Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The sound of... not music

Military aviation.
What seems to be every weekday at 17.00 sharp, they make a circle around my house with ultrasonic speed. Today I managed to get a glimpse of one - maybe it is just one.

Wolf-whistling birds.
I am quite certain about this. The birds in the two trees opposite my terrace have a lot to say and fly arrends of all kinds, always busy as if they were up to something. Very cheerful.

The silence of my house:
"What is that sound?" friend said and then exclaimed: "Oh, now I know! It is me breathing."

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Walking in Madrid and some poetry.

First, some Madrid captures. Then, some poetry. 
 A happy, empty street. How can you tell it is 8 a.m. on a Sunday? It is quiet. Everybody is asleep. Partying continues till at least 5 a.m.
 I walked to Matadero, the equivalent to Museum of Modern arts. First it was confusing because I didn't know where to go, but figured it out soon: there ARE many buildings, there ARE simultaneous different exhibitions going on. The tabloids seen here represent the program of each building, more or less. 
 The favourite that stuck in my heart was the sunflower walk (indoors!). It was like walking on the countryside, with sand and pebble, and houses projected at the end of the lane. It is about the Spanish house bubble 2002-2007. Artists: Madrid group Basurama.
There was also an art fair I didn't find interesting enough to enter and a market with huge flower bags and Turkish delight. This is cherry flavour, thumbs up.
Then it was time for a four-hour ride by car home. Seeing air wind mills in rows brings out one poetic reference after another. They form a cabaret group, no, syncronised swimmers, and they stich, stich, stich the clouds. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Madrid and I

 Hold on, here comes a stamp story that was made complicated because of the visit to the capital. 

At the regional post office in Murcia, in south east Spain, I asked for stamps to Europe. It was all very clear and one guy even spoke English: one such stamp for up to 50 grams heavy letters. I bought ten of them and put such a stamp on a 40 gram letter to Linköping, Sweden, and it made it all the way to my friend's mailbox smoothly. But, the next time I came to the post office, they said that in fact I needed two such stamps for a letter of more than 20 grams within Europe. Same stamp is valid for letters up to 50 grams WITHIN Spain but for 20 grams outside of Spain. Ok, now convinced I knew it all, I put one such stamp on a postcard à 0,005 kg and went to the biggest post office in Madrid. THREE people were needed to help me modify my postcard stamp and getting the right three special stamps, worth 25 cents in total, in addition to two heavy-letters-within-Spain stamps.

"Do you still like post office?" friend says with a smirk.
"Take a photo of my frustration", I reply.
 Then I went to the Parque de él Retiro, to the most beautiful glass building I have seen anywhere. The fish in the pond across is about the size of the swans but hide well and there are at least 20 turtles that all have the steady diet of popcorn and white bread.
Gran Vía and I started an acquintance. We went on at least four walks together, same spot each time.
Ministry of Education, technically my job place! 
Inanimate objects that still make a city's soul.
This is inside a shop. Museums can look less fabulous. 
 And then it was quickly time for dusk, again.  
 A hip man in dark clothes and light blue jeans set up these not so legal ads.
 Night clubs started pumping with life.
And I found a childhood shop! A greek place with sweets and cookies from the city I grew up in.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Clues: Museum of Ham, football team celebrating in the Neptune fountain (yes! It is Madrid)

 Suddenly, I was on the way to Madrid. This is after having passed a landscape very famous for its flatness, called castella (almost like "castle" in Spanish), safe source says. Strange internet didn't confirm the name, but flat it was.
 First photo I took in the capital and was so lucky! This is namely the major post office with mailboxes to different parts of the world IN GOLD/bronze. I of course have bought a postcard already. (Edit: they were in use till 2007-2008.)
 And this is Instituto Cervantes. I recognised the logo before I read the name, very proud :) this institute of culture also exists in Stockholm.
 I spotted a chandelier in the yellow window right away. 
 Really liked the mirror of ads.
 And then found a popcorn shop. The salesman took a photo of me, and seriously said "try to smile" when I was already laughing. 
 So I tried.
And then came the evening. Tomorrow, I am taking you on more Madrid adventures, with more daylight at hand.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

"Kayaking adventures" day 4

 The company Qalat calls this kayaking. I don't, but paddles, water and views are things in common. 
We went through a protected canyon: Cañon de los Almadenes. For reference, the biggest closest city (village) is Calasparra in the more south part of Spain.
On the way: 10,000 years old cave paintings in La cueva de los Monigotes. There are more to be found, but not as much money to keep finding them.
In this area there are black wires in the air, once used for the black market.
Known as the teacher's house, but now abandoned. 
Birds flew syncronised and there were TWO WILD TURTLES.
Most of the time the water whirls are peaceful, except when the river makes a turn sharp as an angle.
Cheerful ambiance.
Presa de la Mulata is a an artificial waterfall of 10 meters that serves as a natural ending point of this kayak route.
Can you believe that the water level once was higher up than where I am standing?
We took the van back.
Steep and narrow as if only made for donkeys. Truth is that donkeys actually were used to take the lead to create roads, safe source said and laughed.
Like being in an artistic film.
The entrance. Photos prohibited. This guided route (solely in Spanish) maybe took one hour. For the more adventurous ones, you can also wire yourself down to 120 meters which takes three hours.
The exit, higher up in the mountains. Mind you, this used to be below sea level once. One centimeter of a stalactite takes 100 years to grow, and there are meters and meters of them.
The very first opening - 70 or 120 meters deep, I don't remember which. But people did get inside, and wrote things like "Seb was here -79" on the walls. Some people have also marked which parts are particularly steep by writing a pointing arrow on the wall. The "museum" kept it.
It is always a good idea to fall behind to discover things on your own and listen to the wind.
If you want to hear the sound of this view, watch the beginning seconds of "Babel".