The header shows a splendid pair of dragons topping off a perfectly ordinary drainpipe on a perfectly ordinary house in Sagunt in the Province of Valencia. How perfectly odd. Here they both are, shown singly, to keep to the Rule of Squares.
And just to keep them company, let’s show two more dragons, gargoyles this time, one from Gdansk, and one from Krakow.
This day three weeks ago, I was in Sagunt, near Valencia. When I wrote about it, I posted not a single photo, but promised you a few later. You’ll have to wait for the ones celebrating this fine city’s Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Civil War past. Today, you can see the cheeky dragon who’s roaring from the top of a perfectly ordinary drainpipe fixed to a perfectly ordinary house.
I’ll show you the cheeky cactus growing in the gutter of another perfectly well-appointed house nearby.
And you can see the cheeky red squirrel – so exciting to an English person used only to his pushy grey cousins – who declined to sit still and pose nicely while I fussed around turning on my camera.
This week’s WordPress photo challenge invites us to find cheeky photos.
Yesterday, I took a trip away from the Big City. I went on a train through the flatlands near Valencia, getting off where the hills started, in Segunt.
Here is a city that’s been important and fought over for millennia, precisely because of those hills. Early peoples settled there, overlooking the sea, trading with Phonoecia, which came to control it. Hannibal’s army besieged the city, and the Romans took over: that’s why the city has a Roman circus and theatre. Much restored, the theatre is used to this day.
Then along came the Barbarians, the Visigoths, and Sagunt became part of the Byzantine empire. By the 8th century the Moors had conquered the town, and transformed agriculture and commerce, building mosques and public baths.
By the 13th century, Sagunt was Christian again, and over the next six centuries, fought over by various Spanish kingdoms. The Jews came too, but they were pitched out in the 15th century. The quarter where they lived is still identifiable.
Even the twentieth century saw no end to conflict here. Both sides in the Civil War made use of the defensive possibilities of the castle.
Ah, the castle. I never mentioned that. It dominates the town. It’s a hotch-potch. Nobody who conquered here left it alone. It’s over a kilometre long from end to end. I know. I stumbled over rocks and through cactus trying to circumnavigate it. Unsuccessfully.
And horror of horrors. I deleted the photos from my phone without checking whether they’d uploaded to Google photos. They hadn’t. And I can’t retrieve the pictures from my camera here. I’ll have to upload them later and let you know when I’ve done it. Grrrr.