Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Spain Day 5 - Granada

Here's another super old post. From way back in April. I never finished our Spain trip! This isn't even the last of it haha. Better late than never. This one has tooooons of photos. I went a little crazy over the cathedral we saw on this day. It was so, so beautiful. So, sorry for the incredibly long post. Scroll through and skip if you get bored... #sorrynotsorry

On this particular morning of our Spain trip (I can't remember what day of the week it was, too long ago), we  checked out of the Airbnb in the Albayzin neighborhood of Granada and drove down to city center, parked the car and walked around the city to see some shtuff. We found the Catedral de Granada, which ended up being my favorite church of the entire trip, maybe even of all the trips we've ever done. The interior was all white washed instead of the more customary raw, greyish stone and it made the whole church seem so light and airy and heavenly. And then the all the gold fixtures against that pure white, plus the black and white checked floor made for some pretty exquisite spaces. So so pretty.

As we were en route to the cathedral we enjoyed the bright morning light in downtown Granada.

We hadn't really eaten breakfast so we stopped at this nice looking cafe with sooo many yummy pastries to get us some breakfast.

The girls were pretty transfixed watching him make our freshly squeezed orange juice right there behind the counter.

Here are some of the scenes as we got closer to the Catedral de Malaga:
Cheerful orange trees bordering the cathedral.
There were several of these adorable tea/spice stands outside the cathedral. The aromas from all the spices and especially the herbal teas was sooooo soooo good.

I had to remind Jane a couple times to keep her fingers out of the baskets.

After we bought some tea Jane felt super special carrying the little bag around.
Take a minute to admire with me the incredible wood carving on the door, and the intricate stone carving on the archway around it.

Another tea stand.
Mmmmmmm, I can smell it right now. Kind of an orangey vanilla smell with other floral, fruity notes mixed in. So good.
Catedral de Granada, exterior.
Ave Maria

And the interior.
I seriously couldn't stop taking pictures. All the high windows let in such brilliant natural light which reflected off the white interior, filling the whole space. So often inside these massive churches they feel dark and gloomy, while simultaneously magnificent and beautiful. But this one was bright, luminous and airy in addition to being magnificent and tastefully beautiful and the result is majestic and grand.

Looking back on these pictures now, I think another thing I loved about it was that the ceilings were not overlooked. Even they were esquisite.
Layer after layer, depth after depth of intricate stone carving. I've said before that I think sculpture, or stone carvings like these, is my favorite art form, just because of the profound effect that can be achieved with the 3D sphere. 

Alice surprised me and actually really loved listening to the free audio guide. She listened to it more than I did.

We tried to share. It was hard. I kind of gave up.

Baby girl started getting antsy not too long into our self guided tour so I was put on Claire duty pretty quick. Max took the older two in the stroller while I followed Claire around, since she screamed if we put her in the stroller, and you can imagine how baby screams bounce around in a place like this, reverberating off the walls and pillars and echoing like crazy. Yeah, didn't want that. So we let her wander. Max and the girls followed the audio guide and while I followed Claire around as she toddled to her heart's content and enjoyed her freedom, silently. And I snapped a few photos here and there while trying to keep up. 

Pretty massive building, huh little girl.

The exquisite organs.

I don't know what to call the impressive piece, but it was beautiful, and massive, and grand, and very, very gold.

Most of what Claire and I did was climb up these stone steps leading to the central dais below the dome.

The "central"(focal would be a better word, because it wasn't in the center, but it felt central) dome:

These two may be my favorite photos from the cathedral. I love the symbolism of this lone Apostle/Disciple/Witness of God soldiering on, on his own. I love how he much he stands out from the pure white backdrop from this angle as I stand looking at his back, watching his progress as he carries his cross with his arm raised to the world.
I walked around a corner with Claire to find this view of Max and the other girls coming straight at me.
Here's the lone soldier again. He just doesn't stand out as starkly from this view though. Not quite as powerful an image.

After meeting up with them again the girls were excited to show me this very very golden Virgin Mary display.


I had never seen these intense double organs before but every church in Spain we saw had one. So so pretty.

A peep at the dome from the other side:
Alice really did enjoy listening to the free audio guide. She was super content to sit in the stroller and listen and look.
See what I mean about the light in this church? So much sunlight coming in through those windows. It was just so bright and airy and the pure white of the wall with the brilliant gold overlay reflected the light all around the church.

There's our apostle again. He just blends in to all the gold behind him though. You gotta be on the other side of him to really appreciate him, behind him. Is there symbolism here? If you're not following behind the Lord's prophet it is hard to see his significance... ...? If you're not behind him it's hard to make him out from all the rest going on around him.... ..?

I'm assuming this lovely piece is an incense burner.

Close ups of the organ:

And we're regrouping back outside...

...and headed off to find some lunch in beautiful Granada.

They thought these fancy dresses were sooooo pretty.

This is the tower of the Catedral de Granada.

I know I'm not supposed to do this, but if I had to pick a favorite child to photograph, it would hands down be Jane. I mean, it's obvious right?? Her face and whole little body are just so full of expression alllll the time. I just love capturing her.

While wandering, we of course found a playground (remember how they're EVERYWHERE in Spain? Have we discussed this yet? Maybe I'm just remembering but haven't mentioned it yet. They're everywhere in Spain. Everywhere. It's awesome, mostly. Except sometimes it causes whining when we don't actually have time to stop and play... but mostly it's awesome). And so we let the kids get some pent up energy out for a while.

Enjoying the break from parenting,  letting the playground equipment take over for a while... 

Look at that face!!
We did eventually find a really great place to eat lunch, where I ate some of the best green olives I've ever had. I can't remember anything else about the meal really, I think maybe it was pizza? But man, the olives. Green and fresh and crisp with the pit still inside, and a tad bit oily. And some delicious cheese and crackers to go with it. I guess you know it's a good restaurant when the complimentary appetizers make that good of an impression...

Here are some of the scenes we passed as we walked back to our car.

This one's for you Bonka! 
(Alice's Grandpa is called "Bonka")

This pink and stone juxtaposition spoke to me.

He gets so tired of me stopping all the time. Poor guy.

It was HOT walking back to the car so we decided to stop and get some ice cream, which Jane is animatedly displaying for you:
And that basically concluded our time in Granada. What a beautiful, beautiful city. It's got a lot to offer, with the Alhambra, the fun Albayzin neighborhood, the Catedral, and there was so much that we didn't get to. We really enjoyed our time there.
After we made our way back to the car we drove back to Malaga where our Airbnb hostess was going to meet us at her place. We decided to stop for a load of groceries at a Carre 4 so we would have some dinner and breakfast to eat in the morning. When we got back to Malaga we had trouble finding the parking lot for the apartment building so had to circle around a few times while the sweet lady, Nella, waited for us on the street corner! She was so kind, when we finally pulled up she and her husband jumped in their car and moved it so we would have a spot near the entrance and then helped us haul all our stuff up the 4 or 5 flights of stairs to their place. No Elevator!! Needless to say, we really, really appreciated the help. Especially since we had the 3 tired kids.  Despite being inconveniently on the top floor with no elevator, the place was great.
Here they are sitting in front of their Spanish cartoon finishing up a snack of apples and peanut butter. Every morning in this Airbnb we woke up to find all three kids sitting in their jammies on the couch watching Spanish cartoons - - in Spanish, no subtitles. They (Jane) had figured out how to turn the tv on and for some reason we couldn't hear it in our room! But it was nice for us, they stayed very quiet while we slept!
The rest of our time in Malaga is coming. 
Along with many many other things.

Thanks for reading along.