Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fair and more Fair

Wow!  I missed a week.  I usually write on Sundays, but they are getting busier.  Then I didn't think about it during the week except when I was too tired to do it.  I actually had plenty of time because my compy was a little under the weather so we stayed home quite a bit.  He is pretty much over it now but he had a nice little summer cold last week. Sooo  this will be a catch up post.
We are getting a new Secretary in the office and so to say goodbye, Rod took the office elders carting.  While they were doing that, I grabbed Sister Neilson and we went up to Mijas pueblo.  She had never been.  It has been hazy a lot lately but that day was clear and beautiful. 

Then we stopped into the Miniature Museum, which I hadn't seen ether.  I don't quite know what I expected but it was different.  It was full of all sorts of very tiny works of 'art'.  Being dense tourist types we didn't notice all the 'no photos' signs and asked the attendant.  She said no... and then when we were the only ones there she came and said 'Go ahead but no flash and only when no one else is here.'  That is why they aren't super photos but the objects were rather remarkable.

The two at 10 and 12 o'clock (they are kind of cut off)  are made out of chewing gum (???) The one at 3 o'clock is stone about an inch tall, and the mice are metal or ceramic.  At about 8 o'clock there are some tiny paper cranes.  The notice said they were made by a visitor to add to the collection.

These were also small sculptures.

These are sculptures out of tooth picks.  They had magnifying glasses so you could see details.
There were small paintings and then minute paintings on pin heads, beans, and grains of rice which weren't visible in a photo.  There was even a human hair with something written on it.  It was actually lots of fun.  We wandered the streets and shops, had fancy ice cream and  candied nuts made on the spot by the vendor.
Check out the drinking fountain!
 Sister Nielson and I seem to have the same taste in lots of areas, plus she listens to all my stories.  It was great. I expect you will get to meet her sometime.
That evening we went to the closing night of the Feria at the actual fair grounds.

They put up this structure every year as the 'entrance' to the fair.  I think we arrived about 8:30 pm.

These booths sell toys and candy.  Also, at the end there is a display where they sell cups of cooked lima beans, and pieces of fresh coconut which always have water spraying onto them.

Remember last week?  Well these are the real biznagas they are selling.
They had a big fairway with lots of rides, including pony rides with live ponies.  There was a concert venue which we didn't go see.  The music was too loud for our ears as it was.  We aren't getting old are we?  Then there is a huge section where they have eating and dancing pavilions.  There were street cleaners washing the streets because during the day there are lots of horses.
I had to take a photo of the mini street sweeper. 
They have mini dump trucks and all the other equipment but sized for the tiny streets here.

I loved this senior lady posing for her photo in her party outfit.

There are 3 streets of these pavilions, all newly painted for faria.  They are just 4 walls, though some have kitchens and serve restaurant meals.  Most have a stage and speakers, tables and chairs and a space for dancing.

Instead of ceilings they have pompoms strung across the top, or these flags, or some have fabric swaged from wire to wire.   
Okay, how many people do we know in Malaga?  Maybe 20 outside of missionaries.  Well, we ran into a family we knew as we were walking around.  Apparently that last night is mostly for dancing and they thought it was funny we had come for that.  What we actually came for was to sample the fair food.  We had corn on the cob, cooked on a grill and served with butter, lemon and salt.  We had a baked potato with ham, tuna, olives, corn, cheese and Roquefort dressing. It was really quite tasty and  one was plenty big enough for both of us.
For dessert we had a waffle with caramel sauce and whipped cream, and then an ice cream cone.  Okay, now I'm hungry again.
There are several of these 'sculptures' in Malaga.  I love the idea of a boat made of water. 

We had a fun evening but were ready to go home by 10:30. 

As you can see the crowds were just starting to arrive. 

We had a visit from flat Elder and Sister Castillo.  They brought a wonderful hug from J. 
Thank you for all your love, support and prayers.  They are truly felt.  Reach out to the missionaries near you and 'pay it forward'.  Remember how blessed we are.  Share the wealth of the gospel message!  We love all of you too!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Malaga Feria opening day

Well, a day or two late but hey, I am writing something, so that is a good thing.  A week ago Friday we had lunch in a little restaurant right on the beach.  I just had to take some photos though they really don't do it justice.  

