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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

3 Boys in 30 Days: Part 2 - The (real) Olive Garden


If you missed Part 1 of my Boys' Travels series, I recently took my 3 lads for a month to enjoy various places in Spain and Portugal.

While most of the pictures I have are of the boys, this selection is of some nature/general shots I took while wandering around the region of Jaen and the city of Granada.

We climbed a mountain (more in another post) and #2 Son wanted to help carry supplies as we began to walk through the thousands of olive trees.

The whole region is covered with so many trees that it is a real-life olive garden.

As we climbed, the cottage was lost, just the roof sticking out for me to use as a well-needed marker (Turn left at the 2nd olive tree wasn't going to work.)

The higher we went, the more the vista opened up. I wasn't worried about starving if we got lost. All we'd need to do is wait about 5 months and the olives would be edible.

The cottage roof became smaller and smaller, and the views more majestic.

With the sun setting, everything east of us lit up with some beautiful colors, including a couple of greens.

About 50 olives from the 257 gazillion olives wait patiently to be picked - eventually.

View from the top of what the boys' named "Mount Koopmans." 

When I explored a little, I found this wireless tower. Normally, at the cottage I get a weak 1-to-3G signal, but laughed when I saw a strong 4G lit up on my phone!

Heading back down, I don't remember it being this steep!

And we still had the sun shining up top... this was at about 9:30 p.m.

An idea of our climb. The cottage is toward the bottom right & the signal tower is top center!

A couple of days later, we were on the hunt for a waterfall and I love the natural curve of this ridge.

The sun was going down, but was still kind enough to light up the babbling brook.

Everything just looked POW! and there was such a relaxing feel to the area (excluding the 3 screaming warrior boys who were "spear-fishing.")

One of several grasshoppers found and later released. This one was chilling out.

We spent a day browsing through parts of old Granada and I love how they still use cobbled stone roads here.

Yet another street had its own, private canopy!

No idea who the dude on the horse is, but it's cool that he's been so honored.


Elephant's Child said...

That is one impressive climb you did. I suspect everyone slept well that night.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - you must have had a great few days out amongst the olives ... wonderful setting - great to be able to use the cottage.

Your statue is: "This bronze, equestrian sculpture was created by Ramiro Mejías to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Granada’s liberation from the Muslims in 1492. It adorns the rooftop of Granada City Hall"

Hate not knowing! Cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was a heck of a climb! I've never seen olives on a tree before. I wonder where they grow them here in the states?

Elizabeth Seckman said...

What a beautiful place! I love olives, but I've never eaten a fresh one. I assume they're not salty by nature, unlike yourself? LOL. Couldn't help myself.

CWMartin said...

Great pictures! I could use a mountain or two here! But... I'm not waiting 5 months of starvation and just getting an olive!

Jo said...

I hate to say it, but I believe olives straight off the tree are not really edible. They are, apparently, very bitter. Nobody in the Med would dream of eating them off the tree, but there is some movement who are doing so. Good luck to them.

Mark Koopmans said...

@EC: You have noooooo idea!! We went up the mountain at about 8 p.m. and were back down by 10:30 p.m. (there was still enough light to see by, which is so awesome about Europe in the summer!!)
Sure enough, after a deep, long shower for all 3 boys, they were lights out by 11:30 :)

@Hilary: *That* was very sweet of you to look it up - thank you!!

@Alex: This is truly the heart of the olive-growing region and in the fall to late wintertime, the *smell* of fresh olive oil is amazing as all the olives are picked from the millions of trees.

@Liz: Fresh olives, like fresh X from wherever X comes from is the absolute best. Not salty at all, but totally delicious!

@Jo: You are correct! I wouldn't touch an olive right now, as they are so bitter, but of course, I made the boys try a tiny piece each, and the face-changing reaction was so worth it!!

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