A year ago this week I was in Spain with my Dad and 4 other friends. What a long, strange trip it has been since. This is The Alhambra, a Moorish palace in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. And it is GORGEOUS. If you haven’t been, add it to your list, you will not be sorry.
Spanish Pavillion for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929
The Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was a world’s fair held in Seville, Spain, from 9 May 1929 until 21 June 1930. Countries in attendance of the exposition included: Portugal, the United States, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, the Republic of Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Each Spanish region and each of the provinces of Andalusia were also represented. Spain’s Dictator General Don Miguel Primo de Rivera gave the opening address. Primo allowed the Spanish King Alfonso XIII to give the final words and officially open the exposition. The purpose of the exposition was to improve relations between Spain and the countries in attendance, many of which were former Spanish colonies.
The exposition was smaller in scale than the International Exposition held in Barcelona during that same year, but it was not lacking in style. The city of Seville had prepared for the Exposition over the course of 19 years. The exhibition buildings were constructed in María Luisa Park along the Guadalquivir River. A majority of the buildings were built to remain permanent after the closing of the exposition. Many of the foreign buildings, including the United States exhibition building, were to be used as consulates after the closing of the exhibits. Source
GPOYW - Don’t Mess with the Bull Edition
It’s sometimes hard to remember that I wasn’t traveling solo with my Dad when I was in Spain, since his antics dominated the trip. When my friend Janet sent me this snapshot today, from our afternoon in Toledo, I had to laugh. It’s not a great shot but I love it. We found a stuffed bull at the front of a tourist shop and were just being goofy. What a magnificent animal he was and he still had marvelously soft fur.
I’m glad she sent this as it reminds me of the funny little moments on the trip that tend to get forgotten.
CROWN Detail, Maria Santsima del Amor
For the Religious Pageants in Malaga, Spain
I loved the crown with the little faces embedded in it. I’m guessing that they are putti / angles and not babies…but still…
FLAMENCO Couple Dancing to “Carmen”
El Patio Sevilliano, Seville, Spain
Unlike the previous Flamenco dancer who did a more improv style, this couple danced together to the music and storyline of Carmen. In this case the dance was more choreographed, but still very emotive. I was lucky to be able to photograph the dancers since the lighting was dim, the movement generally quick, and no flash was allowed.
I thought that Flamenco was synonymous with the Tango, which I still think of as a structured, choreographed, couple’s dance. Flamenco is not. Actually, neither may be (but I’ll update that after I visit Argentina), but that’s not the case with Flamenco.
There are recognized moves that repeat in Flamenco performances, but the mood for each dance is set by the dancer, in this case working with live guitarists and a singer, present on stage. It’s a lot of improv. The movements are not all stylized and graceful, some are earthy and sexual as the dancers rip themselves open and leave their hearts on the stage.
Flamenco is a genre of Spanish music, song, and dance from Andalusia, in southern Spain, that includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps). First mentioned in literature in 1774, the genre grew out of Andalusian and Romani music and dance styles. It is an artform exclusive to Andalusia in Southern Spain and orginated from the dance and music traditions of Jewish gypsies or “gitanos” of the regions. Different Flamenco forms are also at times named after the regions in which they were born.
In recent years flamenco has become popular all over the world and is taught in many countries: in Japan there are more academies than there are in Spain. On November 16, 2010 UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. More
PLAZA DE ESPANA
The Spanish Pavilion for the Ibero-American Expo of 1929
The Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was a world’s fair held in Seville, Spain, from 9 May 1929 until 21 June 1930. Countries in attendance of the exposition included: Portugal, the United States, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, the Republic of Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Ecuador and I believe that each has a pavillion. Each Spanish region and each of the provinces of Andalusia were also represented.
The purpose of the exposition was to improve relations between Spain and the countries in attendance, many of which were former Spanish colonies.
