Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Iberia VIII

My last post from the Iberian Peninsula, with a bit of Portugal and Spain, plus the Basque Country of France as an honorary part of Iberia. Just one more blogging-lite (from a botanic gardens meeting in Geneva, Switzerland) before normal transmission resumes in July...

Starting with the north of Portugal, there were some pretty gardens around the Bom Jesus do Monte, not far from Braga, but it's the ornate stairs that everyone goes there to see (and descend and ascend).


Nearby is Braga (the third largest town in Portugal, after Lisbon and Porto), a town of buildings rather than parks, but some gorgeous constructions such as this.


Then on to a smaller university town, Guimarães. Again more about the buildings than plants but there are some trees around them (including a few giant blue gums - a species that dominates the west of the Iberian Peninsula).




Miño, in northern Spain, has a good looking sandy beach and a few of the common natives and weeds growing on it, including this Sand Stock (Malcolmia littorea) a local to the Mediterranean.


This Wild Carrot (Daucus carota or thereabouts) could be anywhere, and along many of the Iberian roadsides. I can't resist it.


A big surprise was the botanic garden just out of Gijón, in northern Spain. Jardín Botánico Atlántico de Gijón is a 25 hectare mix of local flora displays, formal 19th century gardens and some more natural areas (including a collection of old oak trees - Quercus robur - that have been managed for wood and charcoal for up to four centuries). First up though, a nice display of edible plants, and then some closely planted plane trees.




And in town, some very attractive buildings, yet again...



Near to Gijón (30 km away) is the town of Oviedo with the stunningly coloured (honey yellow) cathedral and other colourful buildings (some even with flowers...). Oh, and someone made a film there recently and he said how much he liked the place so much the locals put up a statue of him.




Then in the foot hills of the Picos de Europa, mist... So not so many views but plenty of eucalypts (the first picture shows seedling Blue Gums - Eucalyptus globulus), the second, a heath (Erica) in the limestone. 




Oh, and some wildlife. This cow is resting in the early morning not far from Hasparren, in the Pays Basque region of Spain.


And to finish, the Limes or Lindens (Tilia) have been stunning on our trip. This is probably Tilia cordata, but it also reminds me of a display at the Gijon botanic garden, which reminded me that the Swedish inventor of our botanical name system, Carl Linnaeas, got his family name (later Latinised) came from this tree!



Time now to return the hire car, and pack away the 'Iberian Peninsular Tour, June 2017' number plate accessory...


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