far too much writing, far too many photos

Semana Santa is undeway — Holy Week — apparently a substantially bigger deal here than it is in the States. Centuries of Catholic history may have something to do with that. There are doings around the country in observance of the season, but Sevilla seems to be the major focal point and is famous for the religious processions that take place in these days leading up to Easter. A major ritual — heavy, a bit dark, with a long history. Like Spanish Catholicism.

People are traveling this week. Groups of young Americans and Germans are all over the city center, and many Spaniards take off for other points in the country –- to the coast, to Andalucia, places like that. Tomorrow, in fact, I’ll be among the multitudes heading south to Andalucia as part of a group of five people spread out between two cars, aiming to reach Granada by mid to late afternoon. A brief trip -– down tomorrow, back here Saturday -– the major goal being to check out La Alhambra, something I’ve heard a lot about and want to see while I’m still in country. I’ve also been told that Granada is a fine small city, am looking forward to a taste of it.

I’ve heard a lot about Andalucia in general, now that I think about it, and much of the scuttlebutt piques my interest. People around Madrid sometimes speak less than kindly about Andalucians, same way they do about Barcelona, regional competition and rivalry being as much a phenomenon here as it can be in the States. Andalucians have a reputation for friendliness, but are, according to local legend, untrustworthy, not prone to opening up for friendship of any depth. I’ve also heard they’re generous when it comes to food. More than one person has mentioned that if you buy two or three drinks at a typical Andalucian restaurant/bar/taberna, the complimentary food that comes with the drinks can be close to the equivalent of a meal, or at least the equivalent of three generous helpings of tapas here in Madrid.

Time to see for myself.

I have no idea whether or not I’ll be posting anything here before I get back on Saturday — if I come across a good internet café, I may not be able to help myself. We’ll see.

Be well.

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