Monthly Archives: November 2011

Semana Santa in Andalucía

Let’s cast our minds all the way back to April and Semana Santa (Holy Week). You may already be familiar with the famous processions that are held in Spain during Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. In Andalucía, they typically feature huge, heavy floats supported by lots of strong men and a lot of people wearing pointy hoods reminiscent of a certain American clan.

Semana Santa
To witness these processions first-hand (the tradition doesn’t really exist as far north as Oviedo) I used my lovely ten days of holidays from school to travel to Málaga, Granada and Córdoba in Andalucía.

An excruciatingly long overnight bus trip (including a stopover in the early hours of the morning in Madrid bus station) and I made it to Málaga. The weather was warm, the sun was shining and I was exhausted. Málaga turned out to be a great spot to relax for the first few days of my holidays. I did a little touristy sight-seeing, a lot of old, tiny street wandering (I could never, ever find my hostel), sat in the sun at the beach, spotted a few processions and joined the crowds to watch, and then ate ice cream. It was so good to see the sun for the first time in months. Sadly, most of the rest of my trip to Andalucía was shrouded in cloud and drizzle as the good weather didn’t hold out.

After a few nights, I hopped on another bus to Granada. Granada turned out to be the absolute highlight of my trip, not just because of the Alhambra (which needs a whole post of its own), but because the whole city is utterly gorgeous. I had a fabulous time there, in spite of a very, very early start one morning to buy tickets to the Alhambra (book in advance! Especially if you are visiting at one of the peak holiday times!) and a subsequent cold from sitting around in the cold and wet at 7 am. I spotted a few more processions, had my palm force-read by a gypsy, went on an excellent walking tour of the city and bought handmade dulces from a convent.
A sneak peek photo from the Alhambra for you.

My last stop, and sadly only for one night, was Córdoba. I visited the famous Mezquita cathedral-turned-mosque-turned-cathedral and the magnificent gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the castle/fortress of the Christian Monarchs, ie King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella who reconquered Spain from the Moors in the late 15th century.

The trip back to Oviedo was another long, overnight bus ride. I arrived home at 6 am on Saturday morning and spent the rest of the Easter weekend sleeping off my cold. I couldn’t say it was a relaxing Easter break but, in light of the things I saw and did, totally worth it. It was a bit of a different Easter, but certainly refreshing to see barely any Easter eggs (unlike the way they seem to pop up in supermarkets in Australia the day after Christmas) but to see a religious focus instead, albeit a very Catholic one with all those floats of the Virgin Mary.

If you fancy it there are photos from Málaga and Córdoba over on Flickr.

TTFN.

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Filed under Andalucía, Spain, Travel

Adjusting.

So I was away for over eight months and I’ve now been home nearly eight weeks. Want to know which part feels like it has passed most of my year? The eight weeks I’ve been home. It has been both hectic and dull; first with the initial bustle of arriving home, moving houses and job hunting, followed by weeks of tedium as no job offers rolled in, bank accounts dried up and I sank into an awful state of apathy and laziness.

But now, just short of eight weeks back in Australia, with a full-time job beckoning me to start in December, I’m giving myself November to post the stories and photos I’ve been sitting on for months and permitting myself to live in the past and glory in the memories of this year.

Because I did have an amazing time, met wonderful people (if any La Ería kids are reading this: I miss you!) and made memories that I hope will last a lifetime. Now I’m making myself relive them and enjoy them all over again, and I hope that you will too!

I have added some photos of my trip to Andalucía at Easter to my Flickr (follow the link down the side to see them) and I’ve updated my Tripline map (again, the link is on the right hand side there) so that it shows my full itinerary of travels around Europe between June and September. Enjoy!

TTFN.

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Filed under Adelaide, Update