Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

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


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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Greetings all.. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that you were with the ones you love as I was.  How lucky I am I cannot tell you.. I have a wonderful man in my life who makes life worth living.  Enough about me though, lets get some photos up to look at.

Bamboo is grown here just for the purpose of fencing and basket weaving.

A Christmas favourite

Figs are cultivated here as well as growing wild. Sweet figs from the tree.. you have not lived.

Fancy driving thru here..

at my house

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This is just a reminder that the Cruces de Mayo will be taking place on the 3rd of May in Salobrena, look for all the brightly decorated Crosses all over  town..Last year was just fantastic, you can get a full list of all the competitors and their locations at the tourist office or at the individual competitor sites.  The larger sites will set up a bar and all sites will accept small donations to help keep the tradition alive, but there is absolutely no pressure to donate.   The sites with bars, will party on into the night, some all night!  Unfortunately I cannot be there this year so to get an idea of what to expect, you can take a look at May 2008 to see some of the photos from last year.  Don’t miss this opportunity to mix with the locals and enjoy one of our annual fiesta days.

Please also note, that May the 1st is a bank holiday, and most of the shops will be closed.  It is May Day after all..

This is one of last years beautiful entries into the Cruces de Mayo Festival Competition.

Humildad Flamenca

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Another great photo to make me home sick.. Heloise from Costa Tropical Rentals Spain is keeping me afloat with lots of great photos, which I have been posting regularly.. A big Thank You to Heloise for this!  For anyone that has spent anytime in Spain, this will be a very familiar and welcome sight.


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