Monday, May 30, 2016

Unrenewed. Next Stop, Columbus.

Our experience at the Foreigners Office this morning was a pleasure. But we needed copies of our passports that expired last year and the US consulate did not return them when they sent us our new passports. So, now, in lieu of those passports, we have to go back within 10 days with documentation that shows we were living here for the seven months not covered between the last copy of our old passports and the start of our current passports — utility bills, monthly payments, etc. If we had our old passports, this would be a breeze. Now it's just a bit of searching, downloading, and copying. The requirement is that, in our first 5 years here, we may not have been out of the country for more than 3 months at any one time or for a total of 10 months over the entire 5 years. We haven't. Now we just have to document what's missing. Still, I have tremendous appreciation for Málaga's Oficina de Extranjeros! Even the security guards were kind and professional.

THE TOMB OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
IN SEVILLA CATHEDRAL.
Colomares Castle in Benalmádena was begun in 1987 and completed in 1994. It was built by a retired American, Esteban Martín Martín, to honor Christopher Columbus.

Martín claimed to be disappointed by the lack of homage paid to Columbus.

I wonder, did he not read his history books?

I had never heard of the castle and discovered it (kind of like Columbus discovered America), when admiring the view from up above in Benalmádena Pueblo. It wasn't until I got home that I learned what it actually was.

Promoters of the castle claim that it contains the Guinness Book of World Records' smallest church. The church is said to be 1.96 square meters (6.43 square feet). However, I cannot substantiate their claim anywhere other than in information provided by the promoters of Colomares Castle.

Alongside what is probably not the world's smallest church is an empty mausoleum in which, I've read, Martín hoped Columbus's remains would one day be re-laid to rest. Not likely.

In addition to his apparent adoration of Columbus, Martín was a huge admirer of the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. I don't think I'll be investing my 2 euros to visit this castle (of which you can only see the exterior).

MY FIRST SIGHTING. WHAT IS THAT?
WORKING MY WAY AROUND FOR A MORE COMPLETE VIEW. 
THIS IS PROBABLY AS CLOSE AS I'LL EVER GET.
(UNLESS I GET A BETTER ZOOM LENS.)

14 comments:

  1. Always a hiccup or 3 to continue the excursion to becoming permanent,eh!?

    Small church, I'd say!

    Save your euros!!

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    Replies
    1. Ron:
      The hiccup was mine! More on that today. Yes, I will save my euros for something more worthy.

      Delete
  2. Whatever happened to CC's body? Quite the elaborate tribute for the man who accidentally discovered the Americas, I'd say.
    Good thing the bureaucrats were friendly, Mitch, or else!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      The Dominican Republic claims to have his remains (some or all) but refuses to do a DNA test. Sevilla did a DNA a test, in I think 2006, and the remains there showed a very close match to Columbus's brother. I'm with Spain. (See photo of tomb in Sevilla at top of this post.)

      Delete
  3. The more I learn about Mr. Columbus the more I dislike the man.

    ReplyDelete
  4. When we were in Spain way back when, we were told that either (1) no one knew where Columbus's body really was, or (2) at least two places claimed to have it. At any rate, it is refreshing to hear that government agents can be helpful!

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    Replies
    1. Michael:
      In 2006, DNA tests were done on the remains in Sevilla and they were determined to be a very close match to Columbus's brother. The Dominican Republic, however, claims to have his remains; but they refuse to allow DNA testing. I'm sticking with Sevilla.

      Delete
  5. the tomb is really interesting and impressive

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    Replies
    1. Gosia:
      I agree. The tomb in Sevilla Cathedral is very unusual and impressive.

      Delete
  6. We have to keep our old passports, too, and here in Belize there is no way they will accept any other document to prove you stayed in the country the requisite amount of time. Glad we opted to get additional pages in our passports before that option was eliminated. Glad you have a clear path forward and nice people to interact with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wilma:
      I've been so impressed with the Oficina de Extranjeros in Málaga. So relieved we did have the passports. The other documentation that we are fortunate they accept was a nightmare to try to assemble.

      Delete
  7. I've read that there are three places where Columbus is said to be buried, but DNA testing recently confirmed he's buried in the Seville Cathedral.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      You're right. The Dominican Republic also claims to have his remains and they refuse to allow DNA testing (because when it's proven the remains are not Columbus, they lose a whole bunch of tourist money).

      Delete

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