Thursday, September 22, 2011


MEOTO IWA, MIE, JAPÓN. These rocks united by a rope, from where the Mt. Fuji can be seen in between, are considered sacred, and symbolized the love in a couple. Moreover, this is the place where the emperor Tenmu unified the country and renamed from Yamato to Nihon. The rocks also symbolize the union between East and West Japan


This is the 50th article published in the English version of My Architectural Moleskine. Therefore I decided to dedicate this post to a non-architectural theme and share with you some photos on a subject that fascinates me... the sea.

This virtual photo-exhibition is entitled Ode to the Sea, as a tribute to the famous Chilean poet and Nobel laureate  Pablo Neruda. No one like him to accompany these visited seascapes with the harmonious sound of his celebrated poem.

LA PUNTA, CALLAO, PERU. According to Guillermo Dañino a "callao" is a pebble and , by extension, a land area covered with pebbles and round stones. As this is the main feature of its beaches, this place was called Callao, which ultimately became the first Peruvian port.
AMANOHASHIDATE, JAPAN. Is a narrow isthmus that has the sea at one side and a lake at the other . Japanese say it is one of the three most beautiful views in the country, along with Sendai and the island of Miyajima

VANCOUVER, CANADA. The ferry connecting the two sides of Vancouver Harbour offers amazing view of the city's waterfront, particularly during sunset.

HARBOUR TOWN, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA. Dolphins and impressive sunsets are often seen in this beach near Savannah, Georgia.

Surrounding the island
There’s sea.
But what sea?
It’s always overflowing.
Says yes,
Then no,
Then no again,
And no,
Says yes
In blue
In sea spray
Says no
And no again.
It can’t be still.
It stammers
My name is sea.

HALONG BAY, VIETNAM. This amazing UNESCO World heritage site is formed by more than 3000 monolithic islands. An intricate and spectacular system of caves can be also found here.
MATINHOS, BRAZIL. This is a small beach located east of Curitiba, uncrowded and many bikinis. However, this Atlantic beach called deeply my attention for two reasons: 1) ot was the first time I saw a beach with vegetation to the sea, I was used to the deserted Peruvian and Chilean beaches of the Pacific, and 2) where the heck is the sun in this sunset? Well, it was at my back, not in the sea!

MONTE HERMOSO, ARGENTINA. One of the few cities in this Atlantic country where the sun sets into the sea. I appreciate the courtesy of Andrés Sandoval.

a pareja. .

Sea of Japan, on board of a ferry  towards Hokkaido

It slaps the rocks
And when they aren’t convinced,
Strokes them
And soaks them
And smothers them with kisses.
With seven green tongues
Of seven green dogs
Or seven green tigers
Or seven green seas,
Beating its chest,
Stammering its name,

PHI PHI ISLAND, PHUKET, THAILAND. This amazing tropical landscape, surrounded by turquoise and emerald waters, was the setting of the movie "The Beach" with Leonardo Di Caprio.

PAGUDPUD, ILOCOS NORTE, PHILIPPINES. This beach seems like a dream postcard ... That white sand, blue sea ... the soft murmur of palm trees, warm water and colorful fish swimming around your legs.

OKINAWA, JAPAN. The tropical islands of Okinawa, once the independent kingdom of Ryukyu, are the gateway of Chinese culture to the Japanese archipelago. Boats with transparent bottoms took us to see the plentiful fauna living in the corals.

Oh Sea,
This is your name.
Oh comrade ocean,
Don’t waste time
Or water
Getting so upset
Help us instead.
We are meager fishermen,
Men from the shore
Who are hungry and cold
And you’re our foe.
Don’t beat so hard,
Don’t shout so loud,
Open your green coffers,
Place gifts of silver in our hands.
Give us this day
our daily fish.

BORACAY, PHILIPPINES. Beautiful shallow, tropical waters , full of coral and colorful fish.

TEMPOZAN, OSAKA, JAPAN. A group of sharks in the aquarium Tempozan. This smiling shark has a lamprey attached on the back.

Here in each house,
we all crave it
whether it’s of silver,
crystal or moonlight,
spawn for the poor
kitchens on earth.
Don’t hoard it,
you miser,
coldly rushing like
wet lightning
beneath your waves.
Come, now,
open yourself
and leave it
near our hands,
help us, ocean,
deep green father,
end one day
our earthly poverty.

HUANCHACO, TRUJILLO, PERU. My father took me here when I was a child when he was thinking of publishing a book on Peru. After many years I came back here and I found out that  men  are still fishing in reed horses, as their ancestors had done for centuries.
CHINCHORRO, ARICA, CHILE. Beautiful resort located in northern Chile. This time a group of aricans was trying to make a raft of reeds in an attempt to reach Polynesia. The Chilean version of the Kon Tiki . I have no idea if they reached their destination.

TALLINN, ESTONIA. A cold autumn morning awakes this beautiful Baltic medieval city. These fishermen seem to be used to the freezing temperatures.

Let us
harvest your lives’
endless plantation,
your wheat and eggs,
your oxes, your metals,
the wet splendor
and submerged fruits.

PUERTO MONTT, CHILE. This is the southernmost city I had visited, that is the closest to the South Pole, although its latitude 41 is equivalent to that of New York and is lower than Hokkaido. That was an unforgettable trip with my father, while an old song by Los Iracundos echoed in my brain. I remember the delicious salmon, cheaper than chicken. Sunrise in Puerto Montt, courtesy of Irish guy.

