A magnificent cathedral

Last Wednes- day Asun, Daniela, and I, along with Waldo, spent the day driving from San Sebastian back down to Malaga. A short way into the trip Asun decided she wanted Daniela to see the cathedral in Burgos, so we stopped there. I had visited the Burgos cathedral a couple of times in the past, so I wasn't too excited about this, but it was a great surprise to see the incredible restoration work that has been going on in recent years. I had remembered this cathedral as a rather dark and dreary edifice with some impressive stained glass. And that has always been my primary image for gothic art in general. In this case, as in many others, the dark stone was simply a result of dirt and pollution. The exterior of the cathedral has been almost completely cleaned, revealing a very light colored stone that greatly enhanced the building's vertical qualities. It was like visiting a place I had never been to before. Much of the interior, especially the many chapels along the lateral naves, have also been impressively restored. As is the case with all the grand cathedrals of Europe, this one is also a work that evolved over several centuries. Building began in the early 13th century, working over the remains of an earlier, Romanesque cathedral. The last major additions were made in the 18th century. Perhaps most impressive of all is the main facade, constructed in the 15th century. We all enjoyed it greatly and were somewhat disappointed it was necessary to be brief so we could get on with the return home. (Waldo seemed to have a somewhat different reaction, and demonstrated strong anticlerical sentiments with behaviour that was blatantly blasphemous. I really love this dog.) After Burgos we ate sandwiches in the car to save time, and after learning of the horrific plane crash in Madrid, listened to radio reports of the unfolding tragedy. Late in the afternoon we stopped at a farm in the province of Ciudad Real, and bought a huge Manchego cheese and a big melon. We got to Malaga around 11 pm.

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