The city of Seville had prepared for the Exposition over the course of 19 years. The exhibition buildings were constructed in María Luisa Park along the Guadalquivir River. A majority of the spectacular buildings were built to remain permanent after the closing of the exposition. Many of the foreign buildings are currently used as consulates. More
ALHAMBRA REFLECTING POOL
The Court of the Myrtles / Patio de los Arrayanes
The Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) has received different names throughout time. Its current name is due to the myrtle bushes that surround the central pond and the bright green colour of which contrasts with the white marble of the patio. The central pond is 34 metres long and 7,10 meters wide. The pond divides the patio and receives its water from two fountains (one at each end of the pond). There are chambers on both sides of the patio and several porticoes on the shorter sides of it. These porticoes rest on columns with cubic capitals, which have seven semicircular arches decorated with fretwork rhombuses and inscriptions praising God. The central arch is greater than the other six and has solid scallops decorated with stylised vegetal forms and capitals of mocarabes. More
There are gardens surrounding the Alhambra, this garden is near the exit. The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms brought by the Duke of Wellington in 1812. The park has a multitude of nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades.
Some truck stop /train stop on the Plain in Spain
Jack o’ lantern trivia:
- it was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o’-lantern. The term first shows up in American English in 1834, and the carved pumpkin lantern association with Halloween is recorded in 1866
- Pumpkin carving is thought to come from the British Isles, where turnips, mangelwurzel (say what?) or beets were used.
- Immigrants from Britain and Ireland brought the tradition to North America. There, the pumpkin replaced the turnip as pumpkins were more readily available, bigger, and easier to carve.
- The purpose of these lanterns may have been threefold.
1. they may have been used to light one’s way while outside at night
2. to represent the spirits and otherworldly beings
3. and/or to protect oneself and one’s home from them.
- Bettina Arnold writes that they were sometimes set on windowsills to keep spirits out of one’s home. However, others suggest that they originated with All Saints’ Day (1 November)/All Souls’ Day (2 November) and that they represented Christian souls in purgatory. More
VIEW FROM THE HOTEL AT NIGHT
The name Torremolinos comes from the words Torre (Tower) and Molino (Mill) and the city resides on the Costa del Sol, the Sun Coast in Southern Spain. Therefore, we had rain for most of our visit. The city contains row upon row of resorts and hotels crowded along the beach. The nice thing about the our hotel and many others is that nearly all the rooms have balconies, from which one can see the ocean and hear the crashing waves.
During the first half of the nineteenth century the town was rebuilt and by 1849 there were 14 mills. With the demise of the mill, Torremolinos became a small fishing village until the end of the 1950s when it became one of the first tourist centers in Costa del Sol. In the 50s many celebrities visited Torremolinos such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Orson Wells, Frank Sinatra.
In 1959 Pez Espada hotel was opened, the first luxury hotel along the coast. In the following years, new hotels, nightclubs and others tourist establishments changed the face of the town and its beaches. By the year 1965, Torremolinos had become consolidated as an alternative tourist destination.
There seemed to be fewer nightclubs and swanky resorts during our visit and instead a lot of Brit and German ex-pat and retirees.
VIEW FROM THE SERRANIA
Ronda, Andalusia, Spain
This is the end of the gorge where it levels out into rolling farmland. To get a sense of the scale, there’s a person in a blue poncho in the lower left corner [click image to embiggen]. This area is just gorgeous. I could live here. Madonna, Hemingway and Orson Welles all fell in love with Ronda. Welles ashes were scattered in a well on a local farm owned by a bullfighting family.
Spanish Farming Facts:
Spain produces more olive oil than Italy, exports more wine than France and its organic fruit and vegetables are fast gaining ground in northern Europe.
Spain is number two in Europe and eighth in the world in area dedicated to ecological crops, according to the agriculture ministry. But an estimated 80 percent of its production is exported, mostly to Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain.
Organic produce accounts for only 1 percent of spending on food in Spain. The agriculture ministry launched a campaign in November to boost consumer awareness of organic food.
Agriculture now accounts for only 2.7 percent of the Spanish economy, down from 4.2 percent 10 years ago, and for 5 percent of the workforce, compared with 8 percent in 1995.