MONT SAINT MICHEL, NORMANDY, FRANCE. Maybe it's because we arrived here in a cloudy winter day or because its image evokes loneliness and isolation, Mount Saint Michel gives me deep melancholy. This is one of the most intense landscapes I have ever experienced, dominated by the superb monastery that crimps among its rocks. Photo courtesy of dougsy.

HERAKLION, CRETE, GREECE. This is a Venetian fortress guards the entrance to the city in the Aegean Sea.
MIYAJIMA, HIROSHIMA, JAPAN. The Itsukushima shrine, another UNESCO site, presents a torii or Japanese gate in the middle of the sea. As in the case of  Mont Saint  Michel, the tides can surround the structure by water or withdraw, allowing people to walk around. This phenomenon happens several times a day.

Father sea, we know already
what you are called, all
the seagulls circulate
your name on the beaches:
now, behave yourself,
don’t shake you mane,
don’t threaten anyone,
don’t smash against the sky
your beautiful teeth,
ignore for a moment
your glorious history,
give to every man,
to every
woman and to every child,
a fish large or small
every day.

BUSAN, KOREA. One of the secrets of Korean progress is order and organization ... even the seagulls do it.

UTORO, HOKKAIDO, JAPAN. Lonely seagull in the far north of Japan.

LIEPAJA, LATVIA. This rough Baltic sea is typical from the Latvian windy climate. In this beach many women saw their fishermen husbands leave to never come back.

Go out to every street
in the world
and distribute fish
and then
so all the working poor
could hear you,
so they could say,
sticking their heads
into the mine:
“Here comes the old man sea
to distribute fish.”

OLD JAFFA, ISRAEL. Mediterranean Sea seen from this old town near modern Tel-Aviv. The echoes of the Muslim chants calling for sunset prayer reverberated in this ancient harbor walls.

THIRA, SANTORINI, GREECE. Amazing picturesque landscape of blue vaulted Orthodox churches overlooking the old volcanic caldera.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. The gracious curves of the Burj Al Arab, a super luxury hotel, symbol of Dubai and perhaps of the United Arab Emirates seen from the Jumeirah beach.

And they’ll go back down
into the darkness,
smiling, and on the streets
and in the forests,
men and the earth
will smile
an oceanic smile.

RAMBLA DE MAR, BARCELONA, SPAIN. This is an interesting seaside complex, the undulating forms are a clear refererencia the ocean waves. Behind us is the statue of Columbus.
PORT OF KOBE, JAPAN. Luminous nightscape of the port of Kobe, on a birthday night.

MIAMI, USA. Miami beachfront seen from the plane.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE. The city-state-island of Singapore is closely linked with its waterfront, where Esplanade, the National Theatre is located and from the modern skyline can be enjoyed.

HELSINKI, FINLAND. Reflections of the Finnish capital over the Baltic Sea.

if you don’t want it,
if you don’t care for it,
then wait,
wait for us,
we must worry, first
we must try to solve
and straighten out
human affairs,
the biggest problems first,
then all the others,
and then
we’ll enter you,
we’ll chop the waves
with a knife made of fire,
on an electric horse
leaping over foam,
we’ll sink
until we touch the bottom
of your guts,
an atomic thread
will guard your shank,
we’ll plant
in your deep garden
of cement and steel,
we’ll tie
your hands and feet,
on your skin man will walk,
yanking in bunches,
building armatures,
mounting and taming you
to dominate your spirit.

LIBERTY ISLAND, NEW YORK, USA needs no further presentation. The Lady of Liberty was created by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi on a structure by Gustave Eiffel and it was was a gift from the French government to the United States to celebrate the centenary of their independence of the latter. Called "The Liberty Enlightening the World", how different things would have been if she would be heard more often..
VALDIVOSTOK, RUSSIA. A siren seems to shiver in the icy waters of the Russian port, entering the spring. When winter is at its coldest month, people can walk on the ice and makes holes in it to fish.

PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY. Our visit by the famous Uruguayan resort was shorter than planned due to a fierce storm which made ​​the waves roaring in mad rage. This beautiful photo by Remco Douma reminds me that time.

All this will occur
when us men
have straighten out
our problem,
the big,
the big problem.
We’ll slowly
solve everything:
we’ll force you, sea,
we’ll force you, earth
perform miracles,
because in our very selves,
in the struggle,
is fish, is bread,
is the miracle.

Pablo Neruda

PATONG BEACH, PHUKET, THAILAND. This photo was taken on November 2004, also during my birthday. Originally we had planned to visit Phuket for Christmas and escape from the cold and Japanese, but we decided to bring forward the visit at the last minute. Incredibly, at Christmas of that year, Phuket was devastated by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. I hope our kind friends who worked at the Thai beach had survived.

MINAMI SANRIKU, MIYAGI, JAPAN. A fishing village, completely devastated by the tsunami that hit Japan on March 11th, 2011. The waves, that reached a height of 20 m, wipe out almost every building in the city, and killing about 10,000 people, 60% of its inhabitants.

Thanks to all visitors and followers who are accompanying me by reading these "Notes on architecture and more." Hopefully, we will have another special issue on our 100th post... See you then!

AMANOHASHIDATE, JAPAN. Its name means "Bridge to Heaven" and, as mentioned, a narrow tongue of land between the sea and a lake. Tradition says that seeing the isthmus between the legs from the top of a hill, one can see the effect of a bridge going up to heaven.

OBAMA BEACH, HUKUI, JAPAN. Doing my first steps as a paparazzi. By the wayObama actually means "small beach"