Easter Processions – KKK

 

Easter week has arrived, which means that in all the big towns and small villages around Spain there will be Easter processions and bands marching. It has a special atmosphere and is a great experience. As many other foreigners brought up with American movies like Mississippi Burning, I almost choked on an Easter egg the first time I saw a real Spanish Easter procession.

One of the most striking spectacles of the festival are the Nazareños, or penitents, who walk along with the float, in their tall, pointy hoods and long robes with their faces completely covered, apart from their eyes. The sight of these slow-moving unidentifiable figures in these ghostly, alarming costumes can be a little unsettling due to similarity to the costumes of the Ku Klux Klan.

Despite this, there are no connection whatsoever between the two. In Spain the origin of the hood or cap is at the beginning of the Inquisition, when people who were punished for religious reasons were imposed the requirement to wear a garment of cloth to cover their chest and back. Later also to be used at the Easter processions to be able to mourn in privacy. The last day, Sunday they take off the hood to symbolise that the time of mourning is over. It is believed, that members of the KKK later copied the costume after witnessing a procession.

But  still, it is a chilling sight when the Nazarenos slowly move down the street and in sync with the gloomy music.

   

Our daugther’s confirmation, – we have a priest, but not a church!

konfirmation

When our daughter, Thea, was nine all her class mates celebrated communion. She got invited to various parties, but she wondered why she was deprived of her own celebration. Being Protestants in a country where the majority are Catholics, we explained, as well as we could, about the difference between the two religions. We promised her, if she, when time came, wanted to be confirmed, she too could have her party. Not being from a very religious family, we actually thought, that she would forget all about it.

But the day came where she proclaimed she was ready for her confirmation and everything that it implies…. She feels it is a part of being Danish. But off course, you don’t just have a big party and that’s it. We now needed a priest and a church! What we thought would be the hardest part, was actually the easiest.

Because of the big Danish shipping company with a base on Costa del Sol, we quickly came in contact with this amazing sailor’s priest who would take the time and drive all the way up to us every second Saturday to teach Thea about the meaning of confirmation.  During his career he has, amongst other jobs, been send out as army chaplain in Iraq and Afghanistan, which means that beside his interesting stories, he has a huge patience for all our questions.

Now we just need a church! The closest Danish church is 2, 5 hours’ drive from where we live, which is a really long drive for a 30 minutes ceremony. So we were sure we could borrow or rent one of the many small local churches in our area. … well, that was more tricky than we had ever thought. Everywhere the local priests gave us the same answer. “Ask the bishop in Cadiz!!!”

Kim, our priest, has tried to get in contact with the bishop without any luck.  But can a Catholic borrow/rent a Protestant church in Denmark? I don’t know, but I can’t see what the problem is. Our religions are not that different. We worship the same God.  And no, as some of Theas friends thought; to be a Protestant doesn’t mean that we protest against God!!

Well, Kim came up with a solution. In case we won’t be able to find a church we have been given permission from a Danish bishop to have the confirmation here at home, –  in the restaurant.  Just imagine, putting a cross and candlelight up on the bar desk, next to the draft beer tap!!

Beaches of Cádiz!!!

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Caños de Meca.

Yet another day with heavy rain. I’m longing for a day at the beach, not just for a swim or to get a tan, but to go for a walk, maybe play a bit of football:-)

This some of the beaches on Costa de la Luz:

SONY DSC

Playa Zahora. Photo: Marcel Dykiert

on the beach

Football on the beach. Photo: Lykke Rump

Strait and Baleo Claudia, daly

Bolonia. Photo: Stephen Daly

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Conil de la Frontera. Photo: Marcel Dykiert

hierbabuena Barbate, daly_

Hierbabuena , Barbate. Photo: Stephen Daly

How lucky am I?

   

DIY: Photo frame

Ramme

I found an old wooden window frame, which I thoroughly cleaned, treated for wood worms with diesel and at last gave it a thick layer of dark grey oil paint. Then it was ready as a photo frame for this cool print from Naranjas Chinas.

