Niebla, a Western Taifa

The city of Niebla, halfway between the counties of El Condado and Andévalo, on the road from Seville to Huelva, is about thirty kilometres from the latter and lies along the banks of the Rio Tinto that once, when it was called Luxia, was navigable up to the city. Niebla preserved in a pretty good condition an admirable walls ring which completely encloses the old town. Read more  See the pictures

  

Happy 2018 New Year

To the 284,712 readers that have browsed 1.199.952 pages along this 2017 it's now over.
Thanks to everybody for your time and let 2018 be a greater and better year for everyone. Cheers!

Trieste, the No Place

Changing city, colour filled, bordering and ductile bound. Some have defined it as a non-place, an atopic site. Trieste is everything and nothing, complements itself and is contradictory. All of this - and nothing - have made it cradle and port of call and stay of writers who have left in their pages evidence of such nuances. Read more  See the pictures

Winter's Morning Dream

In the winter solstice of 1918 Corto Maltese is awakened by a crow in the middle of the ruins of Stonehenge. In this way begins a new Maltese adventure that started in the fiction one hundred years ago. It was the episode of The Celts called Songe d'un Matin d'Hiver and in which Hugo Pratt makes a clear reference to British mythology characters who play in Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream.

Lisbon Lookouts

Portuguese capital, as the Italian one, Rome, extends, in an almost mythical way, over seven hills, a fact that favours to find out high points, belvederes or miradouros, from where scrutinize its neighbourhoods from above.  Read more  See the pictures

Goya's Birthplace

Fuendetodos is a small Spanish town where barely one hundred seventy souls live. It is quiet, a real haven of peace until a coach download a students’ bunch coming to visit the heart of the town where painter Francisco de Goya, here omnipresent, was born. Read more  See the pictures

The City into the Palace

Illyrian, born in Salona, Dalmatia, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus reached the summit of power in Rome on November 20 of the year 284, establishing a governance reform that became known as the Tetrarchy, dividing the state control between two Augusti and two Caesars, between East and West. When in the year 305, he was 59 year old he retired and returned to his homeland where he had erected a monumental palace that eventually would contain a city inside. Spalatum for the Romans, Spalato to Italians and Split in Croatia. Read more  See the pictures

The Island of the 500 Churches

Mykonos, Aegean Capital of sun and beach tourism, parties, debauchery and hedonism without limit, has a curiously disproportionate and unexpected high rate of churches, temples, shrines and chapels. Perhaps it could be to balance excesses.  Read more  See the pictures

Under the Flag of Gold 

This is the name of the second episode of The Celts where Hugo Pratt places Corto Maltes in the middle of World War I, the adventure happens after the battle of Caporetto, October 24, 1917, a hundred years ago. In it Corto knows a young Ernest Hemingway and Aristotle Onassis in a confused military scene in a volatile Veneto borders. Read more  See the pictures

Tana Toraja

It rains. No stops. I like the rain but this is too much. Doesn’t a drop fall after another. They fall all together. Incessantly. If Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim had visited this country would have believed that he had fallen overboard from Patna ship instead of being landed. It’s Tana Toraja, the land of Toraja people in Sulawesi, the Celebes Islands. Read more  See the pictures

Welcome to the Land of Ch'tis

Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis is the original title of the French comedy of Dany Boon released in 2008. The film is an acidic comedy on life in northern France, Nord-Pas de Calais. Southwards, is the Somme department, the flowery Picardy region and the bitter memories of the war in the trenches. Read more  See the pictures

The Porte

From Café Loti’s terrace, on the last of Istanbul’s seven hills, view shows as Golden Horn splits new town and the old Seraglio and the memories of past empires. Beyond, Asia is sensed. Bridges stand between both shores with its frenetic traffic and numerous minarets project to the skies calling believers. Read more  See the pictures

The Island of Calm

Some will is needed to reach it. There is no airport, so the only access is by sea from Ibiza harbour. Its dimensions have necessarily limited accommodation for visitors, a fact that has slightly moved it away from mass tourism. Formentera is still relatively isolated from the rest of its neighbours and the rest of the world.  Read more  See the pictures

The Grand Canal

Passengers board with the indispensable caution the walkway leading to the vaporetto after selecting the right stop at Piazzale Roma. There starts line 1, which runs unhurried along the showcase of all the vanities that grow up above the water reflections on the great aquatic avenue winding between the Venetian neighbourhoods. Read more  See the pictures

Goin' Beatnik

In the late seventies and early eighties, finished adolescence without understanding what happened during military service, it was time to discover the first books published is this part of Europe about a then little known generation of rebels without a cause, which, also here, launched some young people on the road.   Read more  See the pictures

Onyar River Houses

It is one of the most known Girona landmarks, the facades looming to the Onyar River reflecting their colourful facades on the waters along city’s bridges. Read more  See the pictures

The Heaven's Embassy

It’s a state within a state occupying only a little bit of a city, just half one square kilometre. The Vatican is like a Heaven’s Kingdom embassy on Earth. No other religion aspires to such earthly legation. Read more  See the pictures

Napier, the Art Deco City 

Foxtrot and Dixie notes flow along the streets in an increasingly noticeable volume. Going ahead to meet the music suddenly appears a square where the playing band looks like any other coming from any Alabama or Missouri small town. Couples dance at the rhythm, dressed as if they were still living the roaring twenties. Buildings facades are in the mood. It’s Napier, New Zealand, the Art Deco city.  Read more  See more pictures

