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Mittwoch, 27. März 2013

Estación del Norte de Valencia (II)

Since I am leaving tomorrow, it´s time to show you some more photos of the train station:

In the entrance hall there are lots of little mosaics with "pleasant journey" spelled out in different languages.
The columns and ceilings are also covered with mosaics:

The pink zebra is a left over from the Fallas, the big festival that ended on the 19th (just before I came):

And the wall to the waiting room has more mosaics and a big clock

Tomorrow I´ll show you the tile paintings in the waiting room...

Interlude: Another wall is possible

Dienstag, 26. März 2013

Estación del Norte de Valencia (I)

Since the Estación del Norte was the first building in Valencia that I saw, I find it finally time that I wrote something about it. And as it often happens with me and ceramics, it is getting rather detailed and will come in different parts.
The Railway Station Valencia-North was built between 1907 and 1917 in the most modern style of the time: the modernism of the type of viennese secession, influenced by Otto Wagner and constructed by the architect Demetrio Ribes Marco.

The five-pointed red star is the logo of the railway company Compañia de los Caminos de Hierros del Norte de España. Other decorative elements that are used are the red and yellow stripes of the coat of arms of Valencia and oranges as the symbol of valencian agriculture. The eagle on top of the roof stands for velocity.

Near the entrance are two mosaics by José Mongrell, said to depict the guardians of the day and night.

Interlude: Signs and phrases

Subtitles - from up left to bottom right:
  • Dogs on leash - Jardín del Túria
  • Tiles with rare beasts - Bistro Bicho raro
  • Sombrerería del León - Sign of a hat-shop
  • "Exclusive service in the whole house of water of high pressure" - at some house of the turn of the last century
  • No dogs - Jardín de las Hésperides
  • "In this truck there are two things that have revolutionized the life of the people. The other is the wheel." - Truck with water deliverance
  • "Everything has its beauty but not everybody can see it." - on a sugar bag, misspelled! , it should be tiene
  • "The rare beast"- bistro
  • sign at Jenny´s sink
  • no dog shit - Jardín del Túria
  • "School of the high art of silk" - used to be here around the corner, founded 1686
  • "Adopt a banker!" - seen somewhere on my walks

Montag, 25. März 2013


The logical suite after bats and beasts is botany!
It started disappointingly: I wanted to go to the Botanical Garden, which seemed to be closed;
next to it was the Garden of the Hesperides, with this nice sign:

"Las manzanas de oro las guardaba un dragón inmortal con cien cabezas y emitía muchas y diversas voces con el vigilaban también las hesperides..."
"The golden apples were guarded by an immortal dragon with a hundred heads and which made a lot of and many different noises together with him also watched the hesperides..."
and this much less nice sign:

So we went again to the Jardin del Turia; the old river-bed.

I had see those strange trees before, but didn´t have a clue

with a trunk full of spines

Today we passed another group of those trees and some still had fruits

and finally I had an idea: this is the kapok tree, Ceiba pentandra; native to Central America - (wikipedia knows more)
And then I even detected some leaves:

So in this post I won´t tell more about the Museo de Bellas Artes, or modernism, or the Mercado Central, or the Estación del Norte; only to mention the perfect book, that I bought today:
VALENCIA, Historia de la ciudad, Paseos y recorridos, by the Ajuntament de Valencia,
ISBN 978-84-8484-224-8
With Sloane I did the "Paseo del modernismo" and I think the poor dog never had to walk that much in his life.

Sonntag, 24. März 2013

more beasts...

After the bat I will introduce you now to some other beasts:

around the Lonja de la Seda
on the roofs of Mercado Central
at the Mercado de Colón
...and I am getting compliments on my beautiful and friendly dog!

The Bat of Valencia

The bat is the symbol of Valencia, so you see it everywhere, for example:

man-hole cover
Mercado de Colón
Jenny´s guidebook tells this story: "In 1238, while Jaime I of Aragón was going about the business of conquering Moorish-held Valencia, a bat is supposed to have perched on his helmet. This was seen as an omen of good fortune and ever since then, the bat has been retained the symbol of the city."
But since bats don´t perch on top of anything - they might be found roosting underneath - this whole story is rather questionable.
Which reminds me, by the way, of the bear and strawberry-tree in Madrid - do you remember ( here) - maybe not, since I wrote it in German; in short, just equally illogical.

Samstag, 23. März 2013

Next little adventure

Yesterday I travelled from Sevilla to Valencia by train to start a week of dog-sitting.
Passing the station of Xàtiva, I think I recognized the castle of Cocentaina - is that right, Gay?
(Of course, it might also be that all castles on all hills look similar....)

I was met at the Estación del Norte by Jenny, the owner of the dog. "I´ll be waiting outside near a lamp post, girl in green polka dot dress with big black dog." she texted me - unmistakable.
So I didn´t have time to look at the really beautiful train station, but I´ll have enough time for that during the next days.
Later arrived Grete, her mexican flatmate and in the evening we went out for a copa just around the corner.

Jenny and Grete both left this morning; Jenny to Newcastle and Grete for a weekend in Barcelona. I am lucky to stay right in the heart of the city, it is a good-sized footwalking town and has a large park, former riverbed converted into the green lung of Valencia and especially for joggers, bicyclists and dog-owners. So this will be my big morning walk.

Afterwards I left Sloane at home and went to the Mercado Central.

I have to go there again, when I have the hands (and mind) free to take more photos of tiles, stained glass and iron construction. Just then I was occupied with buying ingredients for a good mixed salad: lechuga, tomato, pimentón, pepino, champiñones, huevos, cebolla dulce, rabanos, queso fresco...

... which I enjoyed just now on the sunny veranda: a pair of white legs and some more hairy legs.

Montag, 11. März 2013


... oder: Was so los war:

Leoni liegt jetzt schon manchmal AUF meinem Bett und lässt sich streicheln...

...meine Socken sind endlich fertig!...
...Und am 28.2. - Día de Andalucía hat es geschneit!!!