“The road from appearance to reality is often very hard and long, and many people make only very poor travelers. We must forgive them when they stagger against us as if against a brick wall.” —Franz Kafka

Friday, June 26, 2015

Layers of time

I just want to say again that I'm amazed by the number of archaeological and historical treasures found here on the Iberian Peninsula. Don't worry. I'm not going to launch into something complicated. It's just that I've been reading Wikipedia again and writing about it helps me sort things out.

Roman ruins below glass floor at Lisbon H & M store

Okay. It's a wee bit complicated. But, if I got it right, most scientists agree that the million-year-old skeleton found in Spain is the remains of one of our first ancestors (genus homo) to appear on the new hominid branch (clade) of the evolutionary tree. This, of course, was after the the PanHomo split when we hominids broke off from the bonobos and chimpanzees who were, by that time, living on their own separate Panina clade (branch) of the tree. Feel free to correct me.




You know how breakups go. When sex and/or love is involved, it can be slow, messy business. Think your first high school heartbreak was bad? This one took millions of years. The number of millions varies wildly, depending on who you consult, but we do know this. To this day, 94% of our DNA here on the hominina clade is the same as that of our cousins on the bonobo/chimpanzee panina clade. Hard telling what branches we'll all find ourselves on if/when google ever gets those glasses right or humanoid robots start cloning themselves.

Dancers with Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in distance.
Barcelona

But for now, I can say we are pretty settled in Barcelona. We've walked miles through the city, seen it from one hill and another and explored ruins above and below ground. We also walked through one of the last remaining entrances to the ancient, long gone, Roman city of Barcino. That especially felt like time travel. We passed below arches that have stood a millennia in a changing world while remaining rooted in their own. Talk about roots, we inherited our alphabet from the Romans.


Remnant of city of Barcino upon
and around which the Barcelona, Spain of today is built.

Anyway... we also walked the beach. And yes, the beach in Barcelona is one of those delightful European beaches that everyone's heard about, the kind that scandalize puritanical busybodies everywhere. Women go topless wherever they feel like and, if they so chose, and men and women shower the sand off their nude bodies at any of the handy outdoor shower spots along the boardwalk.

And hey! Speaking of freedom, congratulations to the US Supreme Court for striking down gay marriage bans nationwide! The 5-4 decision was just announced this hour, thus bringing America one step closer to the freedom and equality everyone deserves. Well done!


2 comments:

Roy said...

très cool.¡qué pasada!
Enjoying the pics!

asha said...

Gracias. I'll pass your comment along to M. Lee. I took the picture but only after he pointed out the cool little light in the upper window.