Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Third - Everything Else

I gathered a pile of beach glass along the Costa del Sol - the southern shore of Spain that sits on the Mediterranean. Here are located fabulously expensive resort homes and beautiful shopping areas. It is beautiful but nothing compared to combing the shore of the Mediterranean for beach glass. That was one of my favorite moments.

This photograph was taken in the former fishing village of Nazare. The streets are narrow and wind up steep hills. We ate a memorable lunch here in a beautiful old restaurant filled with cuban mahogany and brass. The waitress spoke perfect english and her friendliness added a dimension to the experience.

Nazare sits on a rugged coast of the Atlantic. The weather is windy and harsh; the surrounding shoreline shows evidence of deep erosion and some homes are in danger of tumbling down the rocky cliffs. You can't help but reflect on the difficulties people there faced in eking out a living. It reminded me of a story I once read of a village of Japanese fishermen who, faced with imminent starvation, built bonfires on the beach to lure shipping vessels to flounder so that they could plunder them and thus survive. What a dreadful choice; to starve or be forced into predatory behavior. Survival is not always easy and crime is not always a black and white affair.

This is Ronda, the beautiful town spanning two sides of a vast chasm. There is a turbulent river below and the views will make your stomach flip. Some of the houses sat perilously close to the lip of the canyon. I don't have the make-up to live in such a house. I am a person who always pictures disaster; I can't seem to help myself.

This is the Gaudi house the locals refer to as the stone pile. If I have the story straight I understand that the wealthy woman who employed Gaudi to build it for her was displeased because she had an extensive art collection and none of the interior walls were flat enough to hang her pictures on. Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi, you imp!

One of my favorite churches was this one; the Batalha Monastery in a quaint little town in Portugal (sorry, don't have the name on the tip of my tongue). I took pictures all around of the doors and windows to Photoshop and use in my paintings. Spent several hours last night doing that and got a wonderful page to use.

Here are the three musketeers posing in front of Toledo before a drenching downpour arrived. There is more to tell; things are happening here so fast that I can't keep up with them. In my next post I will try to get my feet back on the ground as far as what is going on here - life goes on with you or without you and so I have two weeks of "home" to enjoy and organize too.

Happy Tuesday and thanks for stopping by. I will answer e-mails asap. Thank you for all the comments and well wishes; your words keep me going.


Cindy Alexander said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your beautiful pictures of a great place that I will never see in person !!

Cindy in Carolina
aka Shoo Shoo Fontaine

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

JUDY... You are HOME... your pics are WONDERFUL.

I bet we will see bits of Spain coming out in your wonderful art for a LOOOoonnnggg TIME!!!

Welcome Back!!!


Gwen said...

Hi Judy,
Love the photos of YOU! You look so happy and glowing, even more so than usual! It sounds like a fantabulous trip, glad to have you back and blogging again!

Laini Taylor said...

Oh Judy, I can't stop staring at your pictures! I have SUCH travel lust right now! And Nazare! So funny -- I was just telling Alexandra about it yesterday. I spent three weeks there when I was 17 -- ulp! -- almost 20 years ago, and then, it was such an old-fashioned untouristed town. Nobody spoke English, there were very few hotels, and the old folks still wore their traditional costumes, colored tiered skirts for the women and long long stocking caps for the men. Do they still do that? I made friends and stayed in a Portuguese home for several weeks and couldn't bring myself to leave -- I missed my plane home from London at the end of the summer!! Thanks for the pics -- great to see it again. Swoon, swoon! (As for the seafood, I well remember trying to politely eat whole fish, choking on all the little bones!) So glad you had such a great trip. More pictures!

Judy Wise said...

Laini, you brought me out of my rabbit hole (I'm swamped) just long enough for me to say that Nazare is still off the beaten path and that the older women still wear the short skirts and full petticoats; such an unusual traditional dress. Your comment reminds me that this big planet is a small world in so many ways.I never would have guessed!

Ro Bruhn said...

Fabulous photos Judy. Europe and England are so steeped in history. Australia is such a young country, we virtually have nothing over 200 years old.
I love collecting the glass, when we were in England a few years ago, I found really old weathered china on the beach in Cornwall, the stories it could tell, may have even been from the smugglers days and shipwrecks.

NancyB said...

Beautiful photos! Looks like you had a wonderful time! I think I just gained 200lbs looking at all the yummy food in the previous post! lol