Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Alcazar en Jerez de la Frontera

Not sure whether to title this:

An inside, unofficial and unique vantage point view of the Alcazar
Locating al KA thr the hard way! (To view the photos that go along with this, go to my facebook album & Jerez de La Frontera.

Today was to be heavy rains all day. During morning class, the sun came out and the temp rose to 61F/16C. So I headed off via Renfe train to Jerez (sherry) de la Frontera (border, poco a poco claiming land back from the Moors centuries ago)

Arriving in Jerez, I discovered no one on the street had a clue what I was saying. Dah, I was using my usual pronunciation - Alcazar. NOPE! After writing it, I was informed by a kind man, it is al KA thr. Takes some practice.

It's a 20 - 25 meander through town. Finally you come upon the back of the Alcazar (castle, fortress.) Now visiting Spain in off season can be a challenge. Guide books & the internet may not help.

The guide book said it was open until 6 p.m in off season. I arrived at 2:30; it closes at 3. I asked to use el bano. Sorry, the bathrooms are inside & you need to buy a ticket. There are public ones nearby.

Travel has taught me to ask many people for the same direction. Seeing two security guards on the Alcazar grounds, they told me 'no.' Use the ones in the museum. They said you do not need a ticket. Use the 2nd entrance.

Ok, this put me in the middle of the museum. So on my way I saw several interesting rooms and paintings. Undaunted I kept going. Reaching the 2nd floor (3rd for us) the receptionist, said, go on up & enjoy the view. De acuerdo!

Having done just that I asked where the men's room was. Quite a mens room it is. Inside the window is floor to ceiling. It has no glass, but bars allowing a great view of one of the inner courtyards and terrace.

Leaving the building, I got to see the gardens. Not bad for no ticket & 25 minutes.

On my way back, I saw a lovely jerez cafe/bar. Half the tables were in the sun, all taken. So I asked an older, to be sure, lady if I could share hers. No problem. So I had my 1st and possibly only local sherry with a tapas plate of tuna marinated in sherry sauce. Great and all for $4.50!

Thanking my host, I made my way back to the train, arriving to downpours in Cadiz! Time now to do laundry. Not a bad afteroon.

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.