Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Belle Of Bethlehem / La Bella De Belén

WE SAW THE most magical Belén (nativity scene) yesterday. It's displayed in a garage just a few minutes walk from us in our neighborhood of Los Boliches, and won an award a few years back for being the best private Belén in town. We met the owner, Maria, who welcomed us warmly and offered us free chupitos (shots) when we arrived. There were sweets for children. Judy and I had Aníz Dulce (sweet anise liqueur) and spent an hour taking in this incredible work of art. We could spend an entire week and still not catch every brilliant detail. Every piece is handmade. The dedication, the energy, the patience, the creativity. Maria planted gardens with real dirt and plants. Brussels Sprouts are giant cabbages. Water flows through streams. Mechanical figures work at their tasks. Children play. Judy asked Maria if she had a caganer (a pooper, click here). Maria said, "Of course, under the bridge."

VIMOS EL BELÉN más mágico ayer. Se muestra en un garaje a pocos minutos a pie de nosotros en nuestro barrio de Los Boliches, y ganó un premio hace unos años por ser la mejor Belén privada de la ciudad. Conocimos a la dueña, María, quien nos recibió calurosamente y nos ofreció chupitos gratis cuando llegamos. Hubo dulces para niños. Judy y yo tomamos Aníz Dulce (licor de anís dulce) y pasamos una hora disfrutando de esta increíble obra de arte. Podríamos pasar una semana entera y aún no captar todos los detalles brillantes. Cada pieza está hecha a mano. La dedicación, la energía, la paciencia, la creatividad. María plantó jardines con tierra y plantas reales. Las coles de Bruselas son coles gigantes. El agua fluye a través de las corrientes. Las figuras mecánicas trabajan en sus tareas. Los niños juegan. Judy le preguntó a María si tenía un caganer. María dijo: "Por supuesto, debajo del puente".













MARIA, THE BELLE OF LOS BOLICHES.
MARIA, LA BELLA DE LOS BOLICHES.

33 comments:

  1. Wow, this is just amazing!!! I don't like the pooper, I must admit, but the rest is amazing :)
    Judy

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    Replies
    1. Judy:
      If you didn't know the pooper was there, you wouldn't have noticed. Judyshannonstreetwhat HAD to ask!

      Delete
  2. Brilliant! So much detail to take in, must have taken ages to get it all so painstakingly set up. I can see kids - as well as adults, spending many minutes just staring, engrossed in it.

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    Replies
    1. Ray:
      I really could have spent hours. I left elated and in awe.

      Delete
  3. the pooper is the best part

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    Replies
    1. Adam:
      I love the caganer, but not everyone agrees with us.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. anne marie:
      I'll have to find out how much time it takes to set up. Our friend has her own that's about 1/10 the size and she spends days on it.

      Delete
  5. Extraordinary the lengths that people go to... to explain a two thousand year old story.

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  6. Yes, what amazing detail! A real labour of love!

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  7. Hi Mitchell. My hubby and I bought a home in Benalmadena Pueblo this past February. I am retired and he is still currently working as a flight attendant. Our present plans are to spend as much time in our new home as possible without becoming fiscal residents, mainly the fall and winter months. We also have a home in Alexandria, VA just outside of D.C. I just happened upon your blog looking for gay ex-pats living in Costa Del Sol.

    Would be terrific to meet your and your hubby for dinner sometime. We plan to be back in the Pueblo soon after the New Year. My email address is sdsteve1@aol.com and I am also on FB (Steve Aronberg). Hope we can become friends! Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    .......Steve

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    Replies
    1. Steve:
      Thanks. It's a pleasure to meet you here and looking forward to meeting you in person.

      Delete
  8. Wow! That's certainly an elaborate Nativity scene. I think they got everything within Bethlehem's city limits!

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  9. By the way, merry Christmas.

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    Replies
    1. Kirk:
      Back to you and your family. Hope you're already having a great time.

      Delete
  10. Toilet humour is common in Spain is it not?
    Happy Christmas xxx

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    Replies
    1. John:
      Very popular. Much less hung up than we Americans.

      Delete
  11. Wow
    Does she had Baby Jesus until 12/24 as good catholics should?

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    Replies
    1. Spo:
      Absolutely. We've only seen one belén since arriving here that had Jesus there from the start. We were appalled!

      Delete
  12. I find it rather strange and also strangely intriguing. The mechanical details are fascinating.

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    1. Wilma:
      If we had moved here 25 years ago, I would have become obsessed with this myself. We'd need a garage!

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  13. How glorious! Such work and devotion.

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    Replies
    1. Willym:
      I have many more to see in town, but I can't imagine anything better than this. Maria puts her heart into it.

      Delete
  14. How nice! The level of detail. Reminds me of roadside America. Just a navitiy. And what's with the popper?

    I may not have a chance to stop back but would like to wish you and San Gerdlo a very Happy Yuletide with with good times. 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

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    Replies
    1. mistress maddie:
      Wishing you a very merry christmas. Thanks for bringing so much cheer all year!

      Delete
  15. I love the Brussels sprouts!

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    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Judy and I fixated on those for a while. So clever.

      Delete
  16. The details here are absolutely incredible. I hope you and San Geraldo have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      Hope you and Mrs. C are having a very merry!

      Delete

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