Thursday, April 16

Pasport renewal and images around the Police Head Quarter

 Yesterday I went to the Police House at Grønland, Oslo, to renew my passport. With a validity of less than 6 months till next trip abroad I thought it was a good idea to do so in time. The numbers of people at the passport office were huge, and I had to wait half an hour although I had booked an appointment some days before.
 It is not often that I visit this part of Oslo. We tried to be tourists in own town last Sunday, but the one hour queue around the City Hall made us change our minds. Maybe this building was one of the recommended visiting spots. Oslo Prison or Botsfengselet
or maybe the church next to the Police Head Quarter, Grønland Church, from 1868. The building is in brick, Romanesque style and has 800 seats.

Sunday, April 12

Dog on red grass - Haakon Bleken

Back in Oslo and the opportunity to see the Norwegian painter Haakon Bleken´s new presentation of paintings at Galleri Brandstrup. This painting has a prize of 250.000 nok. I think it is the exhibition´s best image, but take a look in the gallery´s presentation of his images. Great.

Friday, April 10

Farewell dinner at Myramar

Another Long Stay period is over at Costa del Sol. Today SAS will bring us home to the more chilly spring than here in Fuengirola. Well, we will once more this year experience the coming of warmer times and the beauty of northern lights and fauna.

Six weeks have come to an end and last night we had our farewell dinner here at Myramar with Lillian and Knut who have stayed two more weeks down here. Thanks for the time together and it will be nice to seeing you in October.

Thanks also to Managing Director Carlos and all his staff at Myramar Castle Beach. You always do the best to make this place our second home.

Tuesday, April 7

Another windy day

We do not complain. We know that the wind can be strong at the Coast in Andalusia. Today is therefore just an example of what we are used to during springtime down here. However the wind today was very strong when we passed the  bridge over Rio de Fuengirola this morning.
The river has turned it´s direction.  It is not longer coming from the inland and out to the Mediterranean, it is coming from the ocean and going upwards. The people at the beach are trying to cross the river, but are they brave enough.
The waves toward the beach looks great and spectacular, but going for a swim in this water is out of the question. Take a look at the video below and take part in the scenery we can see at the Fuengirola Beach.

Sunday, April 5

Safety and Security

At Myramar Hotel, Fuengirola we have two very important creatures. The cat Amina and the night security Jose Maria.
The cat is always at our windows in the morning ready to sleep in our sun beds or in some shade areas to act if something extraordinary is happening, and J.M. is watching over us during the nights.

Jose Maria is feeding the cat every evenings (this day in front of our patio) ant this photo shows both of them  in a very happy moment.

Friday, April 3

An evening out in Fuengirola

 This Maundy Thursday we had visitors from Norway in Fuengirola. They are presently staying in Puerto Banus, but an evening in Fuengirola for dinner with us became really pleasant.
Morten, Maya, Fred-Jørgen, Hanne and Bente joined Tullen and me for drinks at Plaza de los Chinorros before moving to our favorite La mejor Taperia a Fuengirola: La Cepa

I am proud to say that our friends really appreciated the food made by senior Jesus Gomez at La Cepa

An evening in Fuengirola during Semana Santa also give an opportunity to see the Pasos (Thrones) and processions through the street.

A Paso (Spanish: "Episode of the Passion of Christ") is an elaborate float made for religious processions. They are carried by porters on staves, like a litter or sedan chair, and are usually followed or escorted by a band. Some have long skirts that cover the bearers entirely, giving the impression that the statue is floating on its own power. The porters are called costaleros, cargadores or portadores and their leader is called a capataz ("Foreman" or "Head Man"). The capataz sets the chicotá, the period of time between a paso being lifted and set down again; the costaleros cannot pick up or set down the paso except by his leave. This is signalled by the llamador ("crier"), a knocker on the front of the float. During Semana Santa ("Holy Week", the week preceding Easter Sunday) the custom is to make pasos adorned with large wooden statues of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, saints and biblical personalities from the Passion.

Tuesday, March 31

Semana Santa in Malaga, Tuesday Processions

This year we decided to extend our stay at Costa del Sol till after Easter because we wanted to see the famous Easter processions through the street of Malaga.This Tuesday there were 6 brotherhood presenting their Thrones (floats), but we were satisfied after two.

But first we had to visit some of Malaga´s best Tapas Bars and Restaurants. The above image is from Meson Iberico, where we started with a drink and a tapa before having an early dinner at El Refectories
Both places can be recommended.
I do not know what to write about the processions. I know too little about religious traditions in Spain, and the people I asked about the costumes could not give a good answer in English. Strange.

However, a lot of people was walking through streets of Malaga carrying religious "things" and symbols covered in different colours. The first "Brotherhood" this Tuesday was covered in purple.
Their great throne was of 2.000 kilo and was carried by 140 men. They moved in intervals of about 30 metre. The beauty of the golden throne was impressive.
The second brotherhood was covered in white and carried a huge throne of Virgin Maria.
All these thrones are made of gold and silver and rather spectacular.

If you are interested in more details about the Holly Week of Malaga , see here:
For more than 500 years, Holy Week of Málaga has been constantly present in the religious and popular feeling of people from Málaga. The Holy Week religious celebrations in Málaga are famous countrywide. Processions start on Palm Sunday and continue until Easter Sunday with the most dramatic and solemn on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Images from the Passion on huge ornate "tronos" (floats or thrones) some weighing more than 5.000 kilos and carried by more than 250 members of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza, shape the processions that go through the streets with penitents dressed in long purple robes, often with pointed hats, followed by women in black carrying candles. Drums and trumpets play solemn music and occasionally someone spontaneously sings a mournful saeta dedicated to the floats as it makes its way slowly round the streets. The Baroque taste of the religious brotherhoods and associations and the great amount of processional materials that they have been accumulating for centuries result in a street stage of exuberant art, full of color and majesty. Although many brotherhoods have been affected by the burning churches of 1931 and an important part of their heritage were destroyed as the trousseau, imagery, and others during the Spanish Civil War, in the years following it revival was slow but these recovered with much greater numbers. Also in the 1970s Cofradías nuevas began to be formed in the city, and some old brotherhoods, which were forgotten, are reorganized by young people as: Salud, Descendimiento, Monte Calvario and many more others to adapt to the changing times. Every year, the Passion Week in Málaga takes out to the streets a real festival perceptible by the five senses: processional thrones carrying images that sway all along the entire route, thousands of penitents lighting and giving colour with their candles and robes, processional marches, as well as aromas of incense and flowers filling the air as the processions pass by and thousands of people crowded to see and applaud their favorite tronos. Holy Week in Málaga is very different from that celebrated in other Andalusian or Spanish places, and those who go to Málaga for the first time will be surprised, as the Passion Week there is not lived with meditation and silence, but it is full of happiness, noise, cheer, spontaneous saetas (flamenco verses sung at the processions) and applause as the images pass by. Some tronos (floats) of Holy Week of Málaga are so huge that they must be housed in other places different from the churches, as they are taller than the entrance doors: real walking chapels of over 5,000 kilos carried by dozens of bearers. There are also military parades playing processional marches or singing their anthems along the route. All of this does not imply a lack of religiosity (nor the opposite though, since not few of the participants consider themselves lapsed catholics), but it is just the particular way that many people from Málaga live their faith, folkloric gustoes and/or feelings during the Holy Week. One of these military celebrations is that of the Spanish Legion, which parades the image of Christ of the Good Death together with the Legion's own military band and Honor guard on Maundy Thursday, very pouplar among tourists, locals, and military veterans.