Shrimp Boat 2017
I went to the beach not knowing what to expect. My purpose was simple – take photos. I’ve been in a creative slump for quite some time now. Over a year. So I MADE myself go out and MADE myself take the camera, The good one – not my phone.
The light was so odd, which for me is a blessing as I love odd light anywhere. Especially at the beach because a sunny beach is frankly pretty boring. I’m not a sunny beach girl. I’m a moody beach girl. So the beach was moody.
And sort of calm. Waves were symmetrical and long, rolling in in regular fashion like a string of pearls. I notice flocks of gulls to the north, which usually means a boat. A shrimp boat comes into view. It’s closer than they normally are and the light threw it into silhouette. That odd steel blue sky, the silhouetted shrimp boat and gulls and that oddly yellow green sea was very calming.
“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
(Gilbert K. Chesterton)
On our way to Besalu we passed through a scenic little village that was as beautiful as any other scenic little village you’ve ever seen. Charming. Delightful. Filled with small curvy roads, narrow alleys created by towering stone medieval walls. Back onto the roadway to Besalu my son-in-low slowed and pointed to the right. “That’s Castellfollit de la Roca,” he said. (I had to look it up on the map.) My jaw dropped because the village we’d just driven through could be seen perching upon a cliffside. “We’ll stop on the way back for photos,” he said. So we did, and in doing so we noticed the massive Catalonian flag draping down the cliffside.
Beneath the cliff lies a beautiful valley where an old mill site sits, along with a new bridge. We found our way down to the bridge through a lush area filled with community gardens. Many men were busy hoeing and picking vegetables – a photographic gem of a place but I left them alone and walked to the bridge with my family.
From our perch below on the bridge we could better see the giant Catalonian flag cascading down the cliffside, right below the medieval watchtower. Such pride, these Catalonians.
One final look and photo of Castellfollit de la Roca with running stream and the beautiful flag. I had a new appreciation for this village on our way back to the hotel after seeing it from below.
High Chair – Besalu, Spain
Sauntering through the medieval stone walls of Besalu, Spain, was a transport back in time. All my thoughts about old Spain flew away as I literally stood on the ground about which I’ve read in history books. My romantic self loved the high walls, stone roads and old doors and windows. That romantic self also dreamed about living in this ancient, artistic city filled with the smells of cuisine, the air vibrating with conversations of the locals in Catalon. We sat in a central square, pulling up chairs beneath umbrellas for shade, ordered our beers and sat silent, immersing ourselves into the world of Besalu.
After a sweet respite soaking in the atmosphere we paid, took our leave and rambled on through more streets whereupon we happened upon …. chairs. Chairs attached to walls. chairs in odd places.
Two Chairs – Besalu, Spain
A plaque on the wall told us these are the Chairs of Career Rocafort. Two artists, one from Italy and one from Girona. The creator of this work, Ester Baulida, says “these chairs symbolize the difficulties that humanity has in accomplishing its aims and resolving the problems it has to confront.”
In searching for information about this I found interesting tidbits from other bloggers that all ran on a similar vein. Here’s what one said: “Another highlight of the museum was the chairs. These pieces of furniture were nailed long ago to the walls of the dwellings from the outside with legs. In such an interesting way, the townspeople struggled with dark forces in the Middle Ages. Chairs were nailed to sit on them to catch the spirit (in particular, witches) flying over the city. If there are chairs outside, why should she climb into the house? On the other hand, the furniture is nailed so that you can not sit on it, and so there was no reason to linger among people.”
Well, turns out the chairs have nothing to do with witches, unless one interprets that the chairs symbolize politicians … then, wait a minute….! Ha!
Boarded Up, Besalu, Spain 2018
Jet lag has left me and I’m revisiting a recent trip to Spain via processing the photos.
Besalu was my first time experiencing medieval villages of Spain. The textures of old wood juxtaposed with stone the color of sienna made me want to weep at its beauty. We visited family in the village of Olot in Northern Spain, about an hour and a half north of Barcelona. There, my son-in-law acted as interpreter and tour guide for our week long journey into Catalonia. I’ll post pics as processed.