Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Archive for December, 2022

The Ruta de Cares

This one isn’t sculpture or land art, but it has some of the same effects. It’s the Ruta de Cares in Picos de Europa National Park, a fantastic trail in the mountains just a little inland from the north coast of Spain. It’s an exceptionally flat trail through an exceptionally un-flat landscape, which might not sound amazing but just look at the photos and imagine yourself there. It’s spectacular.

I was a little slow to figure it out while I was hiking, but the trail was built to serve as the access trail for maintaining an aqueduct. It follows along beside the aqueduct, and because the aqueduct is at such a shallow grade, the trail is also flat, like a desert trail except it runs through a limestone gorge. And then, because it goes through the mountains (sometimes literally), a ton of effort went into making it flat, into matching the shallow grade of the aqueduct, much more work than anyone would ever use on a recreation trail. It has tunnels blasted through the rock, bridges, rock walls, arches, I’ve never seen so much effort put into a trail.


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