Picture of the Week

20 April 2017

Week 15: Easter

Filed under: — Administrator @ 12:00

It was a rather quiet week but also a nice short week, since I had taken Monday off and Good Friday is a public holiday in Spain–so only three days of work.

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Monday was Lars’s last day here, as he was leaving Tuesday morning. Although he was still somewhat weakened by the bronchitis that had scuppered our 400 km ride in Mallorca on Saturday, by now he was well enough to make it to Aigues and Busot, my standard short ride in the mountains (about 47 km). But he was still slower than normal on the climbs, which gave me the opportunity to cycle ahead and get some pictures of him labouring uphill:
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During the next couple of days I hardly took any pictures. During one of my morning walks with Cheeta, I met two cats. First, this orange specimen in the entrance to a café:
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And then this one, looking down on me and Cheeta, warily:
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On Friday evening, I went to the centre to watch one of the Good Friday processions. The Easter Week (Semana Santa) is a big deal here, and there were processions every day since Palm Sunday. Of course, the ones on Good Friday and Easter Sunday are the most important ones. The one I chose to see was called Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (“our lady of loneliness”). Its home is one of Alicante’s two principal places of worship, the Basílica de Santa Maria. I arrived there about 20 minutes before the start of the procession, so the square in front of the church was already completely packed:
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Finally, the doors open and the leader of the procession emerges:
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Shortly thereafter, this huge instrument is rolled out. Playing it requires good lungs, and even then, the melodies that can be played are very basic. But this is the tradition:
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Finally, the wooden statue of the Virgin appears. This is the moment everyone has been waiting for:
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A closer view:
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I then quickly walked a couple of hundred metres to the Plaza de Santísima Faz which the procession would pass in a few minutes. That little square was crowded too. These processions take place in the old part of the city, so by definition in close quarters. Good for photographers:
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My US friends always are struck by the similarity to the KKK headgear. But the shape precedes the KKK, they just appropriated it. The covering of the faces is supposed to symbolise the idea that all are equal before God:
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The procession continued down the street (it lasts about 3 1/2 hours):
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Another Easter tradition, this time with no religious content, is the medieval market on Avenida Vicente Ramos, the main thoroughfare of the neighbourhood in which I live:
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Most of the stalls sell food of some kind, like this guy selling bread baked in a charcoal oven:
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Deep-fried pumpkin fritters:
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I abstained from the various deep-fried things, but this artesanal IPA from Toledo was quite nice:
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More photos of the Good Friday procession can be seen here.

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