleeting moment; for others a long journey of discovery. For me, opening the shutters on that first morning 15 years ago was my moment.
Arriving in the village as we had in darkness, I had no idea that we had climbed so high and the view was spectacular. It was a clear day that first morning, and the sky overhead was already an intense cobalt blue gently fading towards the horizon. For as far as the eye could see mountains rolled down to the sea; shafts of golden light illuminated their eastern slopes and crept like fingers between the peaks and down into the gorges.
Away in the distance I could just make out the faint outline of the Rock of Gibraltar backed by the thin purple ribbon of the Rif Mountains in Morocco due south.
Words failed to do it justice – awesome; overwhelming; breath-taking; spectacular; uplifting, sublime! The effect that Burke’s Theory on the Sublime had had on landscape painting was an important part of the course on 19th century art that I studied as part of my History of Art degree many, many years ago but I suddenly realised that it was only at that moment that I fully understood the notion of the sublime landscape.
That view never varies and yet is constantly changing. On misty Autumn mornings wisps of cloud cling to the valleys below the village. In winter when the rains come, the village is sometimes buried so deep within the clouds that you can barely see across the street let alone down the valley. On a clear night the red eyes of the wind turbines near the coast can be plainly seen and the lights along the Moroccan coastline sparkle like rubies washed up on the shore.
Whatever the season or the time of day, the view is a constant reminder of the beauty of nature and the peace and tranquility of this very special village.
It is a view that sustains during the down times, uplifts the spirit and once glimpsed lingers hauntingly in the mind’s eye.
All images © Pip Art