Preparations for Holy Week (known here as Semana Santa), the week before Easter, begin many weeks before the event. Signs go up in the streets and alleys in which the processions shuffle along and I’ve been warned quite a bit about how crazy and packed it gets. For example, in this most Holy of weeks, people furiously pick pocket and grope women. Who do these cretins think they are? The president of the United States? I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the death and rebirth of Jesus, can you?
Ok. I have to tell you about my mini vacation between residencies in Granada. Most of this post is filled with pictures of the Alhambra but there are a few other memorable experiences from the city as well. In general, Granada was breathtakingly beautiful and colorfully exotic. While my heart is warming to Barcelona, Granada is still my favorite city so far.
Return of the Spanish sweets. New region, new flavors, though I do see some of the same sweets I saw in Andalucia turning up here and there. In my extreme dedication to you, my readers, I am truly taking several for the team by eating all of these sweets. Now you have to understand, I love sweets, I do, and there was a time I may have even been known for that, but that was many, many years ago. When I’m at home I’m pretty regimented about how much honey or maple syrup goes into my tea, my dessert is usually a couple of blocks of dark chocolate, and the calories are counted and plugged into “Lose it” to make sure I am staying on track with my health goals. Even though there are no calories in Spain, I envision that if you sliced open my belly right now, the cross section would look just like bacon. Sigh. BRING ON THE SWEETS, BITCHES!
This is the residency in “Barcelona” where I currently reside. It’s called Mas els Igols which means, “swamp farm.” There’s no swamp to be seen, but it is most certainly a farm… of grapes… and wine. It’s a vineyard!
Madre. De. Dios. I just saw my first flamenco show. I was blown away. While Seville is apparently the place to see a flamenco show and I was just there, I was just too busy to get one in. I’m told that the flamenco in Granada is flavored a bit different (apples and oranges) and that the cool thing I could see in Granada is gypsies dancing flamenco in caves. Caves! Ok! I saw pictures of a “cave” performance… and Spain’s definition and my definition of cave are very different. Still, I tried to book a show in one. Both places’ websites had a glitch that prevented this from happening and I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to see a show when I found Jardines de Zoraya.
Sorry I’ve been so quiet guys! I’m working on a couple of long posts for you and long posts take long. Long. Here’s some weird stuff and cool stuff while we wait for a long post. Weird stuff first!
I love me some sweets. Let’s see what Spain has to offer!
There’s been an unseasonable amount of rain here. It rained heavily for about two and a half weeks. The rain finally let up yesterday and I could have gone for a walk then but I wanted the roads to dry out for one more day. Today I took my first walk.
Citrus trees grow like weeds out here and there’s a lemon tree in the front yard. One of the Help X tasks is to prune the tree. After careful research on lemon tree pruning, it was found that all of the lemons had to be picked first. Now, all of these lemons could have simply been sold to the grocery store but the NZ’s weren’t having it. Thus, March 13th was officially declared Lemon Day… and then Lemon Day got moved to the 14th. And then another Lemon Day happened on the 15th. As we suspected, it’s more accurate to call this Lemon Week, and nothing is better than Lemon Week. Lemon Week activities will continue with a second grand rendering of lemon marmalade. A second? Yes, let me show you the first. BUT, before that is the lemon preserving process…
Now this! This… is a museum I could spend some time in! The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía houses art from the 20th century up to current work being made today. Here I saw Dali, Picasso’s Guernica (as mentioned in the previous post), more Goya, and I learned about a few new artists too. I even got to sit and watch Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou! Watch the full movie here. (A little over 21 minutes.)
Ok first, let me get this out of the way… OH MAH GAH! I SAW GUERNICA IN PERSON! OH MAH GAH! I SAW LAS MENINAS IN PERSON! OH MAH GAH! I SAW THE THIRD OF MAY IN PERSON! OH MAH GAH! I SAW THE BLACK PAINTINGS IN PERSON! OH MAH GAH! I SAW THE NUDE AND CLOTHED MAYAS IN PERSON! OH MAH GAH! I SAW THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS IN PERSON! I also saw works by Titian, Dali, Rafael, El Greco, Tintoretto, and more.
I think I’ve come down with a cold, dammit. My immune system has been good and strong over the past several months but the trip and time/diet change has taken its toll. I’ve been in my room for a few hours this afternoon and I decided to stay in until dinner time. Going to get some green tea, ramen, and hit a pharmacy so that they can give me something to help me sleep.