The average age of Spain’s farmers is 55. More
PLAZA DE TOROS
I am not a supporter of bullfighting, but I acknowledge that it is a part ofSpanish history and culture. Ronda is widely considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Currently, they host two events a year. The arena is small by most standards, but the view, even from the cheap seats is excellent.
In 1572, Philip II created the Real Maestranza de Caballeria for the purpose of providing training in horsemanship. This place was assigned for equestrian exercises which dated back to the Middle ages and included games of skill with bulls. The ferocious manner in which these animals charged both horses and riders became a spectacle for the town.
In the 18th century horsemen’s games were replaced by unmounted bullfighters.
The Romero family led the establishment of Ronda as a centre of the modern corrida contested on foot, providing three generations of the most outstanding bullfighters of all time. Fransisco Romero invented the killing sword and cape, and his grandson Pedro (1754-1839) perfected the skills of the sober classic Ronda style. Pedro is widely considered to be the father of modern bullfighting and one of the greatest matadors of all time. He retired after slaying more than 5,600 bulls without incurring personal injury. His personality gained respect and social dignity for a trade that combined courage with skill.
Many tourist guides will tell you the Ronda bullring is the oldest and largest in Spain, in fact the story is confusing. Our little bullring only has seating for 5,000 spectators, hardly the largest in the world, but the “rueda,” which is the large round circle of sand, is the largest in the world at 66m, making it 6m larger than Spain’s biggest bullring, the Plaza Toros Las Ventas in Madrid.
The bullring in Sevilla is considered older having commenced construction in 1761, and was completed in 1785, compared to Ronda’s commencement in 1779 and completion in 1784, though purists agree Ronda’s bullring should be entitled to the crown since it was first to stage a corrida. However, in May of 1784 during the first inaugural corrida to be held in Ronda’s Plaza de Toros, part of the stand collapsed forcing its closure until repairs could be made.
CASA DE DON BOSCO
Ronda, Andalusia, Spain
© Laura Quick
Don Bosco, was an Italian Roman Catholic priest, educator and writer of the 19th century, who put into practice the convictions of his religion, dedicating his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth and employing teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method known as the Salesian Preventive System.
A follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales, Bosco dedicated his works to him when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco. Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of nuns dedicated to the care and education of poor girls. In 1876 Bosco founded a movement of laity, the Association of Salesian Cooperators, with the same educational mission to the poor.
This house is located in the heart of old Ronda in Calle Tenorio and was built in a modernist style at the beginning of the 20th c.It belonged to one of Ronda’s wealthy families and was then donated to the Salesian Order founded by an Italian priest from Turin, Don Juan Bosco in the late 19th c. The house was made a Historic Monument in 1931.
Don Juan Bosco died in 1888 and never actually lived in this beautiful house. It is now a retreat and retirement home for priests and the ground floor (which is all that can be visited) has a lavishly tiled patio which has been glassed over. There is another great garden location with breathtaking views over the Serrania and then back to the Puente Nuevo. The patio style gardens are on one level. The variety of mosaic decorations, benches and charming central pool with spouting frogs are all certainly unique.
Ronda is awesome! It sits up in the mountains* in an area full of fir trees. In the center of the city there’s this enormous chasm plunging nearly 400 feet deep down the El Tajo gorge created by the Guadalevín River.
Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls describes the execution of Nationalist sympathizers early in the Spanish Civil War. The Republicans murdered the Nationalists by throwing them from cliffs in an Andalusian village, and Hemingway allegedly based the account on killings that took place in Ronda at the cliffs of El Tajo.
Orson Welles said he was inspired by his frequent trips to Spain and Ronda. After he died in 1985, his ashes were buried in a well which is located on the rural property of his friend, and retired bullfighter Antonio Ordoñez.
English writer George Eliot’s book Daniel Deronda (“Daniel of Ronda”) tells the story of a Spanish Jew brought up as an Englishman. There has been some speculation that Eliot’s ancestors may have lived in Ronda prior to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.
*After Switzerland, Spain is the most mountainous country in Europe.