This Spanish company makes some really nice retro-style prints. Besides prints, they make T-shirts, badges, post cards, shoppping bags… Quite often with English texts! See: http://naranjaschinas.com/

påvæg

In kids room

 

Sweeten up your Monday with a piece of cake, – and it is really easy to make…

kanel-kardemomme kage

Cinnamon & cardamom cake

175 grams sugar
225 grams butter (soft)
2 eggs
275 grams flour
2 tea spoon vanilla sugar
1 tea spoon baking powder
½ tea spoon baking soda
1 dl milk
1½ dl Greek yogurt

 Topping:

75 grams sugar
1 spoonful cinnamon
1 spoonful cardamom

Beat sugar and butter together until the mass is white, add eggs. Mix the dry ingredients together and mix gently together with the sugar / butter mass in turns with milk and finally the yoghurt.

When everything is well mixed, pour it into a greased baking tin.

Now make the topping by mixing sugar, cinnamon and cardamom and pour it on top of the cake. Fold the spiced sugar careful around the dough with a spoon, so it is well distributed and still visible. It will make the cake have a marble look effect…

Bake the cake at 175 degrees for about 50 minutes and let it cool in the tin.

Enjoy!!

   

Sierra Nevada; the most southerly ski resort in Europe

Sierra_Nevada_Fargue

The road trip to Sierra Nevada was incredible. Driving through olive groves and passing pink almond trees in full bloom, the temperature read 23 degrees. It felt unreal that we were only an hours drive from the ski resort. But there it was, the huge white mountain range right in front of us: Sierra Nevada.

The mountain range is situated in the region of Andalucía, provinces of Granada and Almería. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3,478 metres (11,411 ft) above sea level and as we drove up the temperature dropped one degree every 160 meter. (David have been taught this atmospheric rule in school;-)) Because the resort  is that close to the Mediterranean Sea, it is known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. And warm and sunny it was: All three days we were skiing in barely anything, and being used to skiing in Norway, Sweden or Austria, it was incredible. Enjoying our lunch every day outside on the terrace, it felt like being on holiday by Mediterranean Sea.

We had a great trip, had excellent service everywhere, the village Sierra Nevada is beautifully situated with amazing views and the slopes have a good mix of difficulty levels.

Facts:

Total length of marked slopes: 105.6 Km

Total of slopes:

Green 18

Blue 42

Red 53

Black 7

The kids ending up being really good at skiing, after 3days with 2 hours in ski school. Skiing lessons: www.sierranevadaescuela.com/

We rented an apartment with: http://www.apartamentoshabitat.com/

Breaking a front tooth, – or two…..

Før

Before. -Two broken teeth:-(

efter1

After. – Two new teeth!!

Why does it always happen when it is most inconvenient?? But then again, is there any time when it is convenient for your son to fall and break both his front teeth? It is definitely not at Sunday lunch time on a beautiful sunny day, when your restaurant is open and full of guests. But that was what happened. He didn’t do anything really crazy. He just slipped, fell and the teeth took the fall, and not even any blood was spilled. But his two beautiful big front teeth were ruined. I almost cried more than he did… He didn’t really cry. He was just sad, thinking what would happen with our planned skiing holiday. Yes, as I mentioned, it was a very inconvenient moment. Our car was packed because our plan was to leave right after opening hours. We would drive up to the mountains and enjoy a 4-days skiing holiday with the kids in Sierra Nevada. Change of plans!!!

Monday morning, with the car still packed for the holiday, we were in our dentist waiting room first thing. At 10:15 David was seated in the dentist chair, x-ray was made and our dentist started moulding new teeth. “We see this so often. Especially in the summertime, when kids run around the pool!!!” she explained. 45 minutes and 140 euros later David was ready for his skiing holiday with two new good looking teeth.

