Līgo Weekly 220w Challenge – words to bring the world together: Spain

I’m joining in the  Līgo Weekly 220w Challenge – words to bring the world together, the theme of which  is ‘Spain.’  Click here to read all about it, and see how you too can enter this exciting challenge.

Hola hermoso España!

Spain is a country renowned for its architectural excellence, which is an exotic mix of early Moorish influences and surreal modernism.

In Barcelona, the astounding imagination and genius of Antoni Gaudi, is everywhere. The Casa Mila, better known as La Pedrera, has an undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration on the balconies and windows.

One of the sculptures on the roof.

A huge mirror cleverly reflects another part of the roof.

The Casa Batllo, is nicknamed ‘The House of Bones’ because of its bone-like pillars, and skull-like balconies.

The giant Basilica, La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s most important work, was started in 1882,

and is still under construction.

The stately Royal Palace in Madrid, is the largest in Europe.

The Alhambra Palace in Granada is really stunning.

The detail is exquisite.

The Mezquita, in Cordoba, begun in 600 AD, is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Islamic architecture. The vast hypostyle hall, is absolutely breathtaking.

There are 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite.

The richly gilded decoration of the cathedral in its centre, is dazzling.

To see more entries, just click on this link.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

This week’s challenge, asks us to share pictures that mean “growth” to us.

I have chosen firstly this one of a giant Banyan tree at the Turtle Creek Resort in Oahu. I was absolutely awestruck when we came upon it on our walk through the forest. It was the first time I’d seen a Banyan. It makes me look like a little dwarf, or maybe I should be more p.c., and say that I look vertically challenged? 🙂 It’s hard to believe that this tree grew to such an enormous size from one tiny seed.

Just look at this cute baby rhino following along behind his mama at the Lion and Rhino Park in Johannesburg. It’s hard to believe that after a few growth spurts, this miniature will one day weigh as much as 1.5 tons.

So we’ve had a plant and an animal, and now I think I’ll give you different sort of growth miracle.

The Gaudi Cathedral in Barcelona, the brainchild of Antoni Gaudi, was started 1882. He was unfortunately killed by a tram in 1926, so this magnificent structure has taken 130 years to finish. It’s amazing to think that something so unique and magnificent grew out of one man’s ideas and artistic genius, and that, as with all buildings, it started with that first shovelful of soil. As you can see from my photos taken in 2004, it was still in the growth phase.

Thinking about it, everything does grow from seed. The Banyan tree, and the mighty rhino start out as tiny seeds. Magnificent architecture, as with all art, starts out as a seed of brilliance in the mind of the creator. That 14th century proverb which says, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow,” is so very true.