Postcard from Zaragoza, Spain: Seductive scallops and marisquerias

Above: Zamburinas at Marisqueria Tony

Faithful making the long Camino de Santiago pilgrimage crossing from France through Spain, perhaps a 500-mile hike, wanted to return with a souvenir as proof of the arduous journey afoot. A shell found commonly on the Galician coast just beyond the route’s destination of Santiago de Compostela became that evidence, a variegated or calico sea scallop, zamburina.

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Postcard from Toulouse, France: Images lingering far behind departure

These eclectic postcards are from the fall but are slow to be delivered due to an unwillingness to admit the trip had ended with our next one cancelled because of this stubborn virus.

Feeling secure enough now that we will take flight somewhere within the next month so can finally bid au revoir to Toulouse.

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Postcard from Toulouse, France: Centuries of alterations craft a catawampus cathedral

Cathedrale Saint Etienne de Toulouse

The approach makes it obvious. The Cathedral dedicated to Saint Stephen (5-33 A.D.) in Toulouse is the product of numerous architects over numerous centuries. And the interior is equally as cobbled together, held together by a column so inartistically enormous in circumference that I neglected to take its picture. But those incongruities make it all the more interesting to explore.

The first church buried underneath all of this brick dated from the 3rd century and was later topped by a Romanesque cathedral. At the beginning of the 13th century, an expanded French Gothic nave was completed in the regional “flavor” known as Raymondine, for Raymond VI, the Count of Toulouse. Raymond VI (1152-1222) was a key player in the constant tug of war, actually wars, waged for control between the King of France and King Henry II of England and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. And also the Holy Roman Emperor and Alfonso II of Aragon. Alliances were complicated and always shifting.

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