Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Very Merry Perry Day

The Sargent clan is well known for it's family days, when we all get together and talk over one another, and just enjoy being in one another's company again. In fact I am looking forward to more of such gatherings when I visit UK in the autumn. But it is not very often that the Perry's get together. Geographically this is more difficult than it is for my side of the family. However, this week, Chris' brother Roy, his wife Susan and her mum Rita, are doing a whistle stop tour of Andalucia, Rita's choice to celebrate her 80th birthday! Roy and Sue live in Phoenix, Arizona and we last saw them seven years ago when Chris and I visited their part of the world to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Chris's sister Mary and her husband Bill live over here in Velez Blanco, which it not too far from here, but we all seem to live busy lives and have not managed to see one another very often. So yesterday, we all travelled to Granada to spend the afternoon together. We set off at 8.00 having fed all the animals an extra large breakfast and given the dogs a huge bone each to keep them busy. It is a lovely drive up to Granada, and when we stopped for a coffee break I took this picture of the last of the snow on the peaks of the distant Sierra Nevada.

We arrived on the outskirts of Granada by 10.30 but then spent nearly another hour driving into the city centre and finding a suitable place to park. We knew that Roy and his party were on an organised trip around the Alhambra Palace in the morning, so we met up with Mary and Bill and went for a stroll to the cathedral. Unfortunately we did a bit too much strolling, and sat for longer than we intended for refreshments on route, so we arrived at the cathedral just as the doors were closing for siesta time...again! (We did the same in Almeria but we'll learn one day!). This photo shows Chris with his sister and brother.

So we had some lunch and went back to the hotel where we met up with Roy and Sue, and as it was getting very wet-looking outside, we sat in the hotel lounge and had a happy afternoon catching up on family news over several cups of decent tea (by Spanish standards anyway!) and coffee. Rita had a rest for the afternoon, but joined us for our last cuppa before we left.

We had intended to leave around 5.00 so we could get home before dark, and before the dogs got too upset by our absence, but in fact it was just after 7.00 when we said 'Goodbye' and went our separate ways. It had rained really hard during the afternoon, but in the evening the sun made a late appearance which we very glad about, as we had no jackets with us, and we had a twenty minute walk back to our car.

Going home the views were amazing. The sky was ever changing, one minute the sun was shining brightly, but we could see layers of low cloud ahead, and the next minute we were driving through the clouds, and out into sunshine again on the other side. The setting sun was shining on the snowy peaks that rose above the cloud layer. Everywhere looked very green after all the rain we have had in April and May. All along the motorway, the centre reservation was alight with bright yellow broom in full flower, and when the sun caught it, it looked so beautiful in contrast with the lowering skies behind it. Further along we saw the area which is 'peopled' by hundreds of wind turbines standing like ghostly giants waving their arms in the mist and clouds. The road, as you can see, was almost empty so we made good time going home, but even so we couldn't get there before dark. We were driving into some very black cloud and expected another downpour, but it never came. It was clear, when we arrived home, that they had also had a lot of rain during the day. The dogs greeted us as if we had been gone for a month, but the cats were curled up in their respective chosen corners, and weren't bothered either way! It was a long journey, and a lot of driving for Chris, but I'm glad we made the effort. It could be several years before we see them all again.

I took too many photos of family and the views to put on here so I will make a small folder on my gallery which you can see by clicking here.
The quality isn't marvellous but seeing as most of them were taken through the car windscreen as we bowled down the motorway, they are not too bad!

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