Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Almeria, Spain

We arrived in Almeria Sunday morning. The shops were shuttered, the streets quiet as we walked uphill to the cathedral. Constructed in 1524, its a fortresslike structure, a very dark interior w. a mix of Romanesdque & Gothic styles. The windows are high in the walls; the domes in the side chapels add light. Our friend, Val, stayed for mass and told us it must have been a special day as the bishop conducted the mass, and one of the statues was paraded in the church and outside in the square w. great ritual.
Ira and I continued our hike up the narrow winding streets to Alcazaba Fortress and Palaces, a less advertised Alhambra, constructed in the 10th century by the Moors, and destroyed by an earthquake in 1487. There are archeological excavations in many places, and the restoration is evident (see middle photo). Its a beautiful place w. many levels w. eye popping views, each having a water feature, lots of greenery, and decorative inlaid
floors. So many areas, niches, places to explore, and fun to do so with the many families from the area that were enjoying
this serene mountaintop.
Almeria has a lovely park along its coastline. Sculptures, play areas, fountains and many benches are
included and there were many large social gatherings, everybody seemed to be talking at one time, at various places
as we strolled back to our ship.

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