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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Flowers in Somport

On Saturday morning we took a picnic to Le Somport, just over the border in France. In Jaca it was not a bad day, but as we approached the mountains we could see clouds caught on them. Arriving at the ski resort it was dull, misty and bitterly cold. We went for a long, brisk walk around the cross-country ski circuit, enjoying the spring flowers and the glimpses of the mountains. It was muddy, and there were patches of snow in secluded corners. On one misty stretch of track I saw the rumps of three or four roe deer which disappeared silently into the mist. The ground was very heavily worked by moles and wild boars.
Alpine squills on a bank angled at about 45º.

I didn't know what they were, and couldn't find them in any of my flower books, so I posted a photo on Facebook and my cousin suggested squills. That gave me a clue to follow. 

Then I googled squills and found which confirmed what Christine (my cousin) had said. It's a lovely blogspot. 

These are some kind of  orchids growing on a rough slope among the molehills and boar-rootings.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Zaragoza, from high up

The Pilar basilica in Zaragoza has a lift which goes up one of the towers. The views are great!

Although the flood waters from two months ago aren't as extreme as they were, they are still quite high.

looking straight down


Spiral staircase to the top

The leaning tower of San Juan de los Panetes from the Plaza del Pilar

Sunday, 26 April 2015

San Juan de la Peña

On Saturday morning we drove to the New Monastery of  San Juan de la Peña. Having seen both the old and new monasteries quite a few times, we just went for a little walk to the balcony which looks out over the descent to the village and the valley of the river Aragón Sobordán. We saw damage from the heavy snowfalls of the winter:

There were violets and hepaticas all over the place. This was the angle of a stone bench.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Showing off!

I did some patchwork and I want to show it off!

It may not look like much to you but it's many years since I did any and it's all wadded and quilted (by hand) and I'm proud of it!

Monday, 30 March 2015

El Pozo de San Lázaro

Zaragoza. The River Ebro is still really high, although you can see that it's gone down at least a metre from the very high flood waters a couple of weeks ago. Today we went on a walk down Camino de la Torres to the Unión bridge, crossed the swollen river and then walked along the banks to the Stone bridge. Just before the bridge we saw the terrifying pozo (well) of San Lázaro. It's a place where the flood water whirls.
videoRafael told me his memory of the terrible accident which happened in 1971. A bus, travelling from Barcelona to Badajóz fell off the bridge and was swallowed by the river. 45 people were rescued and 9 were lost, including 5 children. Apparently thousands of people went to help.

I read that the well or chasm is man-made, probably from first-century excavations to provide stone for the bridge. It was eventually brought from further away because what was extracted wasn't good enough. The chasm is up to 18 metres deep. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Zaragoza floods

After the heavy snow in the mountains the rivers are running full to overflowing. Both upriver and downriver from Zaragoza there are disastrous floods. Whole villages have been evacuated or made into islands as the Ebro runs through them.
In the city it has burst its banks even more than a month ago. Today I saw a container for paper being swept along by the massive floodwaters.


Saturday, 7 February 2015


As the snow melts in the sunshine we've got some spectacular icicles.
On the cathedral

And also on this chalet.