Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CATALONIA - COSTA DAURADA: SALOU BEACH, REUS AND TARRAGONA

In march, when the spring was about to come and the weather was becoming better, we spent a lovely and really sunny weekend in Salou and La Costa Daurada. We stayed in a comfortable hotel in Salou and, from here, we visited the following beautiful places:

Day 1:

  • Ermita de Santa Maria de la Roca (Mont-Roig del Camp)
  • Pratdip
  • The modernist town of Reus
Day 2:

  • Beach of Salou
  • Ancient Roman Tarraco
  • Tarragona old quarter

Saturday, 7th March 2009

Hotel in Salou



Hotel Sol Costa Daurada in Salou
This is the hotel Sol Costa Daurada, where we stayed the weekend we spent in Salou and surroundings. The weather was lovely during all the weekend. That days seemed actually summer days

Hotel Sol Costa Daurada in Salou
This hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor one. We enjoyed a lot the indoor swimming pool in the evenings

Hotel Sol Costa Daurada in Salou
I really liked the colourful and really spacious hall. You can see on the right corner another person who loved this hall too because she was also taking a photo in front of me :)


The view from our room in the second floor was quite interesting to relax our sight. In the background, on the left, it can be seen one of the most exciting attractions of Port Aventura funfair: a 100 meters free fall



Mont-Roig del Camp (Mare de Déu de la Roca)


Mare de Déu de la Roca in Mont-Roig del Camp
After a wonderful all-you-can-eat breakfast in the hotel, we drove to the chapel Mare de Déu de la Roca, located on the top of a hill in a nearby small town called Mont-Roig del Camp


Mare de Déu de la Roca in Mont-Roig del CampThe chapel Mare de Déu de la Roca was quite small but I really enjoyed the view from the square. From here, we had beautiful views of the sea and some towns like Salou and Cambrils. Because of the wind we suffered up there, we couldn't stay much time, but the necessary time to take some pictures :)

View from Mare de Déu de la Roca in Mont-Roig del CampFrom here we could see Salou and Cambrils and the petrochemical industry near Reus. We were really lucky to have such a sunny day because the view was really lovely covered with the sunshine


View from Mare de Déu de la Roca in Mont-Roig del CampAnother picture from this square swept by the wind. I even though that my light glasses could fly away


From a nearby point we can enjoy an overall view of the place where we were spending that morning


Pratdip

Castle of Pratdip
From this little church in Mont-Roig del Camp we drove to Pratdip, a village located a few kilometers. This picture shows the remains of a Castle in the highest point of this small town

And in the surroundings of Pratdip, beside the road, another chapel appears, called Sta. Marina

Reus



City hall of Reus
From Pratdip we went back to the north to visit Reus, the most important town of the province of Tarragona together with the city of Tarragona. In this picture, the city hall of Reus


Church of Reus
Near the City Hall is located the church of Reus, in the heart of the old quarter of this town


Navas House in Reus
One of the best cultural activities to do in Reus is a walk called Modernist route. While you walk you can see Modernist facades like this one of the Navas House, located in the City Hall Square

Market of ReusThis picture taken from the market of Reus shows the side façade of an almost neglected church. This façade reminded me the side façade of the main nave of the Sagrada Familia in
 Barcelona

Gasull House in Reus
Next to the Sant Joan Hospital in Reus we saw this house called Gasull House, which was designed by the well-known modernist architecht Lluis Domènech i Muntaner

Rull House in Reus
Next to the Gasull House is the Rull House, also designed by Lluis Domènech i Muntaner, one of the most important modernist architechts

Sunday, 7th March 2009

Salou Beach


Beach of Salou

The beach of Salou in another really lovely day. It was incredibly pleasant to feel the sunshine warming my face again

Beach of SalouThe beach of Salou again, but this time to the left


Palm trees in Salou promenade
The Salou promenade flanked by palm trees


Palm trees in Salou promenadeMore Palm trees which give a Caribbean aspect to the Salou beach


Tarragona


Arrabassada beach in Tarragona
After a brief promenade in Salou we drove to Tarragona to visit the roman remains of the ancient city of Tarraco. We parked our car next to the Arrabassada beach and from here we walked twenty minutes until we reached the roman amfitheater



Ancient Roman Tarraco


Roman Amfitheater in Tarragona
The roman Amfitheater is one of the best preserved monuments of the ancient Tarraco. This building is one of the three entertainment buildings of an important roman city together with a Circus and a Theater. In fact, Tarraco was the capital of one of the imperial provinces of the Roman Empire


Roman Amfitheater in TarragonaThe amfitheater has an elliptical floor. The arena, the place where the spectacle took place, is 62,50 meters long and 38,50 meters wide. It can be seen in the arena the remains of a romanesque church, called Santa Maria del Miracle, built during the XII century


