A snack bar next to Gibraltar

by Nick Hannes

Black and white thinking (Issue II/2022)


Photo: Nick Hannes

The Mata brothers' hamburger stall is teeming on Domingo Rociero, the last Sunday of the annual feria in La Linea de la Concepcion. That day, a high point in Andalusian festive culture, traditionally begins with a mass celebration, after which a colourful procession heads for the fairgrounds to kick off an all-night party.

La Linea is the last Spanish town before the defiant Rock of Gibraltar, which fell into British hands in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. But on Domingo Rociero, the political tensions between Spain and the United Kingdom seem to be off the table for a while.

Border towns are lively, and it is no different in La Linea. Life is messier and noisier than on the other side, where even the sultry levante barely gets the Union Jack moving. On Domingo Rociero, an irresistible joie de vivre holds the whole city spellbound. Rarely have I seen people dancing and drinking so exuberantly as in the marquees of La Linea. Nowhere does flamenco sound as loud as in La Linea's teeming casetas. They can't have missed it, there on that silent rock on the other side of the border.

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