Friday, 21 December 2012

More from Spain

I don’t work on things chronologically, but usually have several projects going on at once. So, after writing up some of the Spanish journey, I then went off into an essay on a Polish writer, a foreword for a forthcoming poetry collection by Petar Tchouov, a Bulgarian writer, some other travel writing, and an ongoing translation of some of Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s work.

So it’s likely to be some time before I finish writing about the Spanish journey.  But, inspired by The Solitary Walker’s text and photos  from his latest walk, I’m putting up some more brief descriptions and images from Spain, before they get completely buried in the tottering pile of books and papers on my desk.

The olive groves. I managed to get lost again, quite spectacularly, one evening. After the sun had gone down, I explored a path, but after it got dark, very quickly, the path back had become invisible. This would not have been so bad, since I knew what direction I needed to go in – but the path I followed skirted a steep drop. Trying to find footholds in the dark was tricky. In the end I had to skid and slither down to the road below, hanging on to branches of olive trees. 
The next day, I followed the path and walked a long way through the olive groves. Each time I went onto a new path, I made a little arrow out of stones, so that I would know which way to go, on my way back. Incredibly – well not really so incredible – I still managed to lose the way, as I was thinking of something else and didn’t notice one of my carefully laid out arrows. And of course, in daylight, it did not matter.

distant hazy mountains

the descending track

Another day I walked in a different direction, clambered down the steep hill 
into another cluster of houses, another street. 

An old woman was sitting outside her house, knitting.

Walking back by the river I saw a squirrel, with very dark fur, almost black.

Market day in Villacarillo. 

These post bags on wheels look like a good idea.

When it is time to leave this lovely village, I take a different route back. A helps me with the ordering of a taxi to Villacarillo, then I take a bus to Albacete, which is in Castilla la Mancha, home of a rather famous literary character. 

From Albacete I take a train to Valencia 

then another to Vinaros, where I spend the night in the Hostal Teruel which I would recommend to anyone who plans to stay in Vinaros – the room was spacious and inexpensive, and you could eat in their café bar downstairs. Superb salad with potatoes washed down with red wine in the evening, and coffee and croissant in the morning.

But before breakfast, I had to visit the sea. 

The beach was deserted in the early morning. The cloud was thick – it even rained a little – the air was humid and warm, almost sultry. I suppose that most images of the sea look similar – water with waves big or small, the colour varying from green to grey or purple-blue, opaque or clear, perhaps some shoreline, the sky, blue maybe or cloudy or, as here, thick and dark. But for the person who takes the picture, each image is very different, for you can remember what was beyond the frame of the image – in this one, there were the shells on the beach, not broken up, but whole, colourful, striped, and thick. 

Carrer de la mare de deu del roser.

From Vinaros to Barcelona. The estacion franca. 

With its very grand - and rather empty - cafeteria and restaurant.

Then the night train to Paris.  Where they are trimming the trees. 



The Solitary Walker said...

Your work desk is heaving, Morelle!

Enjoyed your pics and text — especially liked the 4th photo. And as for getting lost, I do it all the time. It's an art.

dritanje said...

I'm glad you get lost too solitary walker. Extraordinary things can happen then. (Day 1 of the new calender).

dritanje said...

I mean calendar..

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Loved this series of photos.Surely this idea of trolley post bags will catch on here eventually,I'm sure post persons would be pleased to take the weight off their shoulders. Maybe we do have them and I just haven't noticed!
Hope your dinner preparations are going well!