Typical of me to miscount. This isn’t the last day of the month. But these are my last squares. Alongside my one and only square today are other shots, mainly in blue, for Jude’s monthly Life in Colour challenge. They’re all included as a final salute to our memorable month in Spain – until Monday, that is, when I’ll showcase the clothes lines that we spotted for Andrew’s Monday Washing Lines.
TreeSquareAnd thanks, as ever, for your Squares challenge Becky. A lovely month of choosing, squaring and sharing images of trees, ‘our most intimate connection with nature’ ( George Nakashima)
Zigzagging my way into Zaragoza’s old city centre, I came across, ahead of me, a glass canopy. A market perhaps? But no. It covered Caesar Augustus’ Roman Amphitheatre. I could inspect it quite well from the street, but on a whim, decided to pay the entrance fee and go in. ‘I’ve decided to take your word for it that you’re over 65’, the chivalrous man at the desk said. ‘It’s free for you’.
I was so glad I went. I discovered that this theatre was only relatively recently excavated. It was designed during the 1st century CE for an audience of 6,000 people (in a city of 18,000) and remained in use for some 200 years. When the Romans left, firstly the Moors covered over the site to provide extra housing space in the crowded city centre. Later, it became a Jewish quarter, and when the Jews were expelled in the 14th century, Christians moved in. And so it was until the late twentieth century. I didn’t quite understand why it had become possible to uncover and excavate this site in the 1970s. But I enjoyed exploring, and took pleasure in the unusual distorted views of it provided by the glass windows of the museum which explained the amphitheatre’s history.
Trees and the amphitheatredistorted in the museum windows.
After our stay with the family, the plan was to wander back across Spain to the ferry in Santander, taking in Zaragoza on the way. Then we found out that Zaragoza was quietly sizzling away in temperatures of 37 degrees daily. Sightseeing temperatures? Perhaps not. So we cut our stay down to a single night- long enough to convince us that we must return to this city packed with ecclesiastical architecture, a Moorish past, a Roman heritage, and the works of Goya too.
I’ll show you just one of the city’s must-see sights, the Basílica del Pilar. It’s not even Zaragoza’s cathedral. It’s views like this, conveniently framed by trees, that tell us we must return.
For today’s tree though, let’s look upward. We were enjoying the multitude of swifts which zipped and ricocheted across the sky, just as they had in Premià. And look what’s included itself in the shot. A tree. A small tree – offering some apartment dweller a morsel of shade from that ever-present sun.
My featured photo shows a cooling city centre public garden where Malcolm had a rest as I went off on a small investigative tour, and came across a special site which I’ll share with you tomorrow.