Sunday, June 12, 2016

Spain, part 3

I promised to tell you a funny story about my trip, so here it is. The day that we were in Portugal after visiting those two charming hilltop villages our tour leader, Barbara, told us that we would go a little out of our way to see a famous menhir, a large standing upright stone. She said that it was a phallic symbol placed there in ancient days to help in the fertility of the land and well worth seeing because of its antiquity and impressive size.
SO we got on the bus and proceeded to try to find it. After a couple of wrong turns we had to go through a small village, not on a hill top, but with very narrow streets. We came to a corner that we had to turn and that's where the problem began. These tiny streets were not made for big buses and it took us over half an hour with the bus driver jockeying back and forth, at times a mere inch from the buildings. People came out of their houses and stood in the doorways, probably praying that the crazy American tourists would not knock down their homes. Everyone on the bus was holding their breath.
We finally made the turn and traveled a bit further to a small parking lot with the menhir in the near distance. Barbara announced over the loud speaker trying not to laugh, "And there is the largest phallic symbol on the Iberian Peninsula!" The whole bus burst into laughter and I must say there were a lot of ribald comments.
Of course we had to get out of the bus and walk over to get pictures taken. It is 26 feet high and very worn down. You could not read the inscriptions around the base.

Then the bus driver announced that the only way back to the main road was through that same tiny village. The villagers must have thought we were mad to do this all over again. But curiously the driver had no trouble taking that same turn from the opposite direction.

We visited another village one day that was famous for its hand embroidery. Unfortunately it was siesta time and all the shops were closed except one. This beautiful tile picture was on the outside of one of the buildings and it so reminded me of the art work I bought recently, Common Threads.
I sent a picture to the artist, Peggy Dembicer, and she agreed with me. Look at the art piece and you'll see what I mean.

Recently on Quiltart, an online group to which I belong, there was a lengthy discussion about copying and what is truly original. I thought about that when viewing these ancient mosaics at a museum. Don't they all look like present day traditional pieced quilts? So there really is nothing new under the sun!

And with that I will say adios to Spain. I don't have much else to show you since I have been doing next to nothing in my studio and a lot in my garden. Hopefully I'll get back to sewing soon.

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