Tag Archives | aragon

The Cocas of Camarasa

A few years ago my cousin Jaime and I were looking for a river in Aragon but one thing led to another and we ended up looking for a pizza in Catalonia.

Perhaps I should explain. The idea was to paddle a river. I had two inflatable kayaks and all the other bits of gear needed, as long as the water wasn’t too big. But it was early May. All the rivers flowing out of the Pyrenees were raging with meltwater from the snowfields high in the alpine. It was a warm day but the river was only a few degrees above freezing. An unplanned swim would be pretty grim.

In the town of Broto, just outside of Ordesa (one of the jewels of Spain’s national park system, you really should go if you have the chance), we walked into a store selling commercial rafting tours. The guide said we might be able to pull off the River Ara, which flows right through town. Thanks, we said, and walked down the street to the bridge across the Ara.

The river’s roar alone was discouraging. And then we saw it. The water looked the way you’d expect it to look, considering the roar. It was very fast and technical, with lots of rocks sticking out. It didn’t strike me as a very good idea. That hasn’t always stopped us in the past, but this didn’t look so much adventurous as it looked just plain dumb. (There’s often not much difference between the two.) Continue Reading →

15

Vultures on the Rise

vultureA Griffon Vulture soars over a valley in the Pyrenees foothills of Huesca, Spain. Rare in the rest of Europe, the Griffon Vulture has made a comeback in Spain, where the population is estimated in the tens of thousands. Like all vultures,  Continue Reading →

2

Lighting the Way

jaime-king-of-aragonOrnate iron street lamps glow in the backlight of a late winter afternoon on the Carrer Jaume I in Barcelona. Jaime I, King of Aragon, is an important figure in Catalan history, promoting language and culture while ousting the French and expanding the Crown of Aragon across Catalonia and the Mediterranean. Photo ©Mike Randolph

6

Cultural Crossroads

zaragoza semana santaSemana Santa in Spain: In a nighttime Holy Week procession, hooded penitents push a statue of the Virgen Mary past the mudéjar wall of Zaragoza’s La Seo Cathedral. Mudéjar architecture, with its distinct Islamic influence (note the geometric patterns), reached its zenith in Aragon, where buildings such as La Seo form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo ©Mike Randolph

Buy a limited edition print of this image

2

Stone Cold

The Medieval town of Aínsa is a gateway to the high Pyrenees mountains in the province of Huesca, Aragón. It’s days like this one, when the cold mountain winds bring a fresh blanket of snow, that make you wonder what it was like to live in a stone house in the mountains before the age of electrical heating. Photo ©Mike Randolph

Buy a limited edition print of this image

2

Medieval, but with Street Lamps

Midnight in Sos del Rey Católico and the streets are deserted. This stone village in northern Aragón was built on a rocky hill in the 10th century as a Christian fortress to repel attacks from Moorish armies. The etymology of the word Sos is unclear. Some say it was the name of the hill on which the village was built, others say it’s of Basque origin and refers to the Celtic tribes that once inhabited this part of northern Spain. Five centuries later, in 1452, Continue Reading →

15

A Flowery Fiesta

Every October the Fiestas del Pilar are celebrated in Zaragoza for ten days. On the 12th, a parade of 400,000 people dressed in traditional costume wait their turn to show devotion to the Virgin del Pilar by leaving an offering of flowers. In the plaza outside the Basilica, the Virgin’s dress at the end of the day is decorated by some ten million blooms. Photo ©Mike Randolph

Buy a limited edition print of this image

2

Where Lammergeiers Dare

The Mallos de Riglos, in the foothills of Aragon’s Pyrenees Mountains, are conglomerations of sand and gravel from ancient rivers discharging into the Ebro depression. Birds of many species use the walls as nesting grounds, including one of Europe’s rarest raptors, Continue Reading →

7

Eallyray Oldway Ineway

Little-known Cariñena, in the province of Zaragoza, Aragon, has been producing wine since Roman times, making it one of Spain’s oldest wine-growing regions. It’s common in Cariñena to see vines grown as individual plants. Photo ©Mike Randolph

0

The Cranes in Spain

Gallocanta Lake in Aragon, just south of Zaragoza, is the single most important site for migrating cranes in Spain. At the height of the season, Gallocanta, which is an entirely rain-fed lake, boasts a winter population of some 20,000 cranes, though in some years it’s more than twice that number. Photo ©Mike Randolph

 

1

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

google-site-verification: googlee2ce5b69ea52abb1.html