Life in Spain…Around Town

We have been here in Spain for almost 6 months. Crazy how time is flying!  Life has settled into its routine, and while we have discovered things that aren’t perfect, we are still pretty happy here. In fact, we are planning to stay for one more school year.

I will get more into day-to-day life in another post, but now I just wanted to share a few recent things we’ve done close to home.

First, we just got to see our first Semana Santa.  What we would just consider plain old Spring Break back home, in Spain it becomes a week-long celebration of Easter.  This Catholic country shows their religion in a much different way than we are used to in the US’s “separation of church and state” culture.  The week was very interesting and the processions going through town a few times each day were fun to watch.

For some reason, the majority of the parades went out at a (to my american self) ridiculously late hour!  The first night, we were woken up after midnight as a procession was passing a block away from us.

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I slept through the one that went by our house late one night, but this was a procession at a more reasonable evening hour of 10pm or so
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Each “brotherhood” in town has their own float to carry in one of the week’s processions.  They are dressed in their identical outfits carry the big heavy floats – each procession lasts a few hours, so they have to hold them up for a long time!
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The boys are enthralled watching a daytime procession down the main Paseo in town

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This was less of a procession, and more of a big gathering in the town square.  This group was carrying the statue of Jesus down to the square where everyone was congregated and listening to someone (a religious figure, I assume) who was giving a sermon of some sort (as you can see, I am never exactly sure what is going on). 
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Mary was being carried in from the other direction, and you can see Jesus meeting her in the center of the square
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This huge float was in the week’s last procession on a Sunday afternoon.  Normally the people carrying the float are dressed in a special costume. In this case, only the feet are showing (see the white shoes visible under the float), so they are all dressed like the guys in white on the side of the float – a head cover (for sweat maybe??), a tank top, weight-lifting belt, and pants rolled up to not show under the float).  The guys kept switching out every few hundred meters, so these guys were on their way to taking a little break – they would walk ahead and switch back in down the road)

In addition to the Semana Santa processions, we’ve also had fun exploring in our town.  C took us all on a nice hike up the hillside.  First, we headed from home and followed along the Paseo that runs along the sea.

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Then, where the road seems to end, we took a secret path around the corner…

IMG_0679and walked along a path next to the seaIMG_0682which actually leads to the nudist beach in town (that seems like a good place for it, right?), but I didn’t take any pictures there ;-).  Then we headed up.IMG_0700

IMG_0705The path snaked along the cliff and offered us amazing views of the sea and the town, like this….

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you can see the nudist beach below us…maybe if you zoom in really closely….

Finally, we reached our goal (well, everyone’s goal, but C – he wanted to carry on further) – a pretty, but deserted blue house on the hill.  We climbed up for a rest and a snack.IMG_0711

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IMG_0729After a little bit, we headed back to town, once again enjoying the views.IMG_0734

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It was a nice day and a nice 4-mile round trip walk from our house.

The last pictures I’m going to include are when we took a quick walk up to the castle just a few hundred meters from our house.  It overlooks the park where the kids like to play, so we see it all the time, but rarely make the walk up to see it. One day recently we did (though we still haven’t actually gone inside yet!)

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This park is right at the end of our street and the boys spend A LOT of time playing soccer here. We like to look at the castle, but rarely make the walk up to it.

 

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Overlooking the sea from the castle – looking down on our street in front of the sea
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From the castle you can see down to the ruins of a fish salting factory that dates back to the Phoenicians.  During the Phoenician and Roman times, the town was a (stinky) source of a fish paste desired throughout the empire!

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More adventures to come!

 

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