2007-08-07

Stones

Well, you probably know by now about my fascination for stones (specially those made by our fellow humans of yore).

These are some samples of some stones I have photographed in my last safaris:

This is a ponte romana do Bao (the Roman Bridge in O Bao), in my hometown, a medieval bridge constructed following the examples of Roman bridges in the Province, like those in Lugo (Lucus Augusta) and other places, in Gallaecia, Hispania. It's a beautiful bridge that crosses the river Cobo, and for a long time was the only means to easily transport animals and loads from the harbor towards the center of the parroquia (parish): Nowadays there's a new, bigger, car-ready bridge closer to the river mouth and a bigger one for the train, that cannot be seen on the picture. The other only way of crossing the river (and not getting soaked, that is) was a stones way that crossed it, and only when the tide was low (it's covered in high tides). That's my S.O. over the bridge, who graciously offered herself as a way to compare its size. I took the picture from the middle of the river as it flows as we can see in the picture when the tide was (very!) low, in some rocks that were handy. There's a sign, a snake, made on the right pillar, between the holes you can see in the bigger picture (click it to zoom in) but you'll probably won't be able to detect it. I will probably try and get better pictures for you all to enjoy. The snake (and other marks) are probably the architect's signature of some kind.

Next if the castle of Manzanares El Real, in Madrid, a beautiful medieval castle in the mountain range of Madrid, which has been partially restored and where the current Estatute of Autonomy of Madrid was signed in June, 1982. In a way, it looks like a fairy tale castle, it's quite cute, actually. The place dominates a huge plain with lakes and ways towards the 4 directions.


Finally, we went to a concert last Saturday, where a quartet called Shir gave a recital of classical shefardi romances (shefardis were the Jews who lived in Spain --kingdoms of Castilia and Aragon at the time-- before they were expelled by the so-called Catholic Kings in March, 31, 1492; romances where the traditional, popular poems and songs of the time) and other traditional jewish songs, thus they sung in Mozarab (or español yudió), in Yiddish, Hebrew and English (I think), in a beautiful scenario: the Temple of Debod, in Madrid. The temple was created ca. 2200 BCE by Pharaoh Ptolomeus IV Philopator, and transported to Madrid in 1968 after the rescue missions to protect the remains in the site where the Great Dam of Aswan is nowadays. Here's a picture of it when the night fell and the lights were on. I'll probably write an entry about it later on, with more pictures and so, I'd like to go in daylight and visit its insides!


As for the rest, I'm reading a book by a Catalan author, Martí Gironell, who first published it in Catalan (Els pont dels jueus) in its Spanish edition (El puente de los judíos, "The Bridge of the Jews") about the construction of the medieval bridge of Besalú, in Girona, Spain. Here's a picture courtesy of Wikimedia:
Bridge of Besalú, Girona, Spain As you can see in this picture (and others on the net, Panoramio has a good deal of them) I must say it's a really beautiful bridge, indeed! The book's providing interesting, and it came in an interesting time, because I was planning about writing the story of the bridge in O Bao in galician for the next Nanowrimo... However, I have hardly found any information about its origins, so I guess it will take longer to research than I'd liked... Next Nano will have to go by another subject, but it's in my mind, anyway (not comparable, but my bridge is also very nice ;-)

Well, and I'm slowly learning my driving rules: it's fairly boring!

Revolt! is also shaping slowly, but actually even slower than I'd like, to be sincere. In my defense, it's very hot during the nights, and I'm tired of not sleeping well, and I'm thinking about driving (myself nuts, that is!).

I'll try to give it a boost, though...

Take care! KALLISTI!

4 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Beautiful pics. I want to go to Spain one day, but not in summer. :)

Getting a driving license sucks. I was 40 when I got mine (didn't bother before) and it's no fun.

Excalibor said...

Gab, thanks! :-)

Well, Summer can be hot in some parts of Spain, but in others it's more than fairly bearable (around 25ºC, just watch my hometown pictures, the bridge's one is sunny but it wasn't too hot, and, well, you can see the mine's one, it was a cloudy beach day--or we'll never put our feet on the beach)... You'll want to avoid the South and center during the hottest weeks (second half of July and first week of August, although it somewhat varies), but the rest is pretty okay...

Of course, you may want to visit in the Winter and avoid yours ;)

Yes, same case in here, it's a bit boring, but well, hardly an intellectual feat!

I also want to go to Germania one day, I may have to look for some esperantists over there (for there's no way I'm gonna learn German just for a visit!) :-P

take care, you also have cool pics, keep it up!

Gabriele C. said...

You can get along with English in Germany fairly well. :)

What I'd like to see is the former Visigoth places like Toledo. And the Pyrenees. :)

Excalibor said...

Ah, Toletum is very nice, you'll surey enjoy it, specially if you manage to get into the less exploited archaeological sites (there's a rotative program to open visitor access to some sites during the summer or so... I was at a very nice, although small, public baths, for example)

However you may want to rush a bit, as the building marcket is trying to exploit Toledo, and I'm afraid the old urban core can suffer a very serious blow, despite the patrimonial laws that forbid it (you know that Spain is full of corruption, don't you?)

The Pyrenees will stay there, though, I hope... ;-)

best regards!

PS- good to know English will serve to go around Germany, but I'm not sure that's something I really like (specially after the last Bush's visit to Germany, ahem!)