Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The snow capped valley of Oseja de Sajambre.

Deze Post in het Nederlands: Klik hier.

Last night, the 27 of Januari, I saw on the Spanish news footage of massive waves spilling over the quay of San Sebastian, located in Basque Country (Spain). Along the northern coast of Asturias there exists a long karst-landscape with a large number of bufones. A bufón is a hole in the rock which connects with the sea and which makes a lot of noise due to the waves which enter underlying cavities. But when the swell and the waves are considerable, these bufones also spray lots of water like the fountain of a gigantic whale. According to internet the waves for today were expected to be between 6 and 8 meters, which is more than enough for an impressive spectacle. So last night I tried to get over the mountain pass which lies between León and Asturias, but this was impossible because of the heavy snowfall. But this morning I tried again and using a road cleared of snow I got to the mountain pass El Pontón without problems (the Spanish are very efficient in clearing their roads). Driving down the pass the sight of the snow capped landscape and the snow covered trees was wonderful. The following pictures testify of this white beauty, except the last two pictures which give a first impression of the Bufón fountains, but these are covered in the next post .


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mountain hike to a millennial Taxus baccata tree.

Deze post in het Nederlands: Klik hier.     

Yesterday afternoon we went for a trip to visit a millennial Taxus baccata. This tree stands completely alone and isolated at the foot of some high mountain peaks. So it was quite a climb, especially since there is no clear path going to the yew. The Taxus baccata is a very poisonous yew tree, although the cattle and specially the goats sometimes eat the twigs. The only edible substance of the tree is the red flesh of the fruits, although the kernel is poisonous again. The best is to be very careful when eating the fruits or simply not eating them at all.