Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Procesión El Cautivo (The Captive)

Leaving the house at about 11.30pm last night, I wanted to catch the return of the first major procession of Semana Santa (Holy Week) that had started out from the Plaza de Socorro at 8pm. Pictured right are the "Nazareños", who in different tunics accompany each procession throughout the week.

I met the procession at the Plaza de Andalucia unfortunately just as the rain started.

There was obvious concern amongst the "costaleros" supporting the paso (platform) that the rain would cause damage to the statue of the captive Jesus.

A decision was made to cover the paso in a plastic sheet.

It was a real shame for all concerned that the weather had intervened, in particular for the participants of the parade.

Perth beware...!!

It didn't take him long to swap that walking stick for a surfboard !!.
Here a couple of pictures kindly sent by Gerry's daughter Sharon that I know will be of interest to quite a few of us both here in Olvera and in the UK.
After a long journey, leaving Spain on Friday afternoon, our good friend Gerry arrived safely in Perth at about 3pm (european time) on Monday, after stopovers in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
I have no doubt that all who know him wish him well in his new life in Oz.
Gone from us he may be but he'll certainly not be forgotten.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions

The Ayuntamiento have just published the dates and times here of the seven processions taking place during Semana Santa (Holy Week), a festival declared of Tourist Interest in Andalucia.
I have endeavoured to translate the website below and hope that it may be useful to residents and visitors alike but as always for accuracy please refer to the link above to the Ayuntamiento website.
There is also an interesting history on the website here about each procession, the pasos (platforms) and the brotherhoods associated with them. In spanish of course but a reasonable translation can be obtained using Google Translator if required. As follows:

Easter Sunday March 28th at 10.30am in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The Blessing of Ramos followed by a procession down Calle Llana to the Church of Victoria.

Easter Monday March 29th. Starting time 20.00hrs. The Procession of The Captive. Starting point: The Church of Socorro. Route: Plaza del Socorro, Calles Salada, Socorro, Sevilla, Plaza Arias, Tafetanes, Vieja, Pilar, Plaza Alfareria, Almería, Nueva, Victoria, Llana, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Azuaga, Partida, San Ildefonso, Salada and returning at about 02:30hrs to the Plaza del Socorro.

Tuesday March 30th. Starting at 23.00hrs. The Procession of Penance in complete silence and only for men. Starting point: Church of Victoria on Calle Llana. Route: Calles Llana, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Azuaga, Partida, Pozo, Maestro Amado, Cervantes, Los Cantillos, Llana, returning to the Church of Victoria.

Wednesday March 31st. Starting at 21.00hrs.The Procession of our Christ of Love. Starting point: Residencia Escolar Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios (behind the Guardia Civil building). Route: Calles Ramón y Cajal, Manual de Falla, Plaza Fuente Nueva, Plaza de la Concordia, Calvario, Victoria, Llana, Calzada and ending at the Plaza de la Iglesia at the top of town.

Thursday 1st April. Starting at 06.00am. The Procession and Our Lady of Sorrows. Starting point: The Plaza de la Iglesia. Route: Plaza de la Iglesia, Calles Calzada, Maestro Amado, Pulido, Carmona, Vieja, Pilar, Plaza Alfareria, Vereda Ancha, Plaza Fuente Nueva, Plaza de la Concordia, Calvario, Victoria, Llana, Calzada, returning to the Plaza de la Iglesia at approximately 13.00hrs.

Starting at 20.30hrs on the 1st April. The Procession of the True Cross. Starting point: The Plaza de la Iglesia. Route: The Plaza de la Iglesia, Calles Calzado, Llana, Victoria, Calvario, El Gastor, Encarnación, Plaza Fuente Nueva, Plaza de la Concordia, Calvario, Victoria, Llana, Calzado, returning to the Plaza de la Iglesia in the early hours of the morning.

