Early Morning in Merida Spain; The Lusitania Bridge

The Lusitania Bridge early morning, and the lights are on; copyright jmeyersforeman

The Lusitania Bridge early morning, and the lights are on; copyright jmeyersforeman   

I a couple of days ago I showed you the old Roman bridge in Merida Spain, while we were photographing the cobblestone bridge we could see just down the river the new modern bridge Lusitania Bridge,  designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. The same architect who designed the Calgary Peace Bridge

As my wonderful husband said “isn’t the world a small place” it does seem a little odd to travel 1/2 way round the world, to the wonderful city of Merida, and see architecture by the same architect that caused such a stir in my home town! It is odd, Merida is a beautiful little city in central Spain that I had not heard of before starting on your walk north on the Via la Plata. As we walked north from Seville we learn a lot about Spain, and its history, and about its architecture.

The modern architecture is as fascinating and beautiful as the old architecture.

 

 

Early Morning on the Old Roman Bridge, Merida

Early morning on the Roman Bridge, Merida Spain

Early morning on the Roman Bridge, Merida Spain 

We have been spending time in Calgary, seeing family and friends, attending to different chores that need to be done before we are off again, this time to Italy.  It seems like a long time ago that Bill and I were visiting the ancient Roman sites in the Spanish city of Merida. While it seems like a long time ago, if was infact only 6 months ago that we visited the city.

The ancient Roman bridge, known as the Puente Romano is the longest surviving bridge from ancient times. It spans 755 meters with 62 spans, over the Guadiana River. Built over 2000 years old, it is a great place to witness the city awake. The street lights reflecting off the wet cobblestones, many pedestrian use this bridge on their way into the city.

Merida is along the ancient pilgrimage route north from Cadiz to Santiago de Compostela, known as the Via la Plata or the Silver Route. The Via la Plata was built by the Romans as a commercial route to transport goods, it became a pilgrimage route used by Mozarabic (Christians) so rich with history Merida was worth the visit, and the time spent there. A city I would happily visit again.

Visit my gallery to see more of images from Merida and the many pilgrimage sites we have photographed.

Aurora Borealis; Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis; Northern Lights; copyright jmeyersforeman

Aurora Borealis; Northern Lights; copyright jmeyersforeman

I grew up watching the Northern Lights dance across the northern sky of Saskatchewan, but once I moved to the big city I rarely witnessed the dancing lights; city lights does make it impossible to see them. Known as the Aurora Borealis, the lights are most active from September to April and I had read that this week they were expected to be particularly beautiful and active due to solar flares. It was just plain lucky that I would be visiting my home town in Saskatchewan this week, and I had hoped to spend at least one evening out trying to photography them.  Monday we woke up to clouds and rain, Tuesday more clouds, well at least there wasn’t snow,  finally Thursday night the clouds cleared!

About 10 pm we headed north out-of-town. We didn’t to drive too far north before we were able to get away from most of the lights,  you see even in Saskatchewan where there is a population density of about 1 person per square mile, it is hard to get away from all the lights, so I was happy to get away from most of the lights!  We could see the green glow in the sky, drifting along, thin and hazy, a glow along the horizon that I would never really be rid of. To be honest the northern lights weren’t very impressive, at that moment. In fact there were naysayers in the car, but I had high hopes.

After setting up the camera, with the aid of the trunk light (I forgot a flashlight). I set the camera to as small an f-stop as I could manage with a 25 second exposure, I set the manual focus so the horizon lights were in focus, then I set a 2 second timer on the shutter and I locked up the mirror to reduce camera shake, I was ready to close the trunk lid and stand in the dark to watch the sky.

Before long the lights got a little stronger, a little brighter, and a little more beautiful. The moon was shining brightly over my right shoulder, and the longer I stood out there the more my eyes became accustom to the dark, and before long the Aurora Borealis started to get a little brighter. Before long I was able to capture the beautiful Northern Lights dancing across the Saskatchewan sky. I was thinking I would head out one more time on Friday Night, but the clouds returned and I was even more grateful for at least one clear night while here visiting my home town.

I don’t think this is too bad for a first attempt, and I think I have found a wonderful if not a perfect excuse to go for a late night drive into the country, don’t you think?

Calle Alfonso and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar at night; Zaragoza Spain

Calle Alfonso Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar at night; Zaragoza Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Calle Alfonso Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar at night; Zaragoza Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman 

We spent a couple of lovely days in Zaragoza, wandering the streets and seeing the sights.

Sunday night we were out doing some night photography of the streets and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. We had visited the Basilica earlier in the day and is one of the few places we have visited here in Spain that did not allow photos to be taken inside, respecting that wish, all we have is the outside view to show you.

