Sunday, October 11, 2015

Oh Isabella! (And Ferdinand)

More Alhambra photos!  If you ever get to Spain, this is one of the "must see"  places.

I just thought these doorways were pretty cool.

Our great tour guide Gerardo gave us a lot of great "insider" stories about the Alhambra. It was a great balance to the more leisurely but not as informative self-tour we took last year. 

This has a really interesting story.  After King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella took Granada with an overwhelmingly superior force (without having to attack the Alhambra itself), the palace/fortress gradually fell into disrepair. Finally the American writer Washington Irving (think Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow) visited and fell in love with the Alhambra, and actually moved into rooms there in 1829.  His Tales of the Alhambra stimulated so much interest in the old fortress that it was gradually restored to where it is today.

Something I didn't know, the name Granada comes from the Spanish word for pomegranate, which is grown in the region. This is one of the pomegranate trees in the Alhambra.

Love these flowers!

Love this lady! Elder and Sister Wiscomb are the ones who took the pictures that I'm in. Thanks!  :)

One last view of the Alhambra. A very beautiful place!
After the Alhambra we went all had lunch together (The Wok - delicious!)  then I went with Hermana and Elder Guffey to explore downtown Granada. First up was the Cathedral. I got this picture off the internet because I only saw pieces of it.

Like this.

This is the interior. Very ornate and HUGE! 

The Capilla Mayor.

I loved the ingravings. Especially the horse :)

But what we were really looking for were the final resting place of Ferdinand and Isabella, the monarchs who financed Columbus. We finally found them in the Capilla Real, out the door and around the corner from the main Cathedral entrance. 

They didn't allow pictures there, so this is an internet picture. You could take a stairway to where you could see into a room under these horizontal statues. There you could see the lead caskets that housed their remains. History was thick in the air :)

Then we visited the little markets that surrounded the downtown area. There were a lot of really neat stuff, and yes, I did buy some!

One last look at our little group: myself, the Redds, the Guffeys, and the Wiscombs. We are gradually disbanding, and I will (and do) miss them very much, along with the Coombs, Frosts, Andersens, and all those who have already gone home. Great people!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Alhambra reboot

I returned to the Alhambra in Granada with the Senior Missionaries one more time before heading home. The weather was beautiful, and there were a lot more flowers in bloom this time. We had a delightful time!

One of the beautiful flower beds. I have no idea what kind.  Jackie???

Two of my very good friends, Hermana Wiscombe (on the left), and Hermana Guffey. I just realized that somehow Hermana Redd got left out!  She's below though :) The Coombs and Frosts decided to sit this one out.

Some of the yeseria, plaster carved by the Spanish Moors. You can tell it's original because of the colors (red, yellow, green, and blue). They used decorated plain white plaster for the restorations.
We had a private tour this time and a GREAT guide, Gerardo. We saw things we missed last time, and learned lots of new things. And did a LOT of walking!  I took about half the pictures as last time as I'd already been there, and I couldn't dawdle as much trying out different shots and angles.

Left:  old city and city wall.

Right:  The "Guys", Elders Guffey, Wiscombe, and Redd.
Charles the V, Holy Roman Emperor wanted a palace fit for an emperor and ordered one built near the Moorish Alhambra buildings. He visited shortly after his marriage to Isabel of Portugal, but as you can see, it was never finished.

Stonework lauding Charles' achievments.

To the left is a bath house. There were three rooms, with a progression from cold to steaming hot water.

Inside the Nazarene Palace.  It was built by the Moors who were finally driven out in 1492, right before Columbus sailed.

Elder Guffey and Hermanas Wiscomb and Redd.

The Court of the Lions. It was a great trip, made even better by a great group of friends!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Spanish Night - Flamenco!

I finally got to see a Flamenco show! It was part of the "Spanish Night"  show put on by an extended Spanish family in Fuengirola. They also put on a Spanish horse show and serve a dinner, but I chose to just take in the Flamenco dance. It was very enjoyable, and I'm so glad I got to see this part of Southern Spanish culture. 

The show included singing, guitar playing, and dancing. It was especially meaningful to me because many nights I get to enjoy the music, songs, and stamps of Flamenco at my home as there is a Flamenco school right down the street from me. And I wasn't being sarcastic when I say I enjoy it, even though it often goes to 11 at night. I really do enjoy it!

Two of my fellow missionaries and great friends - Hermana Guffey in the middle, and Hermana Wiscombe on the right. Thanks to my fellow missionaries for many of these great pictures!

And the Elders that joined us, from right to left, Elders Guffey, Coombs, Wiscombe, and our President,  President Andersen doing what he is very good at - telling a story :)

And no, we didn't take advantage of those green bottles ;)

It was a very fun night!  Here we are together, from left to right, the Wiscombs, the Coombs, the Andersens, me, the Guffeys, and the Frosts. The only Senior Missionaries missing were the Redds. Next week!  :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rio Guadalhorce Natural Reserve - a great place for a Branch Activity!

A couple of weeks ago we had a Branch activity at the beautiful Rio Guadalhorce Natural Reserve, about an hour or so away from Fuengirola. The water is a gorgeous blue-green, with a temperature just right for swimming. We had 3 missionaries, 3 "permanent" branch members, 2 investigators, a friend, and 6 "temporaries" (members that join us for a few weeks once to several times a year). It was lot of fun!

Everybody brought plenty of food to share.

This is one of our "permanent" members, Marcelle, from Belgium with her two dogs. I'm teaching her the temple class lessons and am REALLY hoping to take another trip up to Madrid with her before I leave.

The gentleman in the hat and striped towel is our Branch President, President Tyndale-Biscoe, or "President Shaun" as he is usually called. On his right is Bruna, our Relief Society President, and on his left, two of our investigators.

We rented a paddle boat and took turns out on it. I went out with Marcelle, and it was so peaceful - very enjoyable. We had to be careful not to run over President Shaun as he swam across the lake and back though!

A great family who was with us for several weeks, from South America by way of France (many years).

This is the Guadalmedina River, which is one of the few rivers in Southern Spain that actually has water in it all year, and that is only because of the dam which forms the reservoir we swam in. Otherwise it would be dry most of the year, as is its 5 tributary rivers.
Again the river and also the famous Caminito del Rey, or "The Kings Little Pathway". This was before this year the world's most dangerous hike, with walkways clinging to the canyon walls, most of which were falling apart. Quite a few people died along it. This year, however, they finished repairing it and opened it to the public. Tickets were gone in 2 days for months in advance.

Another look at part of the Camino del Rey (it's nickname). I would LOVE to try it out if we can get tickets!

The views are fabulous.

I thought the houses in the crevice were kind of cool.

Our little group. We had so much fun!   Great people. I am going to miss them!