This dress is also part of my free-spirited, extravagant fantasy. Last I’ve worn it I was staying at the Hotel Reina Cristina in Algeciras. At that time the dining room dress code was,I guess, long gone.

Opened in 1901 and said to be the oldest hotel in southern Spain, the Reina Cristina counts as signed guests with the likes of Ava Gardner, Orson Wells, Federico Garcia Lorca and a young journalist covering the Algeciras Conference of 1906, called Winston Churchill.

Algeciras is not an obvious choice as far as Spanish holidays go, you can’t really say is beautiful in any conventional way but it does have the appeal of transition places and of the once grand and mysterious settings of history. And history certainly does not leave you alone around here.

Algeciras is also the birth place of the grand, the absolute master of Flamenco guitar  Paco de Lucia.  I first saw him live in 1990 in a show I was invited to by some friends of my parents, I was bewitched. Forever, I guess. My lust for southern Spain is forever connected to that wanting to repeat that feeling of being alive through that music.

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