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Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

 

 

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In need of paint despite the suns golden rays.

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When you go to Pampaneira in the Alpujarras, make sure you stop in at one of the functioning artisan studios.  We stopped in at a weaving house, where the owner and master weaver was working on some beautiful blankets and wall hangings.  Her name is Mercedes Carrascosa, and she has had a shop there for over 20 years.  Her shop is loaded with her work, and believe me when I say you will have a very difficult time choosing which item to buy, they are all so beautiful.  Prices were excellent too, starting at about 50 euros and going on up to 100 for a really large blanket.  The wall hangings were reasonable too, the most expensive one that I saw was 300 euros and it was quite a large and intricate piece of work.

Yarn ready and waiting!

Mercedes hard at work.

Scale for weighing the yarn.

Upper sales floor

Original slate and beam constructed ceiling.

Skeins of wool just waiting for the next project

Isn't this a beauty.

You can also purchase handwoven bags with leather detailing.

Basket of silk worm cocoons.

I want to live here

Blankets for sale.

Wall hanging in the works. Autumnal forest scene.

Upstairs showroom and studio

More wall hangings and wool.

Behind the scenes

Pick a colour, any colour

The worlds softest blankets!

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Plaza del Museo

The Church, overseeing life in the village.

The Museum.

The old jail, not looking too comfortable.

Looking toward the sea from the square.

That is the Peseta Bar just above the red roof on right. Taken from the square

 

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We saw this cave on the side of the road yesterday on the road to La Alpujarra.  We went inside to look around, and clearly it is still in use on occasion for shelter, a great teen party place for sure!

Talk about a busman's holiday.

The mean streets of Capileira

There ain't nothin like a siesta in the heat of the afternoon.

Ruined

Drinks by the church. Anyone know what kind of horse this is?

If you are looking for something fun and interesting to do while you are here in the area, definitely check out La Alpujarra mountain range with all its beautiful picturesque little villages, you can go for the day, or even overnight as there are tons of inexpensive types of accommodation.  A lovely place to walk around, and there is a chocolate factory… What more do you need.

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Across Calle Rosario

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It was such a lovely day today that I took myself over to La Charca de Suarez in Motril this morning.   The drive through the back roads was relaxing and full of  nice surprises and some good photo ops.  For those interested in visiting La Charca, the visiting hours have changed.  The schedule is now as follows.

Monday through Friday 18:30 pm – At 18:30 a Spanish speaking guide will take visitors through the park.  You can opt out of the group and go counter clockwise through it, but you must be sure to be at the gate at the closing hour.  It’s best to check with the guide to ensure you get the right information.  This is what I did.

Saturdays and Sundays, there will be 3 guided visits- 10:00, 11:30, and 18:30.

Here are a few of the things I was fortunate enough to find on my walk today.

Wild Poppy

Wild Rose

Miniature white rose

Cheerful little trumpet

Turtle sunning in the reeds

I'm no expert, but judging by the large numbers of frogs that I encountered today, it's got to be frog breeding time.

You can hop, but you cannot hide.

Wild Iris

I did see lots of birds, but the frogs and turtles were everywhere, hard to ignore.

Some of the lovely marsh grasses you will encounter.

Look out behind you.

Soaking up the rays

Lost

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Taken just inside the entrance to the Nazarí Gardens

Massive Cypress trees in the Nazarí Gardens-see staircase for size comparison.

18th Century building being restored internally to match the era of the Nazri Garden

Okay so on Sunday the 30th we toddled off to Vélez de Benaudalla for a an incredibly interesting visit to the Nazari Gardens and then a 2hour walk through the countryside.  Both were hugely enjoyable, and I will be doing both again soon I hope.  Vélez de Benaudalla is just 20 minutes up the road from Salobreña, very easy to get to and lots of parking in town.