Roman Amfitheater in TarragonaThe amfitheater was located outside the walls, but quite close to the city and to the Augusta Way. It was also located close to the beach, where the animals used for the fights were unloaded


Flowers next to the amfitheater of TarracoLovely flowers next to the amfitheater of Tarraco


Praetorium in TarragonaThe Praetorium is a Roman-era tower that once housed the stairs that connected the lower city to the provincial forum by way of the circus, to which it is connected by means of underground passageways. It stands at one of the corners of the vast rectangle of the provincial forum square. In the 16th century, it was transformed into a palace for the monarchs of the Catalan-Aragonese crown. It was subsequently used as a prison


Circus of TarragonaLocated between Via Augusta and the provincial forum, Tarragona's circus was once used to hold horse and chariot races. An elongated structure measuring 325 by 115 metres, its original capacity has been estimated at 30,000 spectators

Circus of TarragonaThe complex was built in the 1st century. Unusually, it was located within the city limits and is thus endowed with several atypical architectural features. It is considered one of the best-preserved circuses in the West, although some of the original structure remains hidden under old 19th-century buildings

Tarragona Old Quarter


City hall of Tarragona
The city hall of Tarragona at the end of a square. An ideal place to drink something under the warming sunshine

We wasn't alone drinking a cold drink


Cathedral of Tarragona
Dedicated to Saint Mary, the city's cathedral was built on approximately the same site of what was once the Roman temple. Its construction began in the 12th century in the Romanesque style and continued throughout the Gothic period. The building was consecrated in 1331. The soaring entrance and rose window of its façade are one of the city’s most emblematic images

Gothic archs next to the Cathedral
Gothic archs next to the Cathedral of Tarragona

Cathedral of Tarragona
The Cathedral from another point

City Walls of TarragonaIn the 2nd century B.C., a great wall was built around Tarraco, delimiting the municipal boundaries. The wall originally ran some 3,500 metres. Today, approximately 1,100 metres remain, bordering present-day Tarragona's Old Quarter. The walls are the oldest Roman construction still conserved outside Italy


City Walls of TarragonaSpecial attention should be paid to the Archbishop's Tower, which underwent considerable alterations in the Middle Ages, and the Minerva Tower, which is the site of the oldest Roman sculpture and inscription in the Iberian Peninsula

Rambla Vella in Tarragona
The Rambla Vella is a wide promenade which links the Imperial Tarraco square to the Mediterranean sea. This boulevard ends in a viewpoint called Mediterranean Balcony

Aqueduct in Tarragona
In the forest a few kilometers north of the city, a Roman arch bridge carrying an aqueduct has been preserved

Aqueduct in Tarragona
It is known locally as "Devil's Bridge" and is a magnificent aqueduct, which spans a valley about 4 km north of the city. It is 217 m in length, and the loftiest arches, of which there are two tiers, are 26 m high



Arc de BeràDriving to Barcelona we could see the Arc de Berà. This arch is a triumphal arch some 20 km north of the city of Tarragona. It stands on the line of what was the Via Augusta, now the N-340 road.





Other interesting places to visit or things to do in la Costa Daurada are:



Finally, cliking on the next link you will find links to other beautiful villages and places of Catalunya.



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

DANTE'S EQUATION (Jane Jensen)

El rabi Aharon Handalman ha descobert un nom al códi de la Torá. ¿Qui és Yosef Kobinski? Aharon descobreix que Kobinski, un físic brillant, va escriure el que potser hagi sigut l'obra perduda més important de la história de la humanitat. Un grup de persones segueix les seves petjades fins a un clar dels boscos propers a Auschwitz, on s'enfrenten amb l'inexplicable. I allò que era inexplicable els hi va tornar a succeïr a tots ells.


Portada del llibre L'Equació Dante

La història de Kobinski arriba també a un periodista sensacionalista sense escrúpuls que té com a objectiu la reconstrucció de l'obra de Kobinski per la seva posterior publicació a la revista per la que treballa. Tot amb interessos merament lucratius.

El codi de la Torà guiarà a Handalman fins a una brillant científica que, juntament amb el seu jove ajudant, descobreix una important equació física que els mostra rà que hi ha quelcom intrínsec a l'espai-temps que equilibra el bé i el mal al nostre univers. Ells mateixos se n'adonen ràpidament que un ús pervers d'aquesta equació podria proporcionar el marc teóric per a la construcció d'una arma de destrucció massiva d'un poder destructiu inimaginable.

Noves armes potencials és precisament el que busca un militar arrogant i sociópata del departament de defensa dels Estats Units i que perseguirà a la Doctora Talcott fins a un punt d'un bosc proper al que va ser el camp de concentració d'Auswitz.

En aquest punt de Polònia coincidiran tots només un moment. Instants després cadascun d'ells es veurà formant part d'un nou món pertanyent a un altre univers. Uns mons on podran veure reflexades les vessants més negatives d'ells mateixos.

