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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Summer in the city: Fiesta! 
12th-Aug-2012 03:06 pm

In Madrid, the August fiestas are underway: earlier this week, San Cayetano; then San Lorenzo; and from August 12 to 15, the big one, La Virgen de la Paloma. These are the traditional fiestas held in the oldest neighborhoods of the city. The official tourist website describes them here in English:

Last night, it was 95ºF at 10 p.m., and the San Lorenzo fiesta was gearing up with music, food, and drink in the Lavapiés neighborhood. My photos:

Plaza de Lavapiés.

Argumosa Street. The dragon advertises a stand selling grilled meats and fried foods.

The band Ynterceptor.

— Sue Burke

12th-Aug-2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
Somehow we timed our visit to Iberia so that we're missing every religious festival...perhpas next time ;o)
13th-Aug-2012 08:27 am (UTC)
When are you coming and what cities are you visiting? There's always something happening.
13th-Aug-2012 12:56 pm (UTC)
October ;o) We're coming into Madrid. We haven't really decided where we'll go in Spain, but we'll probably have about a week in Spain.

Then were heading to Portugal for about 12 days. (My novels are set in Portugal, so Portugal gets priority.) We're purchasing an Iberia rail pass, so we should be able to move about pretty freely.

We'll be home before Nov 1, so we'll miss that, too...
13th-Aug-2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
Well, there's Día de Hispanidad on October 12, which features the world's best military parade, but other than that, you have indeed missed the holidays. That might be just as well, since a lot of things to do close or have limited hours on holidays. But there's still lots to do.
13th-Aug-2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
That's what we're hoping ;o)
13th-Aug-2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
Looks like fun!
17th-Aug-2012 05:16 am (UTC)
Sue, Thanks for sharing those colorful festival pictures. Looks like fun. I see that you're much hotter there in Spain than here in Florida. Is that normal for this time of year?
17th-Aug-2012 08:23 am (UTC)
Summer heat waves are pretty normal here in Spain. In fact, another one is arriving today, 103º today and 106º tomorrow. (Salads are on the menu, since we have air conditioning only in the room we use as a home office, to protect the computers.)

The heat usually comes from the south, from the Sahara Desert, and today the heat should be accompanied by very dusty air from the desert sand, which will leave reddish-tan dust all over the house.

But that's better than ashes from forest fires, and this has been a terrible year for fires. The problem started with a severe winter drought, with warm temperatures and little or no rain, although winter is wettest time of the year here, sometimes with almost daily drizzle. The spring was warm and dry. Summer is average and dry.

Some crops have failed, and overall, the cereal harvest is down 30% -- and Spain is a big wheat producer. They're harvesting grapes now, which is a month early. The only positive thing is that wine from years of drought tends to be of exceptionally good quality, although the overall volume will be reduced.

In short, the heat is normal, the drought is not. In a few towns in east-central Spain, water is being trucked in because the wells are dry. But these same trucks are used to fight forest fires, so the water supply to the towns is not assured.
17th-Aug-2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! I didn't realize how bad it was there--and how similar it is to what's happening in the west and midwest here, though we're beginning to cool down up north at least (cold front). Since it's the rainy season in Florida, our rain chances are better, although it varies a lot, and here in the city, we have to pay for our water.
23rd-Aug-2012 03:26 am (UTC)
Did the remnants of Gordon make it to Portugal and Spain? I was hoping you'd get some rain from it. Here they're focusing on Tropical Storm Isaac and the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
23rd-Aug-2012 08:23 am (UTC)
I was excited by the news Gordon was headed this way. I was in Vigo, Spain, on the Atlantic coast, when Hurricane Wilma struck in 2005. I was there for the Portuguese-Spanish SF convention, and it was a weekend of downpour. But Gordon hit the Azores Islands in the Atlantic and is now dispersing. It won't do much for Spain, alas. The ten-day forecast for Madrid is sunny, sunny, sunny, 0% chance of rain.

As for the Republican National Convention, well, I'm solidly on the opposite side of the fence, but I wish them safety. I'm no angel, though, so I wouldn't mind if they were inconvenienced.
23rd-Aug-2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Drat! I was hoping you'd get some rain, but maybe the forecast is wrong. Sometimes it is here...

I know what you mean re: RNC, but I feel for the Tampa businesses that were so happy--restaurants, florists, and caterers, etc. (I saw the florists and caterers preparing on a local news segment.)
23rd-Aug-2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, conventions are good for business. I heard that the Cousin's Sub Shop next to last year's WorldCon won an award for the shop with the highest single weekend sales. Fen love subs, apparently.
23rd-Aug-2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
Cool idea--the award. Subs are good--and possibly cheaper than most hotel restaurants.
23rd-Aug-2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
Btw, I just noticed the Espana stamp in the top right hand corner of your page. Very nice!
24th-Aug-2012 04:59 am (UTC)
Mountains of oregano.
25th-Aug-2012 01:43 am (UTC)
I wondered about that. I enjoy a fun connection with names. Thanks!
26th-Aug-2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
Here's what Mount Oregano means:

26th-Aug-2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
I like that saying! And that is a beautiful picture. Thank you! So, there is no mountain named Oregano?
27th-Aug-2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
Nope. Sleeping Woman and Pile of Wheat are two mountains near Madrid, and there's a long folk-tale involving Greek gods about their name, but I'm visiting relatives in Milwaukee right now and don't have the mountain hiking guidebook handy.
27th-Aug-2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
Oops. That was me.
27th-Aug-2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Intersting names. Enjoy your visit.
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