 We had a very nice dinner.  We got there at 8 pm and they were just opening.  It is still funny to me that 8pm is an early hour for dinner.  You can see some of the people that line this 'board walk' in the photo.  It is surprising to me how many people just come out to sit and enjoy the fresh air and visit.  I expect this is partly because AC is unusual here.  I never thought of air-conditioning as a cause of people staying indoors ie  not socializing, but I think it is true. 

Rod has decided to use one of his many expressions just so the photo is more interesting.  This was our salad.  Apparently I didn't invent sautéed pepper salad.

It was yummy fried fish.  I was trying to copy my husband's expression.  Oh well.
 As we were walking home, we noticed the moon just rising.  I had read that we were having a 'super moon' so I had to photograph it.  Again, photos don't come close to how big it looked.

I was trying to get the sculptured man to have the moon on his back but the angle was wrong.  I might have gotten it if I had been willing to risk life and limb in the traffic and stand in the road.  I decided it wasn't worth that.

Friday night was opening night of Malaga's Feria.  It is quite well known here in Spain and runs for a week.  Businesses shut down for it, offices close and there is a special bus that takes people out to the  Fair grounds.  When I said Friday night, I meant at midnight.  They opened the week's festivities with fireworks.

We walked down to the dock to watch, along with several hundred other people.

I thought the reflection  of the fireworks in the water would be cool but my angle was wrong.

I think the fireworks were set off from a boat in the bay.

This is the display at the entrance to the downtown area.  Those flowers are called 'Biznaga'.  The real thing is actually a dried thistle flower with the leaves and thorns cut off  leaving a stiff stem with a round ball of spines onto which they thread jasmine flowers that haven't opened.  Traditionally the stem is then stuck into a prickly pear pad, that has also had the thorns removed, and is carried about to sell when the flowers do open.  They smell wonderful and are really pretty.  People have been selling them all last week on the street. They are a traditional symbol of this feria.
 This Feria is said to have started with the Reconquista... when the Christians reconquered Spain and 'freed' it from the Moors sometime in the 1500's.   Kind of makes our traditions seem a little young.
This is how they decorate the down town area.  There is also a huge fair ground set up and dedicated to this feria.

As we were walking home I was impressed with this painting on a random wall.  The splatter was painted on first then the rest added.  I loved the 'drips' on the bucket and down the wall.
Well, we hope everyone is well and happy.  We are learning a whole new 'job', trying to set up some JAS activities.  It does start slow, but they are eager for some help and there is lots to do.  We sure do love you all.  Take care of yourselves. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Holy Toledo

We finally made it to Toledo.  Rod keeps joking that he has been trying to engineer a trip to Toledo on various pretexts since we got here but President kept saying no.  We finally had a good enough reason, taking 10 boxes of copies of the Book of Mormon to the Young Single Adult conference.  Even the Area President said it was Okay.... So we went!!!

On the way we saw these.
These photos are taken from a moving car so patience is appreciated.

The modern ones are there too, just for contrast you understand.

 Toledo used to be the capital of Spain, till 1560.  It still has a medieval flare and has impressive walls around the center of town.  We took a series of 6 escalators just to get to it.

We are much higher than I expected.

I don't think 2 motorcycles could pass on this street. We didn't even try to drive into it and were glad.

You can see the layers of a wall we walked past.

The Cathedral is very impressive!

Notice the chairs for an idea of the scale of this alter piece.

How would you like your tomb to be inside the church?

This was looking up into the vault of the ceiling. 

As we walked down the street we heard an electric saw going and peeked into this man's workshop.   I think it belonged to his father before him.

Some of his work.

This is outside the library.

There are a lot of massive buildings.  That one is across a gorge.

My husband always says those last 3 words to me so I had to photograph it.

80% of the shops sold knives, swords and damasquinado ware.  Look Toledo steel if you don't know about it already.

A cool old door

And a cool new one.  I love the contrasts
I just thought this display was so cool

 I didn't take photos at the conference except this.  The YSA (JAS in Spanish) are the same everywhere.  We loved getting to see some of our returned missionaries and meet their friends.  They are such wonderful young people. 
Thank you for all your prayers and love.  We sure do love you!