Los Milagros Aqueduct, Merida Spain

Los Miagros Acqueduct, Merida Spain

Los Milagros aqueduct, Merida Spain 

The Los Milagros aqueduct was built between 1 B.C. and 3 A.D., it was 830 meters long and 25 meters high, made of brick and concrete it was faced with granite ashlars. It was used to transport water from the Prosperina lake to the Roman colony of Emerita Augusta know today as Merida Spain. Today about 38 arches still stand.

Los Milagros aqueduct, Merida Spain

Los Milagros aqueduct, Merida Spain  

The Los Milagros aqueduct is one of three aqueducts build in the area, and preserved as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Merida.

 

Walking with the Romans: Part 2

Roman Bridge over the River Guadiana. Merida Sapin

Roman Bridge over the River Guadiana. Merida Sapin

Merida is not a large place, with a population of around 64,000 people. A pleasant place, it is not different from many other Spanish towns, with friendly people, many bars and restaurants with one exception, that being that as being one of the Roman Empires capitals in the Iberian Peninsula it is home to some of the best preserved Roman Ruins in Europe. As a result in 1993 it was established as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.The town was founded in 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta which means discharged soldiers – of the army of Augustus, who founded the city; the current name Mérida was derive from this, changed and altered by its conquest by the Muslims and other down through history. Its main purpose for all these conquers was to protect a bridge over the River Guadiana.

The path of the Camino Pilgrim will take you over this bridge with 64 granite arches that remain intact and in use to this day as a pedestrian walkway and is one of the longest Roman bridges remaining in existence.  At the end of this bridge stands the Alcazaba a fortress that was initially built by the Romans, but later occupied by the Moors. Over it main gate you will find a reference dedicating it to Allah.

from the Alcazaba in Merida Spain.

from the Alcazaba in Merida Spain.

In more recent history it was taken and occupied by Napoleon, and both opposing side of the Spanish Civil Wars, such was its strategic importance. Further into the town you will find sitting side by side, a Roman Forum and Theatre. The former similar to that found in Italica, was use for gladiator fights and as you proceeds down the stairs into the ring it offers life-size mock ups of the different types of gladiators, their specific armour and who they would normally fight. However of the two the theatre is the most spectacular. While breathtaking as a tourist attraction, it is still used for plays and festivals by the local population.

Roman Forum, Merida Spain

Roman Forum, Merida Spain

Roman Amphitheater, Merida Spain

Roman Amphitheater, Merida Spain

Equally as spectacular is the Temple of Diana. Surprisingly this building is surrounded by a simple fence low fence to protect it from errant tourists, is located close to the centre of town on one of Merida many pedestrian walkways, such that hundreds of working Spaniards walk by it ever day on the way to and from work.

Temple Diana, Merida Spain

Temple Diana, Merida Spain

more great stories and architecture tomorrow….

Text by W.E.Foreman Photos by JMeyersForeman

Plaza Espana, Merida Spain,

Plaza Espana, Merida Spain on a Saturday night

Plaza Espana, Merida Spain on a Saturday night 

We were sitting having a glass of wine in the Plaza Mayor, here in Merida last night. It was full of kids playing, parents with strollers, and old people walking hand in hand.  Thought out the square there are about 4 or 5 Tapa bars where music was playing, and people were visiting. I decided a long exposure showing people moving about was a wonderful way of capturing the light, and the life of the square.

Henry Moore visits Seville

Henry Moore visits Seville

   Henry Moore visits Seville 

Henry Moore in Seville

Henry Moore in Seville 

It’s hard to know where to start in describing Seville Spain, but my mind returns to something my father once said….“ you should be thankful that you have been born into a country like Canada” and I am, as it has allowed me the freedom and income to travel to so may beautiful places around the world…yet if there is such a thing as reincarnation, please let me come back as a Spaniard in the city of Seville. The old town is a place of immense beauty so interwoven, that like a poem about a love between a man and a women, the new and the old mingle together such that harmony is the only word to describe it. History (Seville Cathedral), and the modern (exhibition of Henry Moore Sculptures), stand side by side, each accentuation and complementing the beauty of the other, not competing for the stares of the passers by…but leaving them with something to keep and remember as they live out that day.

Can you tell, we are enjoying our time here in Seville!

Bill and Janice

 

 

 

Seville Spain

Plaza Mayor, Metropol Parasol.

Plaza Mayor, Metropol Parasol 

There is so much to see in Seville that you would never see anywhere else. Here the Metropol Parasol, often called the Mushroom of Incarnation. It is both beautiful and functional it was built as part of the rehabilitation of the city centre.

boy chasing pigeons

boy chasing pigeons 

It doesn’t seem to matter where you go or what plaza you sit in, there will be pigeons, someone will feed the pigeons, a small child will try to chase them away, and I can’t help to try to get one picture. One of the many subject I like to watch and take pictures of.

Seville Cathedral and Giralda at the Plaza del Triunfo Seville Spain

Seville Cathedral and Giralda at the Plaza del Triunfo Seville Spain 

We sat in the Plaza del Triunfo watching people, the horse carriages and the sunset. By this time of day the tourists and locals alike have drifted away from the square and all was quiet. A beautiful finish to a wonderful day. It was time to find a Tapa bar and a glass of wine.

