Cork, cuckoos and carillons!
Onward to "probably" my last new country of this year's travel. Time was running short and I didn't want to shortchange such an important part of my quest to convince myself that Europe and North America were once connected.
Similar problems of mine remediation as the U.S. (here an abandoned copper mine in southern Portugal)
(an interesting external site that describes the processing of "Cork from tree to bottle.")
One of a street salesman's posters for sale...won't be long until I'm home and back in the groove!
One of the only remnants of the effects of the 1755 earthquake that destroyed Lisboa...this should really indicate the stability of the arch in construction!
On to Portugal's disneyland of royality...Sintra...a "must not miss" if you are in the Lisboa area. Touristy but wonderful, it has amazing castles and tremendous art works in them (this one a little reminiscent of this traveler and his relationship with the culprits who stripped those trees).
Running onto fossils by the bucketfuls....here belemnites and ammonite fragments (pyritized) form an almost desert pavement type of mosaic around the limestone that they are in (a close-up).
the setting (a valley in which a salt dome exists close to the surface and ground water from a well in the center of the valley is saturated with salt);
the salt production facility,
a couple cleaning one of the production ponds,
the condition before cleaning starts (great alga mats!);
getting rid of the waste (by HAND...no pump!);
other members of the cooperative that still work the ponds using modern devices (pumps);
the scene from where I watched all this activity (really good Russian borsch, prepared by the wife of a couple that provided me with nourishment and lots of information about the area,
How many of these adventures began...
I happen to notice an interesting rock on the counter of a hotel that I happened to accidentally find in a wonderful rural setting near Porto. I inquire and learn that coal (an anthracite) has been mined in this area up to 3 or 4 years ago and get the instructions....stay tuned! The question was could I find the mine.
Yes, I found the mine and much to my surprise there was a new highway cut behind the mine shaft that provided a great look at the stratigraphic section. As soon as I can I will try to show the section and some of the great fossils that were accessible without being run over by a speeding native.
I am currently back in Marin and getting ready to go back to work this fall (fortunately I don't feel like this Parisian about going back to work). I will continue to update and improve these pages with excerpts from some of my other adventures.
Not the last word but an definitely interesting end to the trip.