February 2, 2009

Algarrobo, Spain


Algarrobo
is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, part of the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. The municipality is situated approximately in the coastal area of the La Axarquía, 32 kilometres from the city of Málaga. It has a population of approximately 6000 residents. Natives of the town are called Algarrobeños.

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This small municipality, whose area is less than 10 square kilometres, extends over a territory where the mountains of La Axarquía begin to soften their edges before forming their coastal profile. It is crossed from north to south by the River Algarrobo-Sayalonga, which flows through a valley whose landscape was once covered by olive and almond trees and vineyards but is now undergoing substantial changes due to the cultivation of subtropical products and vegetables, so the gentle slopes are being taken over by the terraces needed by these new plantations. Historical evidence exists that there were human settlements in the municipal territory of Algarrobo since the Bronze Age, in the form of discoveries in the area of El Morro de Mezquitilla.

How to Get There:
Algarrobo can be reached from either the Mediterranean Expressway or the old N-340, which follows the coast, by taking the very well marked A-6203.

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Source: Wikipedia

Phil groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter

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Phil
, the world's most famous groundhog, saw his shadow reflected today, which means, according to the tradition of the town Punxsutawnew U.S., which in this cold winter still has six weeks more. Legend says that the February 2, groundhogs wake of his brief hibernation, and if they leaves outdoors and can see its shadow on the ground, winter will last at least six weeks.

Phil emerged from his burrow after sunrise and before 13,000 people attended this unique event. Many came dressed in black and gold to celebrate the victory of the football team Pittsburgh Steelers in the final of the night before. The annual ritual takes place in Gobble's Knob, a small hill in the town of Punxsutawney (Pennsylvania), a town of about 6100 people about 100 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Throughout the day there will be celebrations in the town to commemorate this tradition that dates back to 1887 and has its roots in the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which celebrated the fertility and became, with the arrival of Christianity to the British Isles in celebration of St. Brigid.

In the U.S., Phil is a celebrity and has its own supporters club, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, whose members are responsible for carrying out the ceremony for which they dress with top hat and tuxedo. A ceremony that became popular comedy Groundhog Day (1993) (Trapped in time) starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

According to the website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, since Phil began to play its role as a "meteorologist" has seen its shadow on the floor 98 times, 15 times not seen, and there are records of nine years. So if their predictions do not fail, after the cold snap and snow affecting the northeast of the country, Americans must prepare for a few weeks of cold.

Rafa Nadal wins again!!

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Perhaps no individuals have met more often with more on the line than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Sunday's Australian Open final was the 19th match they've played. All but four have been in tournament finals, seven of them Grand Slams. Nadal has won the last three Slam finals, five overall. Perhaps most impressive is Nadal has won on three surfaces—the clay of Roland Garros, Wimbledon's grass and now the Australian hard courts.

Nadal's 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2 victory denied Federer's bid to equal Pete Sampras' record 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

"In the first moment you're disappointed, you're shocked, you're sad, and then all of a sudden it overwhelms you," a sobbing Federer said in Melbourne.

"It's the worst feeling. ... It's rough. God, it's killing me."

But Federer returned to congratulate Nadal within minutes, saying: "You deserved it. You played a fantastic final."

After collecting the trophy from Australian great Rod Laver, who won all four Slams in 1969, Nadal put his arm around Federer.

"Roger, sorry for today," Nadal said. "Remember, you're a great champion, you're one of the best in history. You're going to improve on the 14 of Sampras."

So Nadal and Federer join the list of all-time great sports rivalries.

Source: Chicago Tribune