The Nazarí Gardens were built by the Arabs, centuries ago when the Moors ruled most of Spain.  There are in fact Moorish castles all over Spain, and  Al-Andalus was the name given to the area ruled by the Moors, today we know it as Andalucia.

In Vélez, the castle is quite different, it is a 7 sided building sitting high above the town for all to see.

Vélez Castle top centre, Church far left. Photo obtained from Vélez town hall's website. http://www.velezdebenaudalla.org

To the left of  the church  and just out of view, you will find the Nazarí Gardens located on the edge of town, cliffside.

Amazingly, you could walk right by them and not realize they were there.   You enter through a door, of what looks like a house and immediately you are in the area shown in the first photo shown above.  The Al-Andalus gardens are typically made up of 5 areas in order to provide man with the five  essentials of life. Those 5 essentials are

The Spiritual :  The  Muslims believed that they were mirroring heaven here on earth in praise of Allah with the building of these gardens.

The Aesthetic :  To design a  place that stimulates us and inspires us to create, a place that demands us to be more artistic, to make music, write poetry etc.

The Psychological: The garden should invite us to observe, contemplate, rest, relax and enjoy.

The Botanical and Scientific: A place for research, a place for experimenting.  Much study was done with new plants from around the globe to ensure a healthy and well fed people.

The Nutritional:  Condiments, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees were grown to feed the inhabitants.

I have included a small video that was made to show how the gardens look today and what the plan is for the future. The Vélez town hall has spent around 2million euros to bring the gardens back to life.

And now, more photos taken this past Sunday.

Entering the grounds

Part of the vegetable garden with fruit trees.

Aromatic Garden- Lavander, Allysium, Rosemary are just a few examples of the plants grown here.

Small treacherous staircase that leads to the level where some of the cave entrances are.

Cave entrance

Small reflective pool inside one of the caves

Another old cave entrance

Going in.

Cave ceiling.

Big old tree

Water naturally flowed thru this area, the Arabs built channels to control the flow and bring it to other parts of the garden.

Beautiful little waterfall

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Every year I look forward to June 23rd, it’s the night that everyone goes to the beach for the fires and a midnight swim.  The restuarants are full to capacity and beach fires are everywhere.  It is in fact the only night of the year that you are permitted to either sleep on the beach or have a fire there.  Lots do both, while others just come to enjoy the efforts of so many.

The town hall  also builds and oversees a huge bon fire that has  only in recent years been attended to by the fire department.  For many years this was not the case, it was not that long ago that we were left to our own devices and we were responsible for ourselves…  aahhh The dumbing down has begun.

Having said that though, the presence of the fire department does not detract from the festivities, for most newbies to the event, it gives some level of comfort I guess, just knowing that we can be reckless if we want and someone will be there to pick up the pieces.  Isn’t that what has happened everywhere else in the west.  If you are dumb enough to walk up to a fire that is blazing at about 10 thousand degrees, shouldn’t there be consequences? Survival of the fittest no?

Before the main fire is lit, there is a procession of some kind, every year is different, this year saw performers on pogolegs shooting fireworks all over the place, these allow performers to leap extremely high and the effect of this with the fireworks was really quite something.

Anyway..it was a great night, and I managed to take lots of pics to share, so here goes.

Everything is Pink

Lighting the fire

On its way

Fully engulfed.

Some of the crowd

one of the many bars set up for the evening

Not your average Candy Apple

Reflection of the fire in the sand.

for the kidlets

Waffles

At the entrance into Salobreña, this was put up for the fiesta

Dats me in da middle with friends Denise and Jim

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Well last night saw a very well attended silent procession through the old town.  There was a different atmosphere to last nights procession from the previous nights.  There was a very definite hush over the crowd as Jesus was carried by about 50 men through the winding streets.  I must say, I am not a religious person but these processions are very moving to witness.  Almost makes me a believer.. Almost.   Without further delay, here are the photos from last night.  Last night’s procession had a very eerie feeling to it, hopefully this will be shown in the photos..Enjoy!


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