There were 3 things I learnt about the Mediterranean Sea last year;
Firstly its name. If I had thought about it and used my Spanish, it would be obvious that it’s derived from Latin for sea between land. The 2nd is that not all of Southern Spain runs along the Mediterranean Sea. The 3rd last year in Andalusia on holiday, the water is f’ing freezing despite being perhaps the hottest part of Spain.
That’s because, from the Straits of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea runs along the coast of Andalusia and it’s freezing as the water is coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s not the warmer water Mediterranean Sea I’m used to in North Eastern Spain.
Lē’ahi, the summit that resembles the forehead/lae of the ‘ahi fish as named by Hi’iaka the sister of the fire goddess Pele. Another Lē’ahi meaning is ‘fire headland’ from fires lit high on the summit to guide canoes safely back. The Western name, Diamond Head comes Western explorers thinking the calcite crystals found on the slopes were diamonds. Perfect names for a volcano on an island born of volcanic fire.
If I wasn’t feeling already a little uneasy that I was on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without any more solid mainland behind me, walking around a now extinct volcanic crater may have added to a little more freak out if I gave it more thought. Lē’ahi/ Diamond Head Monument’s crater is believed to have been created from a single eruption 300,000 years ago. The highest ledge along the south-western side was created as the wind blew the ash at the time of eruption making it look like the now ‘ahi fish forehead. The seaward slopes are protected by a coral reef, which is why coral reefs are so important. Aside from the marine life they shelter they also protect land from coastal storms. Another thing cool thing about the crater is in winter, rainwater collects in mini lake in the centre! Most of the plants and animals along paths were introduced in the 1800’s. There’s one native plant still standing, ‘ilima!
The second half of February I used my mobile camera more than my camera. I’m not sure why. Maybe my camera was buried in my bag, maybe I didn’t want to seem like tourist.
Maybe I didn’t think the shot was worth my camera. I do that a lot only to later regret why I didn’t take it with my camera. My phone is just easier. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to get out my camera. Behind every photo however is a story. Be it basic as a reminder to go somewhere, a reference for later out shopping, evidence, the light, the scenery you wanted to capture forever. Even though most of the second half of February’s photos are from my mobile which in my eyes I can tell straight away they’re not as good, they have tales to tell.
There are parts of Barcelona even now and then I re explore only to be reminded why I don’t go there very often. Maremàgnum Centro Comercial is one of them. A mall in Port Vell, that’s always had a weird vibe to it. Sadly this time when I went about 1/3 of the shops had closed down. I have always though liked walking around wharf side. One of my favourite views of Barcelona is the row of buildings along Passeig de Colom looking from the port.
Every year the boating lake in Parc de la Ciutadella gets drained for maintenance. Last year someone released goldfish in the lake. You could see them flashing orange feeding the ducks. The seagulls as the boating lake drained, were going crazy fighting mid air for fish. I think more goldfish died out of shock being dropped multiple times than being eaten. Some the gulls, black headed gulls I think were amazing divers. They jumped a little in the air to dive head first into the water only for the larger gulls to steal the fish.
I think there’s a British Seagull on holiday in Barcelona at the moment.
Que? For about 2 weeks occasionally I’ve heard a different sounding seagull. I’m used to hearing and seeing yellow legged gulls who sound like they’re laughing at you. This gull sounds like the UK, or rather beaches in the UK. That’s the first thing I noticed when I visited my parents last year back in the UK, the beach didn’t sound right. The gulls had a different voice. Maybe I’m imagining it, made they got swept here with the storms in March, maybe they’re just exploring for a while.
I’ve also seen more of a type of plover, I think ringed plover (I swear not I’m a bird geek! I just like to know the names of birds like I do animals!) at a spot where I run too. There was 1 and now there’s 4. I’ve never seen them before here so was curious. Same way that I’m not a bird geek, I got a bird ID book as I kept seeing different coloured gulls from the balcony last year. Turns, out they’re teenage gulls 🤦♀️.
Anyway, back in July last year baby fish clouds were still around and I was getting more comfortable being in the water. The visibility wasn’t so good most day. I was getting a little frustrated that I could never focus the camera on what I was shooting and that most of the shoots were grainy. Nat, you’re in the water and the water’s moving! Photography works differently in the water to on land. I still didn’t want to use flash to disturb the fish or to attract larger scarier fish!
On good vis days I had fun watching tiny fish who only kept the the bottom not bothered by the drama higher up in the water column.
Still finding free places to visit in the city, before it got dark I found myself exploring parts of the city I hadn’t visited for ages, yet are a slight detour down a road I normally walk while in the centre. Along the way I found new art supply shops, graffiti mural walls and free exhibitions making up for the cold and grey days that made this February drag on longer than 28 days. All the photos are from the first week of February.
Re exploring the city centre. I think I stop venturing down these streets years ago as they get busy with tourists.