Monday, October 26, 2009

Of Spain: The Alpujarras

There are no mountains in Latvia. There are only just barely hills. So when your correspondents get out of the country, we do like to see some mountains when we have a chance. Not far from Granada lie the Alpujarras, a high range of relatively gentle peaks - nothing that looked like the Matterhorn, but better than what we find at home. Dotting the area are the most picturesque little whitewashed villages one could hope for, sometimes clinging improbably to the sides of the mountains. We had a great evening in Capileira, enjoying their fantastic food and hospitality, doing some hiking, and taking a dip in a frigid unheated swimming pool.

One of the more noticeable features of Capileira and the neighboring towns was the profusion of hatted chimneys. Each building seemed to have several chimneys like the one below, a whitewashed tube with a sombrero. You can also see the next town down the valley off in the distance, and get a sense of how unlikely the locations are. One has to wonder who it was hundreds of years ago who was wandering the valley and decided that this slanted spot would be perfect to finally settle down and put down some roots.

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