The Aljafería Palace; Zaragoza Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman
The Aljaferia Place in Zaragoza, a fortified medieval Islamic palace built during the second half of the 11th century in what is now Zaragoza Spain, a wonderful example of Moorish Architecture in Spain. While much of the building has been restored to its original beauty, with the intricate doorways and arches, many of the interior doors have been left in untouched. Much has been written about the history and can be found on-line, I have provided a few links. Sunday morning has free admission, and consequently it is a busy time to visit. Guided tours are available in several languages.
I wanted to show several examples of the different arches and doorways; giving me an opportunity to experiment with a different layout, and to create a triptych, toning the background to the same colour in the images. While I like the overall effect, I used web-sized images, for my experiment and consequently have a small finished product for my blog post. Next time I will use the original images and then size for the triptych to the desired size for my post. That should give me some flexibility for my blog post. Unfortunately I am running short of time, too many things to do and see, people to visit with to redo the triptych at this time!
We have been in Zaragoza Spain for a couple of days wandering the streets and checking out the sites.
It seems that in manyof the cities of Spain that we have visited we have found walls and shutters painted, sometimes to identify a business or area of the city. You will recall the images of Madrid and of the Camino. Zaragoza is no exception, the area of El Tubo, in the old part of town, is where we found the painted murals, and where, we also found more tapa bars per square block than any other city we have been in.
It does seem that the Spanish people are not inclined to dull or boring brick walls, and it is wonderful to see the creative expression in corners and narrow streets that might otherwise by boring brick walls!
Santa María de León Cathedral; copyright jmeyersforeman
The Leon Cathedral is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain and Europe it is considered to be a Gothic masterpiece, and with 125 stained class windows the viewer is first notices the contrast between the warm dark stone walls and arches and the colourful bright stained glass windows.
We spent yesterday travelling between Leon and Zaragoza a six-hour train ride. It’s always seems the travelling days are the hardest even when someone else is doing all the work!
Watching the towns roll by from the FEVE train: Asturias Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman
Just a couple of days ago we were travelling from LLanes to Leon Spain, the gentleman in the photo spoke to us as we boarded the train, the usual “hola buen dia” I greeted him in return, as this is common practise for people in Spain, to greet those as you enter the train or a store. But he continued to talk, and I had to apologized “lo siento, no entiendo” another little bit of Spanish I have picked up! He sat quietly through the remainder of the trip looking out the window and watching the towns roll by. The at one stop, he suddenly got up and began asking questions, the gentleman in from, told him the town we were at. The train was starting to roll forward when the conductor noticed him and pushed the button for the train to stop and helped the old gentleman off the train.
I have written about riding the trains in Spain before, there are at least a couple of different lines, each with their pros and cons for travelling, and the RENFE website provides lots of information and makes train travel through Spain easy and affordable. But that isn’t the best reason for travelling by train, that of course is the people you meet, and the countryside you will see. The train lines seem to be used by people travelling to work, shopping or to visit friends, school kids for outings, going to the beach or the skateboard park in the next town. I found a very relaxed pace to the people we meet on the train, and there is always someone around to help.
The weekly photo challenge on wordpress is between, so I have added this photo to the blog challenge, as this man is clearly between stations!
Santa María de León Cathedral; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman
Re-visiting the Leon Cathedral. We spent a couple of days in Leon in the fall of 2012 when we walked the Camino Francis from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela, and we knew that this was one place in Spain that we wanted to return, and to spend a little more time exploring the city and the historic sites.
It is festival week here in Leon Spain, with plenty going on in the street day and night, and we have been busy enjoying as much as we can!
We were wondering the streets of LLanes Spain, a little seaside town along the north coast in the province of Asturias. The northern route of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela runs through the town, and each day we would see several pilgrims as they passed through town. Llanes is a resort town, and a wide range of accommodation is available as well as restaurants and cafe’s serving daily menu.
There are remnants of 800 year old city walls, unfortunately the tower is now closed, there is a small harbour and along the port you can see the Cubos de la Memoria, however the main attraction is the beaches, within walking distance of the centre of town. It was on the walk home, late one afternoon that I found this large, rather overgrown fuchsia shrub, with the beautiful red and magenta flowers starting to bloom.
Not satisfied with the photos I was getting of the flowers I tried zooming several exposures to get the streaks of light. After merging the two images together I was able to achieve the affect I was looking for, that of the flowers gently blowing in the breeze. Intentional camera movement has been around for as long as I remember it, but digital cameras and the use of photoshop have given me the tools to better achieve the pre-visualized results.
We have moved onto Leon Spain, and we are enjoying our wedding anniversary amidst one of the many great festivals of Leon. We should have photos soon.
We were out one night trying to find a nice spot to watch the sunset, and capture a lovely view of the harbour for our memories of this wonderful little seaside town. When I looked back and saw Bill standing in the perfect spot I knew I had my photo. Yes, it could be anywhere, but I will remember that it was taken in the harbour of the lovely town.
view from the FEVE Train; copyright jmeyersforeman
Asturias, officially the Principality of Asturias, is an autonomous community in north-west Spain. The FEVE train that we have been using for travel runs along the north coastline, with beautiful views of the ocean, rivers, hills, towns. While I have to be quick with the camera, the train does move slow enough to get some images to show you this wonderful area.
We are travelling from Llanes to Leon Spain on the FEVE train today, so I am expecting to see more lovely Spanish countryside.
While visiting Ovieda Spain we learned that the area is famous for their natural ciders or sidra natural as they are known in the area. The hotel suggested that drinking Sidra Natural was high on the list of “must do” while visiting the city, they recommended a Sideria not far from the hotel that was also good for lunch. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than sitting on a patio and tasting local cider. We had a great lunch and were treated to quite a show each time we wanted another pour of cider from the bottle.
Sidra Pour; Cider Pour; Asturian Spain
We have since learned that the “pour” is not just for show, the customary method, known as escanciar, involves pouring the cider from high above one’s head and allowing the free-flowing stream, of about three feet, it to fall into the glass. But pouring this way is not just for show, it breaks up the bonds which release the naturally occurring esters and unleash the aromas, if you pour the cider normally, it ends up flat. The other important lesson, cider oxidizes quickly and the entire bottle must be drank in one sitting, on that note we were happy to oblige, twice, once for us and once on behalf of all our cider loving friends!!!