Picture of the Week

2 April 2013

Week 13: Sierra Nevada and Granada

Filed under: — Administrator @ 21:52

The week was a short one, as Good Friday is a holiday in Spain, and I had also taken Thursday off. My children are spending their Easter break with us, so the whole family is together.

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My daughter has recently discovered the joys of beer, but mostly the fruity kinds, like Belgium’s Krieks and Lambics. We went shopping at La Rincón de la Cerveza after work on Monday:
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Monday or Tuesday, during the day I was in the centre and saw this little boy “helping” clean the window of the hairdressing salon owned by his mother:
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During a walk, Cheeta smells something interesting on the other side of this fence:
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Also during a walk, the gate of a parking lot provided a light-and-shadow opportunity:
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We spent Thursday through Saturday in Sierra Nevada. My wife and children were skiing, while I (not a fan of winter sports, to put it mildly) would spend the days in nearby Granada. The remaining pictures are from that trip.

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The drive from Alicante to Sierra Nevada is only 400 km. We stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant called Venta Quemada. The rest areas along this motorway are partly that and partly simply places for the locals to go to. This modest restaurant is known for its generous servings and low prices and is always crowded:
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Jamón ibérico:
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Behind the restaurant, a field in bloom:
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We arrived in Sierra Nevada in the afternoon and checked into the apartment we had rented. The weather did not exactly look promising. This is the view of Pradollano, the main ski village, from our window:
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However, Friday morning things looked more promising:
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Once the family were off to the slopes, I drove down to Granada. The city is only about 35 km from Sierra Nevada, and the road connecting Granada and Pradollano is truly spectacular, rising from 500 m above sea level (Granada) to more than 2200 m (Pradollano):
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This lake is about halfway to Granada:
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I have seen mountain goats elsewhere, but in Sierra Nevada there are mountain cows:
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The landscape immediately to the right of the lake in image no. 11:
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As the road winds closer to Sierra Nevada, the views become majestic. This is how the mountains looked on Friday afternoon, when I was driving back from Granada. Bad weather had rolled in and spoiled the last couple of hours of the day’s skiing for my family:
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On Saturday, the scene was much more agreeable:
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I spent several hours each day Friday and Saturday in Granada, a nice city with a lot of history, most obviously the Alhambra, the residence of the last Moorish rulers of Andalucía. The remaining pictures are from the city.

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These street musicians were good, and earned a lot during the few minutes I watched them:
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They even earned a tip of the hat from this older gentleman:
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…who then proceeded to enjoy the music with his partner:
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One thing I noticed about Granada was the large amount of street art. Of course, there is a fine line between street art and graffiti, but in these four cases I think the balance is definitely towards the art.

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Friday being a holiday, there were no shoppers in the streets, just people out and about, enjoying the spring weather and each other’s company:
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Andalucía is very Catholic, and this street painter is explaining some aspect of his traditional painting of Virgin Mary to a passer-by:
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Two images related to the crisis in Spain. First, a sign advertising bank-owned apartments for sale, presumably stemming from failed construction projects or foreclosures. There have been plenty of both in the past few years:
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And this what many people think of banks in general these days. Someone has written “thieves” on the wall of this bank:
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The preceding pictures were all taken on Friday. On Saturday, I returned to Granada, but focused on a different part of the old city, the area around the cathedral. We start with some dried peppers outside a frutería:
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A bit further down the street, veggies and olives:
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And dried fish:
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I had lunch in a restaurant on the square with this statue at the centre:
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Another veg close-up. Raf tomatoes are simply fantastic:
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Granada’s cathedral:
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The streets around the cathedral are full of vendors trying to make a Euro from the tourists. A popular souvenir is your name written in Arabic–Granada makes a big deal out of its Moorish heritage:
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On a square near the cathedral, seats are lined up for the city’s great and good for Sunday’s Easter celebrations:
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Smokers outside a bar in the barrio:
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Something I do not remember seeing before, a pedal-powered carrousel:
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Close-up of the drivetrain:
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The streets and squares were really crowded on this sunny Saturday afternoon:
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This is probably the smallest bakery I have ever seen:
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And walking back to my car, yet another piece of street art:
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