Friday, August 14, 2015

Finding Our Lady of the O - Rota, Spain

Once I had my bicycle back together, I began exploring immediately!  I found my way to the old town and meandered up a nearby hill to scout out what I could see within the skyline.  A bell tower adorned with a cross caught my eye and I then headed down hill to check it out!  Easier said than done.  Once I rode down along the shoreline drive, the maze of old streets began.  Finding my once easily spotted features became impossible in the narrow streets with buildings three stories high.  Not only that, a majority of the streets are one direction and I found myself much further from where I needed to be quite quickly!  After going in a few odd shaped circles, I decided to go the a way that I had not tried yet - the wrong way down a one way "path".  There was no way that cars could possibly use this street as narrow as it was but to my surprise about half way down comes a compact car.  I lucked out and came onto a large doorway and ducked in to let them pass by without an issue!  Then, after that, I continued down to come upon a plaza that I had not encountered yet and made my way down a few bending streets.  Behold!  What I had been searching for had finally been found after what seemed to be hours!  

But, naturally with my luck, I made this discovery during the siesta time and would have to come back in a few hours to see what await on the inside!  In the meantime, I found other ways that were more legal for my return route and decided to acquire some Spanish sun on the beach with a friend.  After our time on the beach, we headed back to her top floor apartment to relax when the sound of horse hooves filled the air.  I got excited as a kid on Christmas morning after we realized it was a wedding carriage!  Scrambling to get to my camera on the polished marble floor, I was skating in a fury to and fro!  In the end, I missed my opportunity to see the carriage in action but later found it at the church!  Sure enough, the couple that were ridding down the cobblestone streets earlier were committing their vows to each other when I passed through the old wooden doors of the Church of Our Lady of the O.  As I entered the church, the mix of architectural styles surprised me of what seemed to be a simple Hispanola Gothic style exterior.  The interior held styles from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque all meshing together in their own way throughout the nave and side chapels.  Notably, the chapel pictured above is the one that truly captivated my attention as I was lost in the elaborate tile work and finite detail of all this incredible place held within it's small space.  Stepping out into the grand interior of the nave but remaining undetected from the ongoing wedding ceremony, the altar was what caught my eye from the opposite end of the sanctuary!  Tremendous craftsmanship went into the detailed paneling that fills the sanctuary with a warm feeling of the rich tones of the wood contrasting to the stone vaults hanging high above the witnesses to the marriage to two young Spaniards on their happiest day.

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