 

 

Fraser Valley, Vancouver British Columbia

Fraser River, Vancouver BC, Canada,

Fraser River, Vancouver BC, Canada, 

Before going east I had the opportunity to fly to Vancouver, and I wanted to share this lovely view of the Fraser River at sunset.

My idea of inflight entertainment watching out the window, and of course taking photos.  I never really tire of the view, watching the clouds, seeing the landscape from the miles above.  More than likely I will be posting a few more images of what I have seen out the window of the airplane. I hope you enjoy the view as much as I have.

 

turn your face to the sun – maori proverb, and photography

stone circle at sunset, Ireland

stone circle at sunset, Ireland

“Turn your face to the sun and all the shadows fall behind you!”…Maori Proverb; the quote is perfect for photographers, unless of course we want our shadow in the picture; when photographing people it is better if they are facing away from the sun as well.

We visited Ireland a few years ago now, I stopped at every stone circle we found, there are more being found all the time.  This photo was taken at sunset, the sun flare over the circle and through the large gap of standing stones a some depth and some magic. The photo would have been taken near the end of September, close to the time of the fall equinox, and we can image watching the sunset or sunrise as those who built the circle did many years ago.

It is Wednesday of another busy week, I hope your weeks is a good one filled.

La Virgin del Camino to Hospital de Orbigo; 29 k of the Camino de Santiago

 

Camino de Santiago, Leaving La Virgen del Camino on the walker’s route to Hospital de Orbigo, Spain

We left La Virgen del Camino, just outside of Leon Oct 2, 2012 about 8:30 this morning, not too long after sunrise, temperatures about 10 degrees C, a good walking temperature. It had been cool while we were in Leon, and with autumn fast approaching we anticipate cooler temperatures, today we did not need the toque or mittens we had bought!  Our destination was Hospital de Orbiga, 29 kilometers down the road.  We choose the quiet walker’s route, rather than the near the N12o because we did not want to walk near the highway.  It was a very quiet walk, as there was very little traffic, and fewer pilgrims/peregrine’s that we were use to seeing, but we were not alone on the road.

The roses in many gardens are blooming…..

Roses by the road, Oncina de la Valdoncina

About 4:30 pm this afternoon with mid 20 degree C temperatures, we reached our destination of Hospital de Orbigo Spain. A long day and a lot of walking and we were both very tired. After checking in we showered, washed our cloths, and had a nap! About 6:30 pm we walked about town, and found the famous medieval bridge.  Near the bridge is a wonderful restaurant where we have probably had our best pilgrim’s meal since starting our journey!

Medieval Bridge, Hospital de Orbigo at sunset

One of our favourite reference books for the camino has been “Walking the Camino de Santiago” written by Bethan Davies and Ben Cole, updated by Daphne Hnatiuk and published by Pili Pala Press. http://www.pilipalapress.com they have this to say regarding the history of the bridge.

“In the late ninth century. Puente de Órbigo, the multi-arched Gothic bridge that’s one of the most important of the camino, was built-in the thirteenth century, and though it has been destroyed by floods many times since, its appearance remains resolutely mediaeval.

The most famous episode in the bridge’s history is the quest of the lovelorn Don Suero de Quiñones. In 1434, rejected by his lady-love, Suero put an iron collar around his neck as a sign that he was still shackled to her. He vowed to keep the collar on until he had broken 300 lances in fights on the bridge with the best knights in Europe.

Many knights rose to the challenge, and Suero and his friends were kept busy fight- ing them off. The tournament took place during a Holy Year and began a couple of weeks before the Día de Santiago on July 25, the peak time of year for pilgrim traf- fic. Suero successfully defended the bridge against all-comers and eventually reached his 300-lance target.Taking off his iron collar, Suero journeyed to Santiago with his lady’s jewelled bracelet; it now encircles the neck of the statue of Santiago in the cathedral. It’s said that Suero’s story may have inspired Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

The jousting tournament is recreated next to the bridge at the beginning of June each year.”

 

Burgos Spain

 

we spent yesterday wondering the pedestrian streets of Burgos, and to visit the Burgos Cathedral. A Gothic Cathedral with many revisions, redesigned and expansions. The details are amazing.  I got a creak in my neck from looking up at the beautiful vaulted arches, doomed ceilings, and relief sculpture and paintings. Here are a few details I captured

Early evening, and the setting sun shining on the Burgos Cathedral, Burgos Spain

cherub faces, one small part of a beautiful painting, Burgos Cathedral

Madonna and child_relief sculpture Burgos Cathedral

Madonna ad child, relief sculpture, Burgos Cathedral

Painted doorway, Burgos Cathedral

doomed ceiling, Burgos Cathedral, Burgos Spain

 

Four Jacks Casino, Jackpot Nevada, Photoblog word challenge

Image

the Photoblog Creative Photo Challenge this week is “words”  The photo must to contain at least one word for the challenge, so I went digging through the archives and found this from my trip to Yuma a couple of years ago.  I noticed the dark foreboding sky and took it as a sign of my luck at the card table.  Really I am not much of a gambler, I usually go and watch others loose their money.

You can see other creative “word” photos at the Photoblog Challenge website.