Postcard from... Almeria
It is one of Spain’s most surreal sights: travelling on the motorway through the desolate region of semi-desert in south-easterly Almeria province, suddenly on your left a Native American village of wigwams – complete with occupants in moccasins, animal skins and full headdresses – hauls into view.
But it is really there and has been ever since 1964, when Sergio Leone shot the first of three spaghetti Westerns in Almeria and failed to remove the sets when he finished. For decades afterwards, Spaniards could visit the Wild West without getting on a plane – even as the wigwams sagged, and the flimsy “Main Street” house-front frames slowly toppled over.
But since 1980, when businessmen turned the sets into the “Mini-Hollywood” theme park, spectators have been able to take part in shoot-outs in the Yellow Rose saloon, cower as Indians stage dawn raids, and whoop and holler as cancan dancers thunder up and down a tiny bar-room stage – though however much they pay, customers are still not allowed to shoot the pianist.
In keeping with its surreal feel, in the park’s “bonus attraction”, a zoo, the latest exhibition recreates three Namibian ecosystems – one of the river Okavango, another of the Etosha National Park, and a third the Kalahari’s Skeleton Coast. All come complete with animals from Africa – and if drivers on the nearby motorway think the elephants and rhinos standing against a backdrop of wigwams somewhere in the middle of a Spanish desert must be a mirage, it would be hard to blame them.
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
MH17 crash: Black boxes show plane suffered 'massive explosive decompression' following shrapnel hit
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...