All weekend streets were lively, there seemed to be a festival on, and of course Saturdays are a big wedding day this time of the year! One square that we happened on had a great little jazz band playing for a couple of hours, for the price of a beer we sat and listened. It was a great way to spend an evening!

Zaragoza Spain, Jazz in the street; copyright jmeyersforeman

Zaragoza Spain, Jazz in the street; copyright jmeyersforeman 

We are off to France, can’t wait…..

Baiona Spain

Evening Stroll, Baiona Spain

Evening Stroll, Baiona Spain

We are currently visiting the little seacoast town of Baiona Spain. Along the southwest corner of Galicia along the Atlantic Ocean it is a little cooler than the rest of Spain. I have read that the town’s populations is about 11,000 people, but during the month of August where the Spanish people normally take their holidays, the town’s populations reaches almost 50,000! Typical of most summer resorts there are plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants and of course ice cream shops!

The harbour is such that we can walkout along the beach and get a great view of the town with the lights reflecting on the waterfront. We shall see more of the town tomorrow in the daylight!

Tree lined street of Baiona Spain

Tree lined street of Baiona Spain

These images and others are available for viewing and purchase at my gallery.  

 

Festival and Amusement Rides at Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Amusement Rides; Santiago de Compostela Spain

Amusement Rides; Santiago de Compostela Spain

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not time to chat, we are enjoying the Festival!

more photos are available at jmeyersforeman photography

Sunset, Ciudad of Arts and Science, Valencia Spain

sunset at the Ciudad of Arts and Science, Valencia Spain

sunset at the Ciudad of Arts and Science, Valencia Spain 

Along an axis of just under two kilometres that was formerly the bed of the River Turia, in Valencia Spain, this complex of striking architecture – designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela – and an endless capacity for entertaining and stimulating the minds of its visitors. In its various buildings, known as Ciudad of Arts and Science, people can get to know different aspects of science, technology, nature, and art.

I previously posted about the Oceanografic which is part of this Science and Art Park, it was unfortunately the only building we were able to visit. The building on the left of the image, L ‘Hemisferic is home to an IMAX theatre, a planetarium and a laserium, while the building to the right just behind it is the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is home to an opera house and performing arts centre.

Most nights when we head out to do sunset photos we are alone, the evening settling in around us and the lights of the city start to flicker, Last night it was quite different, while we were standing at the northeast corner of the “pond” that surrounds the buildings waiting and watching for the sunset we were joined by a small class of photographers, experimenting with ND filters and long exposures, tourists from various parts of Spain, Holland, and the US all chatting away, enjoying the sunset and the shared experience of the beautiful evening.

 

 

Tarragona Spain

Tarragona Spain, at sunset

Tarragona Spain, at sunset 

While I have many wonderful photos and stories of Toledo Spain, we have moved onto Tarragona. About an hour south of Barcelona along the Mediterranean Sea, we thought a few days of rest with an ocean view would be a nice change from the hills of central Spain. It has been reported that Augustus Cesar wintered here, and there will be a big celebration during the month of May honouring his life and times on the 2000 anniversary of his death.

 

Alcántara Bridge, Toledo Spain

Alcántara Bridge, Toledo Spain

Alcántara Bridge, Toledo Spain 

The Alcantara Bridge, also known as Puente Trajan at Alcantara is a Roman Stone Bridge build over the Tagas River bears the inscription Pontem perpetui mansurum in saecula “I have build a bridge which will last forever, on the archway over the central pier. I don’t know if it will last forever, or of the many renovations that might have been done, but I do know that it has a beautiful reflection with the right light and a calm river.

Toledo is beautiful, I would recommend a trip to see the sights, visit the cafe’s , and meet the locals, I can guarantee you will enjoy your time there, we did! We are off to Tarragona, along the mediterranean, for a little rest, and maybe even a little beach time.

 

 

 

Hunting for the perfect Toledo Cathedral Photo

Toledo Cathedral, Toledo Spain

Toledo Cathedral, Toledo Spain 

Toledo is filled with narrow streets, and it is seemingly impossible to get a great view of the Cathedral. We are either peaking between buildings as we are here,  or looking up at it, as we were in the previous post. So today, I was on a mission to see the Cathedral, and get a memorable image. The image below is from the Alcazar Tower.

Toledo Cathedral

Toledo Cathedral   

We walked out-of-town, crossed the Tagas River on the Alcantara Bridge, a Roman bridge and headed to the Valle Hermitage, high on the hill for a sunset view of Toledo and the Cathedral.

Toledo at sunset

Toledo at sunset 

Toledo Cathedral at sunset

Toledo Cathedral at sunset 

Finally I found the near perfect reflection in the window of the tourist information office. I thought it appropriate the town map was hanging in the window.

reflection in the tourist information office

reflection in the tourist information office