a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France


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Barcelona visit

I live in the country, not too remote but very quiet.  I reap the benefits of this situation by enjoying a large garden, having my choice of a multitude of walks or cycle rides straight from my door and the sound of silence of the countryside.

Last weekend it was time to appreciate civilisation, to explore by metro, to soak in some culture – to see crowds of people!

Crowds at the Magic Fountain

There were certainly plenty of people;

Entrance of Guell Park

so many people wanting to see the same thing.

The house in Guell Park which Gaudi designed and lived in.

Many of the people, like me, go to Barcelona as they are attracted by Gaudi’s style and architecture.  His distinctive style of Catalan architecture and his love of nature has produced remarkable buildings and influenced the architecture of Barcelona.

Art nouveau leterbox

Designs from nature are used by other architects such as this art nouveau letterbox by Lluís Domènech i Montaner; an example of catalan Modernisme on an originally 15th. century palace, Casa de l’Ardiaca.

Some of the 13 white geese (I did not do a roll count)

Across the road in the cathedral I was surprised to see white geese in their special courtyard.  They are kept in honour of the cathedral’s patron St. Eulalia.  One goose for each year of the virgin martyr’s short life.

Coffee after visiting the Pedera

There are always plenty of refreshments available in Barcelone, the coffee and pastries are excellent.

Lunch and dinner can still be eaten al fresco

A little away from the main tourist sites I enjoyed an excellent three course Catalan meal for 9 euros 50.

Casa Batllo by night

The evenings can be as full as the days.

Casa Terrades

There is so much to see walking in the streets, like these beautiful balconies on the Casa Terrades.

Urban parrot

Green parrots nest in the palm trees, they were the only birds I saw except for pigeons.

Fountain in Ciutadella Park

Walking in Ciutadella Park I noticed there were very few flowers in bloom at this time of year in Barcelona.  I had hoped I might see some different bees and butterflies but I did not see any.  I imagine that Barcelona does not have sufficient water to support the size of the population that it shelters and to water flowers.

I had a marvellous time, I love Barcellona – the architecture, the people, the atmosphere – but I had never realised how we appreciate nature in words and culture but in truth we marginalise it and exclude it.  We profess to love and admire nature.  Artists glorify it in their paintings and sculptures,  but we cannot coexist side by side.  The city, so full of life and bustle from the human point of view, seemed so barren and empty.