Thursday, January 14, 2010

Granada Part 1

Hey friends,
I'm freshly back from a Christmas Vacation in Spain with Nick and his family, and I'm pumped to send the pictures I've taken out into the internet. As I edit through these photos, I'm realizing that I've spent the greater part of the past two and a half weeks looking through my viewfinder. Editing is not coming easy, so I'm likely going to post way too many pictures over the next few days.

Spain was beautiful but cold -- unseasonably cold -- having been hit by a deep freeze that preoccupied two weeks of Euro-CNN news coverage. Oranges on trees in Florida, school children were kept out of class throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and we rarely experienced temperatures above 10 C. As a consequence, I've returned home with the Spanish Flu. Sure it's not the Spanish Flu, but it certainly is a Spanish Flu imported from Spain. Due to the typically temperate climate, and the staggering cost of electricity, most residences and hotels in Spain opt out of centralized heating systems. After going to bed with wet hair one night, in an off-season hotel room in Malaga, my nose won't stop running, and my head feels kind of like a hacky sack. But aside from my weakened immune system, the result of Spain's relationship to electricity is kind of inspiring. It seems most Europeans are forced to be much more cognizant of their energy consumption, then we in North America (inspite of our best efforts) tend to be. For example, Ben's apartment in Grenada, where we stayed for about a week, heats water and runs its stoves and the occasional space heater with the same propane gas tanks that we use in Canada to run our barbecues. Each tank has to be ordered and delivered up to three days in advance, at no small expense. As a consequence few consider leaving a light on, let alone installing an electric clothes dryer.

Anyways, here are the first batch of pictures from Grenada, a small town in the South of Spain the feels like the setting for a Disney film. For posterity, I threw in a few poorly exposed shots of Ben's apartment. In the basement of a very old housing complex, it looks like the building's original cellar, but feels more like a cave in the side of a very cold mountain. There are many more pictures to come, but I took so many that I quickly maxed out my memory card, so for the time being they're stuck in New Orleans, waiting to be uploaded for me to a dropbox. Most of these are from the Alhambra, and huge and beautiful islamic castle in Grenada. Its architecture is serene and awe inspiring, and its ornate Islamic designs are only occasionally interupted with the mundane Catholic decors of its Spanish conquerors.

There they are. I've been trying to improve my photography skills, so any criticism or advice would be greatly appreciated.