El Parc Natural del Delta de l’Ebre

25 10 2013
Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre
Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre

The city’s yet new, but weekend nature escapes feel just right. This time, amiga Maite invites me to el Delta del Ebro, Ebre en Catalan.

I have (very) vague memories of Histories of Spain 365 with Chris. There was some mention that the Peninsula was drier than you might expect, and I’m sure there was a quiz question about the major rivers that I missed. I do remember the name Ebro, though. The etymology of Iberian derives from it.

Where fresh meets salt, the shallowest of islands are swallowed up in seagulls. The short cruise we take doesn’t swing by close enough for a proper shot of the birds, but I’m pretty sure I note a faint “Mine? Mine?” in the humid air anyway.

Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre
Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre

Post-boat, we head to Casa de Fusta, an institution in the Delta since 1926. The whole area is covered in swampy rice fields; the grains here are so renowned they actually carry their own D.O.P. to ensure the enthusiast of quality.

We split the menú de desgustación plus a few extra special entrantes between the table. The menú is a wide amalgamation of goodies from the sea, including brandada de bacalao, cigalas y sepia con cebolla y patatas, y arroz caldoso con rape y langostinos.

I’ve been promised that one may enjoy ortiguillas rebozadas – fried anemone – in this area, and so request it. They’re the mysterious breaded gooballs pictured above. Ñam!

Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre
Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre

The terrain here is so flat that people build lookout points to be able to take a proper survey. There are 316 species of birds that make the Delta their home. Elongated necks and beaks can be seen picking about the fields from up here for kilometers.

Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre
Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre

Post-rice feast, we take a much needed long walk on Playa de la Marquesa.

Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre
Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre

Sea to one side, rice to the other, and this tiny strip of sand in between.

Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre

Weekends are just so much longer this way.





No Man’s Art – Fotopost

9 03 2013

It’s spring, it’s here, I’m calling it. There’s the usual culprits, so much rain and genuine licks of sunlight, and that old onion we planted in the windowsill is actually honest-to-god sprouting. And I’m out, taking the pulse of the city, finding it still alive, we’re still here, estamos vivos, parece. Me too.

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No man’s art next door. An invitation to climb into the insistent sky.

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Wholesale mannequin parade. Readymade framing. Coiffed and poised.





Asturias: In the Midst of Urchins

4 02 2013

Thighs on Christmas

I’d wanted to hit Asturias ever since my first year in Madrid, when their tourism board ran a months-long campaign in the Sol metro that I had to pass through each weekday on my way north. The 2012 December puente brought the time, the cash, the company. Behold: Oviedo calves at Christmastime.

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The Asturian capital is stately and gray under December skies.

Storefront Sausage FantasiesFonts on Christmas

The area is known for taking delight in gastronomic excess; embutidos, quesos, and sidra abound.
Mordor

No car at my disposal this time around, so mountains and surrounding expansive country must wait.

Puerto de Gijón
Oricios!No More Oricios

Coastal Gijón is easily accessible by bus, and brought the promise of eating odd bits from the sea. If the last bus back had left just a moment later, I might have fit in a third plate of oricios.

For the curious: they’re briny, the velvet of the bright orange roe interrupted here and there by a stray gritty crunch from the spines. They remind me of how one’s lips taste after an hour spent diving. Lovely, and wonderful in canned form as well.





Fotopost: Mullins Mill

1 11 2012

The unbelievable rental property that you’ll continually see in the background of our Barbadian blogging is Mullins Mill, a 6-bedroom villa located in St. Peter’s Parish. Post toad-in-the-hole this morning, I spent some quality time poking around the grounds with my camera – here’s a slice of the tropical majesty we tromp through each day.

First impressions impress.

This place merits a closer look.

Flora galore.

Stairs, pool house, turrets.

Common rooms and cozy nooks.

A thoughtful detail or two.

Color and texture.





Fotopost: Vigo and Cangas – Galicia, Spain

21 05 2012

The Churruca district welcomes us into the Vigo night. Malasaña-esque in graffitied appearance, but wholly gallego in openness of spirit.

It’s St. Patty’s. We celebrate in full-on Irish gnomie style.

Vigo takes us and twirls us.

Morning.

Breakfast of Churruca campeones: freshly shucked oysters from the bay, plus Albariño.

Just across said bay lies Cangas.

Cangas’ exclusive discoteca.

Cangas’ mascot.





Fotopost: Moinhos on the Road from Oporto to Vigo

13 05 2012


One last public transport groove in the full embrace of the sun.


The clouds love us too, as does the sea.


Not to mention the well-timed affection of meteorological phenomena.


May every journey be so blessed with moinhos.

We are between places, we are no-place, we belong here, we are walking dreaming.





El Rastro: Photojaunt Meetup

6 05 2012

OKCupid’s overdone, intercambios are insipid, and you’re seriously cansada de Couchsurfing? Meetups are one solution. Folks of all ages and origins rally around shared interests, a proposal which manages to simply and swiftly avoid attracting the typical monochromic backpacking/expat crowd. My own meetup inauguration comes in the form of a photography scavenger hunt proposed around a Rastro afternoon. A prize is promised. I’m in.

We’re about a dozen that gather in Tirso de Molina at noon, the majority of necks slung proud with elaborate SLR electronics. My beat-up point-and-shoot Canon S90 is at the ready, though, and I all but ignore the proffered hunting list in favor of snapping a few choice frames in my own style.

Weary white tees in contrast to persistent yellow facades in contrast to struggling blue spring skies.

I got yelled at for this one. It’s true, I took it so I could copy the designs for personal profit.

Deals everywhere.

If you’ve got the time, they’ve got the heel.

I think this elegant guy works here – he looked to be sorting the records.

Sweet.

Gitanerias. Piles of books and records and postcards abound in El Rastro – discarded media from a different age.

What the gastronomically inclined did pre-internet.

The butt end of El Rastro, in a plaza near Puerta de Toledo. We’re talking serious opportunities here, ripe for hardcore combers and bargainers of all variety. I may have negotiated a capricho or two.

Afterwards, cheapo eats and drinks at 100 Montaditos, plus travel tips, official photo judging, and cell number exchanges. I didn’t win, but neither did I lose.