Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Roman Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain


This blog is called Walking Arizona because I have spent a large part of my life walking. Segovia is a walking city. It is very difficult to drive anywhere in the city, but it is easy to walk. We are getting older and walking, along with everything else involving physical activity is getting more difficult. I suppose that some day, I will be left with only the memories of places such as this one. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

A Path in the Desert


Taking a break from the winter snow of Utah Valley, we visited the Gilbert Water Ranch in Arizona. The large water basins are surrounded by lovely walking trails. It was a lovely day with almost perfect weather. Some of the trees in the desert do lose their leaves but most of the plants do not. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Coca Castle, Coca, Spain


Most of the world probably thinks of Disney's version of a castle when they even think about one. Here we have a real castle with a moat and all the trimmings. This is what I think of when I think of a castle. The castle was constructed in the 15th century and has been considered to be one of the best examples of Spanish Mudejar brickwork which incorporates Moorish Muslim design and construction with Gothic architecture. By the way, here is what Chat.OpenAI.com had to say about the castle.

Coca Castle is a castle located in the town of Coca, in the province of Segovia, Spain. It is a well-known example of the fusion of Moorish and Gothic architectural styles.

The castle was originally built in the 11th century by the Moorish ruler Almanzor as a military fortress to protect the region from Christian invaders. It was later expanded and renovated by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in the 15th century, adding Gothic elements such as pointed arches and ribbed vaults.

As a result, Coca Castle is an interesting blend of both Moorish and Gothic architectural styles. The castle's exterior features the sturdy, fortified walls and towers characteristic of a military fortress, while the interior includes Gothic details such as pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and decorative plasterwork.

Today, Coca Castle is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors the chance to explore its history and architecture, as well as to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It is also a popular venue for cultural events and celebrations.

Is this better or worse than quoting Wikipedia? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Una Calle Estrecha

 Una calle estrecha is a narrow street. This narrow street happens to be in Segovia, Spain. Sometimes I walk a lot further abroad than just Arizona and Utah. Unless the world settles down quite a bit, we will probably spend most of our time walking around Arizona and Utah from now on. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado


Walking tours at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado are a guided, group affair. This is Cliff Palace, one of the most popular tours. The days of wandering around the park without a guide are long gone. I generally stay to the back of the group because I am taking photos. Most of the park is up over 7000 feet on a plateau and the ancient dwellings are in canyons cut into the plateau. It is amazing to contemplate how people could have built these structures by hand even given the time to do so. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Slot Canyon with Chocks


This may look like the end but if you wanted to climb, you could use both side of this slot to climb up and over the chocks (rocks that fall down into the canyon) but that would depend on whether or not there was more canyon or if what we can see through the rocks indicates that this slot is going to widen out into another part of the canyon complex. This lovely slot is a short way past what is known as Sand Dune Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Fins, Arches National Park, Utah


Fins are thin slabs of sandstone weathered into parallel lines. Many of the arches in Arches National Park are formed when erosion makes a hole through the fin and leaves the surrounding rock intact. This image does not show an arch, but the rock formations are impressive enough. I also like the juniper tree that makes its own arch. I have lived with juniper trees (we called them salt cedars) for as long as I can remember. In parts of Arizona, they were considered to be invasive and treated like weeds. The ranchers dragged chains across the desert with bulldozers and destroyed the juniper trees under the mistaken notion that removing the trees would improve the rangeland for cattle. It didn't and the juniper trees are still growing back. But the use of chains and bulldozers hasn't stopped. See "Watch This 25,000-Pound Battleship Anchor Chain Rip Through Juniper in Nevada." The justification for this procedure is to improve the rangeland for species that already live in the area. Here is a link to the counter-argument, See "Old Chaining Page: Chaining in the American West,"