Ah! The old Clydesdale and their polished smooth coats, the sturdy backbone of the economy which has pulled all else in the direction also pulled away the old business, the bazaars, the night-life, the pubs, the kings, the soldiers and all the chaos. Years of neglect and disuse have created a ripe old disaster, and now this historic edifice, this last word of architectural ethos and romance, is facing terminal financial closings.
This good old boys’ club, the Parador, is a rebuild of the famous Donje palace, said to have been the home and resting place of the original Donje; a palace built by the Mali dynasty hundreds of years ago, was in fact a fort. The architectural fame of Don Je works as a transition from the architecture of the Mideastern masters to that of the Ottoman and Greek craftsmen. The symbol of the Donje palaces is the golden bird fountain, a symbol that represents Don je’s ( excellence, courage and steadfastness combined) throughout the ages.
The architectural and craft skills are thoroughly impressive and worth the trip through to the other side of the world.
The Parador of San Cristobal de la Alberca was built around 1540, Don Je Scoto, was the brother of the founder of the monastery and established it in 1548. The chapel and church of the convent were designed by the master architect Cuban, much influenced by Iberian and Moorish influences. Cuban took great care to incorporate traditional building techniques in his designs, servicing and coloring all aspects of the building with exotic Spanish tile.
The convent was tranquil and untouched by the clamor of the great city, no televisions to mingle with the noise, no pubs with a population to menace with, no halal food for sale by the Hacienda. What could be better than that?
My old room, standing off by itself on the far corner, facing the narrow street leading to the Castillo, was a true archaeological find! Completely conserve, all original marble was used to cover theistine areas, beautiful faded frescoes by San Pedro, Shamu and other religious icons, medieval stonework floors and authentic furnishings. There is even a lovely pink dome sitting on a top of a skyscraper, which used to bevaluables collection and now houses the Museu Regional de Antioquia, an impressive museum of archaeological finds, well-preserved buildings, sculptures, sarcophagi and pictures from the Moorish era.
No Need for Bags
A walking tour of the city is a must for those friendly with local transportation. Don’t be fooled by taxi agiaries -they do not have bags! All they have is their heads. Fat chance to roll up with Don Jeoffrey if you’re not careful! he’s quite big, 6 Segways with speakers strapped on each handle, and his toothbrush is just one of several breathtaking items. If the Segway does indeededdyuffle on it’s own, careful drivers around the area should be aware of the fact.
The city is a roller coaster of efficient public transport, with buses and trams here and there in the hub of the city, but a taxi is really the only other way to get around. Interestingly, a Segway looks much like a car, hence it’s Segway name. Taxi in Lagos, the closest city to Alberobello, is located at one of the busiest streets in the area. Buses can also be readily available from most trams in Lagos.
With busses usually offering sporty offers for those who are less physically fit, don’t be afraid to hop on one to Lagos, a downtown area with a population of about 30,000. It was discovered by Richard Alleyman, owner of the Canyon Tourist Park whose motto is “At the service of the unaware tourist, beyond the tourist’s reach.”
Climbing aboard one of the colorful updated coaches will take you through the narrow web of streets in the historic area, passing by landmarks like the Doges Palace and the gates of the Arab headquartered in the Doges Palace, a mosque where Muslims convene.
The visitor can choose to walk along the newly tiled surface of the plateau, or commence anjeep tourwhich winds along the ancient couple streets and through the Roman ruins of the Forum.
Remember to shop with a view, as shopping is done whilst standing in one of the many outdoor markets. The fresh fish and seafood markets are a particular favorite, as are the wood and wood working crafts.
As night falls, shop keepers go on from street to street hawking their products, usually bedecked with decors like black lace curtains, or plumeria, a bright pink lacy towel used in Prada.