Canned Butter

Category: Espana

Sleep When You Die #23 – Granada, Spain

Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image

The Granada expedition requires two entries because it was just such a brilliant morning.

After the arduous ascent that I was not entirely prepared for in the early morning hours, I reached the Alhambra gates at 8:40am to find that there was quite a queue already started since the 8:30 opening. Weary with nothing better to do I joined this queue to practice that ever precious virtue, patience. The queue moved slow. Very slow. At 9am I had moved probably a mere 20 paces closer to admission when an announcement come over the P.A. first in Espanol and then English, “The tickets for the Palacio Nueva have sold out for the day. However, you may still purchase admission to the gardens.” There was a collective deflative “umph” from the queued crowd and some people instantly packed it in and headed out. I was rather exhausted and the prospect of walking back to town was not as attractive as simply hunkering down for a bit in a sort of standing repose.

The queue crawled on, and I had pulled out my sketch pad and was putting more time towards an El Greco from El Prado when I was approached by an middle-aged woman along with a her younger colleague. After over-coming the routine language barrier, I came to understand that these two women had an extra ticket to the very recently sold-out palace! They explained that they had booked their admissions 5 months prior, and the third person in their party could not be present. Wow.

Turns out, these two fabulous ladies were in Granada for the weekend to lecture at the local university as they were both doctorates of Philosophy. I made friends with them quickly needless to say, and I ended up spending an entire tour of the castle with these angels. It was a truly amazing stroke of fortune… like Athena herself intervened. That is how patience and I received entrance to one of the most epic displays of geometric pattern-design I will ever witness.

Sleep when you die!

Sleep When You Die #22 – Granada, Spain

Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image

This morning I awoke and left an hour before dawn in order to hike up a steep foothill that overlooks the majestic Alhambra Castle here in Granada. It was still dark as I scooted across the ancient and empty cobblestone streets to the trail that was to lead my way. After coming across the largest snake I’ve ever seen outside of a cage the prior afternoon on the same hill I was excited but cautious as I snuck through the lonesome, dark woods.

Once out of the woods new cautions came into consideration as the trail at times was either overgrown, really steep upon the rocky slope, or lead up to make-shift shelters that I preferred not to know who was sleeping inside them. The Native American came to the forefront within me. Senses all firing.

(more…)

Sleep When You Die #21 – Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia - Gaudí image
Casa Batlló - Gaudí image
Casa Mila - Gaudí image

I was promised loads of sunshine! Well, I didn’t get much of that. I did get some great early morning snaps of a few brilliant buildings that Barcelona holds dear: La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà. These three buildings were erected by one of the great visionaries in Spanish history: Antoni Gaudí. I stayed right across from the Mariana metro stop in northwest Barcelona so these three were in walking distance as I set out on this gloomy weekday morning to see the city in a much less bustling mood.

No one I talked to in Spain knew who Dr. Seuss was…
but I had to continuously make the comparison: the architectural equivalent of Dr. Seuss has to be Gaudí!