But just down the street stands the ancient Church of San Miguel, built in
1610 and the oldest church in the new world. The old shrine was built and
occupied a full decade before the Mayflower arrived on the distant eastern
coast. Perhaps one of the greatest attractions inside is the Bell of
Andalusian, weighing 780 pounds with four inch walls. It is the oldest bell
in America, constructed in 1356 in Spain.
Before ever arriving in the New World, the bell developed quite a history. In the mid 1300's, the Spanish faithful were at war with the Moors. It was a losing campaign for the Spanish, battle after battle won by the invading Moslems.
In a desperate effort, the Spanish Catholics vowed to construct a bell in tribute to St.
Joeseph, and prayed that in return he would turn the tide of war in their favor.
Villagers from miles around brought gold and silver to add to other metals that the "miracle" bell might be built. An inscription on the bell reads "San
Jose, ruega por nosotros"...St. Joeseph pray for us! Be it the miracle of the bell or not, the tide of the war changed, and eventually the Moors were chased from Spain, giving the kingdom dominance in the region for centuries thereafter.
And so we continued on our way to the Capitol building. And on the way through the back streets -- we discovered later we merely had to continue up the Santa Fe Trail about a block -- but nevermind, it was a pretty diversion:
And so we arrived at the Capitol building, all new and round, only to discover that of course being Saturday, it was closed!
Back down the Santa Fe Trail, back to the plaza and our car. It was a lovely day, with many interesting sites. But we'd barely scratched the surface of Santa Fe. Another place for another visit. I hope it's soon.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
My priority our second day there was to find out if my computer had bitten the dust, and how much it would cost to repair it and could it be done before we had to leave. We decided the best bet would be to head for Best Buy -- we knew it was probably going to cost $200 or more just to look at the thing. Anyway, on our way down Juan Tabo Drive at 1701 Juan Tabo Drive, to be specific, we saw the sign for Computers Direct. The sign said diagnostics would be done for $32.50 (or maybe it was $36.50). Ok that was it! In we pulled. So we dropped off the laptop and they promised not to do any work on it until they called us with an estimate. Two days later I got a phone call: my computer was up and running! Turns out, it really had 'bitten the dust' -- far too much of it over the years. They blew some air through the vents and voila! I bought some compressed air, took a short lesson on how to use it and handed over $41.00 and left the shop very very very happy! Since then it's worked better than it has for a very long time.
American Indians and Spanish settlers carved their images on these
basalt boulders. The nature of the rock itself is what allows the petroglyphs to
be visible. The basalt is high in iron, manganese and calcium. The combination
of these minerals makes the basalt a light gray color. After long exposure to
oxygen and water the iron and manganese oxidize or rust. A dark shiny coating,
or patina, forms on the surface of the basalt boulders. The patina is called
desert varnish.When looking at the dark basalt boulders, you are actually
looking at desert varnish. American Indians discovered permanent marks could be
made by using another rock to chip off the desert varnish. Many American Indians
are able to claim cultural relationships to past inhabitants of this area be
cause they recognize the images as having deep cultural and spiritual
significance. Please respect the importance of petroglyphs to American Indians
and to the descendants of original Spanish settlers.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I can't do justice to Sedona. It's very beautiful and has lots of red rocks and streams and woodland. We weren't there nearly long enough. Guess I'll just have to go back again.
Interstate 40 still has a few short spurs of Route 66, one of which, Winslow, we bothered to explore. Not much quaintness here -- it was sad and woebegone. So much for Route 66 until later in Oklahoma.
Except for the Painted Desert and the Petrified National Forest there was not much to interest us -- and nothing we were going to stop for other than lunch. Too bad -- both look to be very interesting. It is a sad fact that time always plays a role in journeys. We never seem to be really free enough to bide our time, no matter how much we think we will. We'd probably still be on our travels had time and money really been no object. It's still great though, having heard about these places for so much of my life that I now have in my head where they really are.
Soon we would have to change our watches and the car clock for the first time. New Mexico is one hour ahead of Arizona time. It's interesting how often state lines and borderlands anywhere have identifiable changes in scenery. New Mexico had rocks that seemed to define the 'pueblo' look!
I think we arrived in Albuquerque late afternoon and my nephew's directions being perfect drove straight to their beautiful home and welcome hospitality. I just loved New Mexico and could have stopped for a very long time!