It is incredible that this could be done so quickly. The dentist is not a private practice. In Spain children until 18 years have free dental control included cleaning, fillings etc. You pay for extras, like in this case damage by fall. But hey, 140 euros, is not that much for two new teeth. We were all really relieved and grateful for the excellent service, we were given.

He hasn’t had any pain since the teeth got fixed. In 4 weeks he has a check-up, to make sure that the most damaged tooth hasn’t died and will turn black. Let’s hope for the best.

Scherning.dk

I really like these earrings made by the Danish designer Mette Scherning. The first time I visited her shop in Copenhagen, I came out without buying anything. I had to leave the shop totally frustrated because I couldn’t decide which ones to buy. I wanted them all!!!

These are just a few of my favourites.

Check out her webpage: www.scherning.dk

   

Granny was onto something right…(sherry)

verdad sherry foto

PX, Morenita (cream), Marques de Rodil (Palo Cortado), La Panesa (Fino especial). All from Bodega Emilio Hidalgo, Jerez de la Frontera.

I’m sure that many of you, when you hear the word “sherry”, start thinking about a nasty, sweet wine your grandmother or another old lady of your childhood was drinking. But sherry is a lot more than that, and it is a shame, that it is so “uncool” to drink. A friend and sherry expert even suggests, that it marketing-wise would be smart to change the name “sherry” to something else to prevent people’s prejudice before trying this wonderful wine from Southern Spain. But now, finally, sherry is getting more and more attention. Sherry bars are popping up in many cities all over the world and wine experts praise sherry very highly. Sherry is made in the Cadiz province, in the área between Jerez de la Frontera, San Lucar de Barrameda and Puerto de Santa María, where it is a wine making tradition that goes back 3000 years. There are many kinds of sherries; a wide range from really, really sweet to ultra-dry.

My favourites are the dry ones. The dry sherries are perfect with fish, sea food, cured ham and any kinds of food prepared in the deep fryer, where it freshens up and cleans your palette.  My new favourite pairing is sushi & sherry, which is quite lucky, since the new food market in Vejer has a sushi take-away and sherry bar just opposite each other….:-)

My first “sherry-crush” was on an old fino…. “La Panesa – fino especial”. It is a dry sherry with a lot of volume and a nutty flavour from the winery Bodega Emilio Hidalgo. This small family bodega dates back to mid 1800. It is a family with a great traditions and passion for their trade and offers many beautiful wines amongst others an exquisite sweet sherry, Morenita, which is a mix of Oloroso and Pedro Jimenez. http://www.hidalgo.com/

Are you not familiar with the world of sherries, but would like to know more, I can recommend this video, which explains about the wine making, the different types of sherries, pairing and more in only 9,5 minutes:

You should make it one of the things you have to try out in 2015. If you are not planning on visiting the Spanish sherry area, then go to your local wine shop and ask for advice. I’m sure that you will find that these old women weren’t that wrong after all;-)

Photo: Lykke Rump

Integration

Ungerne

New kids on the block… (Ours are the blonde ones;-))

Integration has always meant a lot for us and to succeed the minimum requirement is to learn the language. We have also chosen to send the kids to a public school, instead of an international school. All the children from our village take the school bus up to Vejer, which means that our children, go to school with the same children, as they play with after school hours. This has meant a lot for the integration in the local community and we have so far been happy with their schools, even though it is very different from the Danish school system. Besides going to the local school, they also have after school activities. But the main reason for a good integration has been our neighbours. They have been overwhelmingly welcoming towards us and that goes for the Spanish people in general.  They are very open towards foreigners, definitely an example other nationalities can learn from.

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The other day I was in the garden hanging up clothes to dry. Two boys passed by on their bikes. One of them is here from the village, the other on visit. Passing the garden, without being able to see me because of the garden wall, the local boy said: “David lives in that house…” after a pause ”.. – his parents are foreigners.” It made me so happy. I know that our kids are accepted as equals to their Spanish friends, but still, that sentence just made my day and assured me that the integration is going well.

Photo: Lykke Rump