Monday, June 29, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
This photo was taken from the train, these are olive groves with the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. We saw mile upon mile of olive groves as we travelled.
The Moorish influence in Granada is still very much in evidence. After dinner we wandered up through the narrow streets of the Albaicin - the old Moorish quarter of Granada. It is filled with tiny shops, places to eat and places like this where you can have a coffee and also partake of the delights of a hookah! Needless to say Juliette insisted on trying it while I had a glass of mint tea. The herbal mixture that she had was quite pleasant but it wasn't a new experience for me as I've tried the hookah when I was in Jordan some years ago.
All my photos of it are from this odd angle so I think it must have been because the sun was shining directly into the camera if I stood square on.
The lovely Fountain of the Lions stands in the centre of the courtyard and was carved sometime between the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century. The symbolism is from pre-Christian civilizations - the lion with water flowing from its mouth represents the sun from which all life springs. The twelve lions represent the suns of the zodiac - I haven't made a typing error here, the word is suns and not signs:) This is another photo where I waited ages until it was relatively free of people. When that happens you have to be quick before the next lot emerge!
This may or may not be the Mirador of Lindaraja overlooking the garden of Lindaraja. It's really beautiful anyway.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
This is one of the frescos in close up - I have no idea what it represents but my guess would be that it is a saint.
There are two lovely gardens called, with a distinct lack of imagination, the large garden and the small garden. The large garden is a courtyard garden which is laid out like a parterre with a central fountain and has two Italianate loggias with triple arcades set along the surrounding walls. The loggias have several niches containing classical statues.
Bacchus isn't very clear in the previous photo so here's a closer view of him.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Throughout this year a series of events is taking place celebrating 'Ruskin in Sheffield'. The Ruskin in question being John Ruskin the celebrated Victorian art critic and philanthropist. Over the last weekend there have been three performance walks around Totley where, in 1877, Ruskin bought St George's Farm which was to be worked communally by a group of working men and their families from the heavily industrialized city of Sheffield. The performance, which was written by my friend Sally Goldsmith, also included other well known local characters who were connected with Totley and the surrounding area between 1877 and the early 1950s. I went on the final walk on a rather wet and dismal Sunday afternoon. The photo above is St George's Farm as it is today, we were privileged to see it as it isn't visible from the road and the current owners value their privacy. The earliest record that Alan, the current owner, has found is for 1802 but it is older than that I think. He also told me that originally there were three dwellings here, the main farmhouse and two labourer's cottages. I should say here that the experiment with farming was not a howling success and the experiment came to an end in 1885. This is just a record of the walk and one or two of the characters we met on the way round but if anyone is interested there is an article on Totley History Group's website which will tell you more about both Ruskin and the experiment with farming.
article on the history group website written by one of our members whose aunt was Harry Brearley's secretary
Ethel Haythornthwaite founded the Sheffield Association for the Protection of Local Scenery in 1924 which in 1927 became the Sheffield and Peak District Committee of CPRE. She and her husband saved areas such as Edale, Mam Tor and Blackamoor from development and were instrumental in establishing the Peak District as the UK's first National Park in 1951.
In spite of the weather the whole walk was great fun and I now know the route down from Woodthorpe Hall to Gillfield Wood - I knew it existed but I've never found the entrance off the lane before and always had to walk further up to Fanshawegate Hall and down through the fields from there. Oh and the title - boots for Bert Ward and the Clarion Ramblers, Fresh Air for all the outdoor activities and Ginger Beer - well I don't know quite why Sally chose that but it's a jolly good drink to take on a picnic:)