Slovenian Short Coast

Slovenia isn’t a microstate, but not a large country. On the West goes down from Triglavski National Park mountains, close to the Austrian border along the way of Isonzo River, Soča in Slovene language, bordering Italy. Consequently, the Adriatic coast is a not too long sample, a taste of Istria. Read more  See the pictures

Lady Isabella

I will not say she’s like on her first day, but Lady Isabella is remarkably well preserved after been long surpassed its first century and a half. Another lady, Lady Dundas unveiled on September 27, 1954 a plaque to commemorate the centenary. Lady Isabella is nothing less, a huge waterwheel 72 feet diameter and six feet wide, which was been used to pump water from the Laxey mines. Read more  See the pictures

In the Land of Foie Gras

Dordogne matches roughly with the old Perigord province in France's Aquitaine. It deserves the visit for its gentle landscapes cut by their placid rivers, for its rich and varied cuisine and wines despite not being recognized as those of Bordeaux or Burgundy. Also for its many castles, one of them, Milandes, was purchased by Josephine Baker for her twelve adopted children. Read more  See the pictures

Icarus in Ronda

The city is mainly known for Guadalevin gorge that split neighbourhoods and for the New Bridge linking them through its towering arches. It’s an image that David Roberts prints promoted in the years when Romanticism turn fashionable eastern landscapes and past ruins. But other illustrious sons who were born in the years of Al Andalus heyday have been more recognized in the East than in their own land. Read more  See the pictures

The Three Mavrogenus' Fountains

Nicolaos Mavrogenus was one of the prodigal sons of Parikia, Paros Island main town in the Greek Cyclades. Missing his native Aegean and as Wallachia governor decided benefit his hometown providing a public drinking water supply: three beautiful marble fountains.  Read more  See the pictures

Miracle on the Vineyard

La Viña – vineyard - neighbourhood, one of the most popular in Cadiz old town, was named so for an obvious reason, vines grew up there, one of the lowest areas in the city. On Sundays noon, some restaurants set up their tables out. Customers enjoy fried fish and other delicacies of Cadiz cuisine, sardines, shrimps, seasoned roe…  Read more  See the pictures

London Hampstead

Hampstead Village is an elegant neighbourhood in Camden borough, north London, which also has one of the largest green areas of the City, Hampstead Heath. Residence of wealthy families also attracted artists, painters and poets to found their inspiration here. Read more  See the pictures

On Ebro River Meanders

In Ribera Baja shire, in Aragon, Spain, the river runs lazily on a layer of clay and limestone that forcing it to squirm on their way down to the Mediterranean, forming sinuous meanders one after another, winding among towns that live on the waters. Read more  See the pictures

Milan or X-ray of a memory (2017 Updated)

   …memories are life pieces teared from the void. Nothing ties them. Nothing anchors, nothing fixed. Virtually nothing ratifies them. (Georges Perec)

This is an old x-ray film, should be about thirty five years or even more. Backlight examining it some gaps are clearly observed. In fact is what prevails. As time goes by the image is markedly deteriorated.  Read more  See the pictures

A Place Called Granyena

Granyena de Segarra is a small town where scarcely one hundred and forty souls live. It gathers on the southern slope of a hill standing out among the wavy plains where cereal grows in Lleida lands, in the shadow of an ancient Templar fortress. Read more  See the pictures

Entertaiment in the Empire

Ancient Rome citizens were fond of public entertainment that scarcely differs, except for a few details, from those that are now offered on football stadiums, sports palaces or bullrings. In imperial times tens of thousands of spectators flocked to venues where watch races, fights or dramatic performances. The poet Decimus Iunius Juvenalis summarized stating that the Romans wanted just two things: panem et circenses, bread and circus. Nothing has changed. Read more  See the pictures

Minorca's Stones

Minorcan prehistory was written with stones, medium sized blocks lined up one upon other forming burial structures in inverted vessel shape and cyclopean stones supporting others in a characteristic megalithic structure only in the world. They all make up what has been called the Balearic talaiotic culture.  Read more See the pictures

A Palace beside the River

When the King of Siam Phrabat Somdet Phra, also known as Rama I the Great, decided to move the kingdom capital from Thonburi to neighbour Krung Thep must have thought in a place which don’t lack of any of the charms the King Sun got at Versailles. He built beside the Chao Phraya River Bangkok’s Royal Grand Palace, Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang. Read more See the pictures

Cotentin, West of Normandy

At bird's eye view, would seem a huge breakwater, and there’s something about this. Contains Atlantic waters fury before becoming the marine currents that runs throughout the Channel. It is an extension of the Armorican Massif and has seen since the Roman legions to American paratroopers. Read more  See the pictures

The Valley of the Kings

The ancient Egyptians called Ta-sekhet-ma'at, the Great Field, to the valley the sun burns under Meretseger, the Hill which loves the silence. The silence that for centuries has accompanied hundreds of outstanding graves excavated in the rock, hidden beneath the sands of the Valley of the Kings. Read more  See the pictures

Mediterranean Alphabets

Four thousand years before our era one of the earliest known writing systems begun to be developed in Egypt. To hieroglyphic followed simplified alphabets and in a neighbouring world, the Phoenician, its writing subsequently lead to the most widespread alphabets in the Mediterranean area: Greek and Latin.  Read more  See the pictures

E la Nave Va

Venice historic centre urban grid has a well known peculiar features, common streets mixed with canals and waterways requiring to use marine navigation even for the most common public transport. Here, instead bus, they call it vaporetto.  Read more  See the pictures