Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We spent several days on the farm, living in a camper van, and doing labor like pouring cement, filling in the cracks between tiles, planting trees and painting a room. Kim loved it, though I thought the setup reeked of "free labor." For me, at least, it was a chance to catch up on all of my audiobooks on my ipod as we spent the days painting .... I've "read" a lot since coming here!

Yesterday we left the farm and went to Granada, an old Muslim city in southern Spain that was ruled by the Moors since late 600 A.D. until the Catholics conquered it in 1492. Its architecture, food, art, and people resemble that blend of Moorish and Christian-Inquisition-Renaissance heritage, making it an incredibly culturally diverse city (it was common to see street signs written in several languages, including Arabic, English, Spanish and something that I can only assume was probably Portugese?)
We spent the day in Granada .... I wandered through the fortress compounds and strolled through tea stalls while Kim documented plants .... and took a late bus back to Madrid, buzzing into the apartment at midnight.

Today I'm heading to another art musuem (the last of Madrid's "big three") while Kim spends the day at the park.

Tomorrow morning, my parents arrive! They're visiting for a week, and it'll be strange to do the "vacation" thing ..... staying at hotels .... eating at restaurants .... all the fancy stuff! We were planning on going together to San Sebastian, a beach town in the north, but last Thursday, two bombs exploded in San Sebastian, so we decided to re-route. Looks like we missed the bombing by a week! No one was hurt, and all in all, Spain seems pretty safe, theft notwithstanding.