Aquesta història barreja un ventall d'elements que li aporten una tensió i una intriga que acaba enganxant al lector. FBI, MOSSAD (servei d'intel·ligència d'Israel), Ciència i tecnologia de forats negres, espai-temps i ones d'energia, codis ocults fan la historia entretinguda i interessant. Tot això escrit amb un llenguatge potser massa directe i visceral.
L'autora aprofita aquesta trama d'intriga i ciència per intentar comunicar diversos valors, dels quals destacaria:

- L'equilibri i l'armonia contra els extrems. En l'equilibri està el bé i la bondat.

- El triomf de la profunditat de sentiments sobre la superficialitat, de la tolerància sobre la rigidesa de pensament, de la calidesa emocional i de l'afecte per sobre de la fredor i la indiferència i del respecte sobre l'odi.

- El canvi a millor és més fàcil quan una persona veu reflexada les seves vessants negatives a l'exterior, en les persones que l'envolten.

- El nostre planeta és un dels més bonics, equilibrats, acollidors i agradables dels possibles. Caldria que els seus habitants comencessin a demostrar que són dignes d'habitar-lo. En tota persona equilibrada i sensata, la por a destruir el seu habitat i la seva espècie supera l'ànsia de poder i reconeixement.

- Com de devastadora pot arribar a ser la ciència i la tecnologia si no són utilitzades en la direcció correcta.




Finalment, a continuació pots veure una llista amb altres llibres interessants que he llegit:


Sunday, March 1, 2009

BARCELONA: CIUTADELLA PARK

Ciutadella Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Barcelona, really peaceful. Inside this park there is a nice fountain and the Parliament of Catalonia. I took this pictures during the visits I did to this park in 2008 and 2010.


Fountain in Ciutadella Park
This is an image of a part of the great cascade or ornamental fountain of Ciutadella Park. This fountain is what I like the most of this park

Fountain in Ciutadella ParkAs it can be seen in the previous picture, dragons and jets are the main decorative elements of this fountain of Ciutadella Park. Palm trees, bushes and other decorative plants give this fountain an special charm

Fountain in Ciutadella Park in Barcelona
It's very pleasant to the eye to see this birds to glide gently over the transparent water of this fountain of Ciutadella Park

Dragon in Ciutadella ParkThe constant movement of the water caused by jets and sculptures makes that this fountain has his own life

Dragon in Ciutadella ParkMore pictures of these jets and dragons of this fountain


Fountain in Ciutadella ParkOverall view of this nice fountain of Ciutadella Park


Fountain in Ciutadella ParkThis fountain is also a fantastic environment for a portrait

Ciutadella Park
Ciutadella park is ideal for a walk on saturday or sunday morning

Ciutadella Park in Barcelona
Inside the Ciutadella Park is the Three Dragons Castle, an example of early Barcelona modernism which can be seen in the background of this photo. The building was built by Doménech i Montaner in 1887. Since 1920 it has housed the Zoology Museum

Mamut in Ciutadella Park in Barcelona
Between the cascade and the lake, we can see this immense stone mammoth


Parliament of Catalonia in Ciutadella Park
Formerly the arsenal of the Ciutadella garrison fortress, the building in the background of this image became the seat of the Catalan Parliament in 1932

Parliament of Catalonia in Ciutadella Park
Another image of the Catalan Parliament in Ciutadella Park. It was closed after 1939 throughout the period of the Franco regime, until it was restored as Parliament in 1980

Ciutadella Park in Barcelona
In front of the Catalan Parliament is an oval pond surrounded by gardens


Ciutadella Park in Barcelona
In the middle of the pond is one of the most striking sculptures of Catalan Modernism, crafted by Josep Llimona in 1903. This beautiful piece is known as El Desconsol

Arc de Triomf in Barcelona
At the end of this promenade, in the background of this image, is the Arc de Triomf of Barcelona, built as the entrance gate for the 1888 Universal Exhibition so it is not, strictly speaking, a triumphal arch as it was not built to commemorate any military victory. Nevertheless, it is built and named as a triumphal arch.

I also would like to give you some useful information in case you want to visit this nice park:

- Address: Parc de la Ciutadella s/n
- How to get there:
  • Metro: L4, stop Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica.
  • Bus 14, 39, 40, 41, 42, 51 and 141.
  • Barcelona Bus Turístic, stop Parc de la Ciutadella-Zoo.
- Web site: www.bcn.cat/parcsijardins
- Opening time:
  • December, January, february, from 10am to 8pm.
  • March & November, daily from 10am to 7pm.
  • April & October, daily from 10am to 8pm.
  • From May to September, daily from 10am to 9pm.


Of course, you can visit more fantastic parks in Barcelona like:




Finally, clicking on the next link you will find links to more beautiful and interesting places in Barcelona, among them, other nice parks and gardens in Barcelona.