Friday April 2nd. Starting at 20.30hrs. The Procession of the Holy Burial. Starting point: The Plaza de la Iglesia. Route: Plaza de la Iglesia, Calles Calzada, Llana, Pico, Mercado, Calvario, El Gastor, Encarnación, Plaza Fuente Nueva, Plaza de la Concordia, Calvario, Victoria, Llana, Calzada,, returning to the Plaza de la Iglesia in the early hours of the morning.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A bonza do for a great cobber

Fair dinkum, we all gathered today at the Bar Copacabana to wish our good mate Gerry, one of the most generous and genuine guys you could ever meet, farewell on his journey to Australia to be with his daughter Sharon and family in Perth.
No apologies for the number of pictures, he's worth every one.

It was a strangely sad but also happy occasion and many friends were present to wish him all the best in this new adventure in his life. Here with our good friend Bill.

No doubt talking over a few ripper yarns,and believe me he has a few to tell, with good mates Mel and Bill.

Our mutual friend Clara and her partner Sergio were welcome guests. Clara works at the La Caixa bank in Olvera and, as always, has been very helpful and a bonza mate in recent transactions for Gerry and continues to be so for us whinging poms left here in Olvera. She definately deserves recognition and promotion (if you read this Clara, that's gotta be worth a good interest rate on our savings account !!.).

......and make sure you pay off that overdraft before you leave the country !!.
My lovely Anne with our good friend Gerry.
A rare picture of us both together.

Our lovely friend Eileen, who put so much effort into the organisation and made all the arrangements for the party to happen.

A great mate who will be sadly missed but who leaves us with so many fond and happy memories.

Alan, Shayne and Austin.

Great friends of Gerry are Mel and Bill, who as a surprise flew over especially from the UK to be at the party with their mate Gerry.

Gerry with Juan and Ana, owners of the bar, who did a brilliant job of laying on the tucker and grog at the party. Fantastic paella.

What else can we say Gerry but we all wish you well on your journey and your new life in Oz. We hope you have a beaut time and don't forget us here in Olvera while you're splashing around on the beach in Perth, eyeing up the sheila's and downing those (non alcoholic) tinnies. You've been a great mate and we'll miss you loads.
G'day and best wishes from us all.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Two weeks to go

Only two weeks to go now until the digital switchover and the help centre van was parked in the market this morning handing out advice and leaflets.
The weather today is slightly overcast but still warm at about 20°C.

Quite a few people were out and about looking over the many stalls.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Strolling in the sunshine

Undaunted by the temporary closure of the Via Verde, I decided to walk to the Sanctuary of Los Remedios, the beautiful Church of the patron saint of Olvera, the origin of which dates back to the 16th century.
The pedestrianised route starts from the trading estate on the edge of town and winds its way up to the Church, two kilometres or so distant.

Although we have walked this way a few times, today was the first time that I have noticed the "Lavadero de Pino" (Pine Laundry), the washing and laundry building used in the old days by the good folk of Olvera.

Fed by a clear, fresh water spring, it still looks good enough to be in use today. Note the "scrubbing" places at the waters edge.
If ever your washing machine breaks down......!

The Sanctuario de Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios, without doubt one of the most beautifully decorated Churches that we have ever seen in Andalucia.

Inside is a lovely patio area, adorned with murals, paintings and religious artefacts.
The ceiling paintings are stunning. Unfortunately, photography within the chapel itself is prohibited but if you are ever in the area, a visit here would be more than worthwhile.
The monument outside the Church, dedicated to all who have contributed to the care of the Sanctuary over the last five centuries.

The view to Olvera from the Sanctuary.

The Green (no) Way

On another lovely sunny morning, I drove down to the Estación de Olvera (pictured right), now a bar and restaurant, intending to walk a few kilometres along the Via Verde, also known as the Green Way.
However it was not to be as a pleasant young woman, one of the volunteer wardens, advised me that the route was blocked due to landslides caused by the recent rains and that access from Olvera was closed.

So I had a walk around the Estación taking note of the new accommodation blocks that have recently been completed to what looks like a very high standard, in particular the glass partitions depicting views along the Via Verde.

The view north towards Pruna from outside the restaurant.

The newly re-furbished exercise area outside the station building.
The official Via Verde website here gives a lot more information and the options on the left of the home page can be selected in English if required.