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Opened in stones
russian version

There are some places, where once visited you will want to return again (and for many it is not uncommon) and there are ones where just like a magnet pulls. This relationship happened to me with the Northern coast of Spain after a fleeting acquaintance last year. However, the energy of the local atmosphere captivated me unconditionally and immediately. So, that we not to delay, going far away soon again. And now, in the spring of 2014, with a sinking heart again we pulled back to the place of power.

The North of Spain is a very different country. Here you constantly notice the diversity of the local landscape, of arrangement, of the people and their way of life with the other part of the mainland.


Moreover: another language, many sovereign territories, regions with its own traditions, established course etc. Local people are more likely to be confused with the Germans than with the Spaniards. They say: “we are not Spaniards, we Basques” (and so on). It is not surprising that they want to separate from the commonality of integral state: the naked look here see nothing in common with the life of “the South”.



It is obvious that in many respects during the course of history its contribute to the all this uniqueness of the local land brought the Ocean.


You do not need to be an expert to notice how the Atlantic is clearly forms here everything: climate, landscape, lifestyle, events, rhythm and way of life. This Is the North. And though it sounds weird in respect of such habitually warm and resort, in mass understanding, country, but there is the strict appearance and character that is born only in severe conditions.


It is clear that there is not blowing blizzards, not -30°C most of the year, not the polar night - no, but still there is naughty and unkind piercing wind, important mountains and gloomy clouds above them, lightning and thunder, the cold water from the sky and directly under your feet...



But all this does not prevent you to enjoy the dissolution in nature, bundle up in its immense mystical romanticism, keeping away gradually, day by day, from who are you, where are you, why are you... All gradually becoming not so important as in everyday life: mind and body merge with existence, cell by cell, a symbiosis of all living inside you and outside. It is these experiences arises in me in places like this, where with all the elements you can communicate directly, by participating in their infinite kaleidoscope.



To this trip we had 2 weeks. We have never been preparing like this. The route was developed very detailed and rich, and the shot points were more than we had time even if not to sleep at all. However, in general our maneuvering was very relaxed and we did almost everything we wanted. Once again the practice proved that the important thing is not to fuss, then the time is flowing in the right direction, does not exhausting.


During that time we drove 3886 km in 9 provinces of the country: forests, fields, rivers, ocean, rocks and stones in a great many and various forms. Brought a lot of impressions and 99GB photos. Of course each of them with its history, which often begins much earlier than the shutter click and often lasts long after it, only interrupted due to falling asleep or fluently flowing in a new story.


It all started here, on a high promontory, crowned with unusual lighthouse. We arrived to it after midnight, just when the moon began lighting the area. While the light was not so bright, we took some pictures of the main local personage surrounded by stars. Then gladly fell into oblivion, restoring power after a long journey. Morning came very soon, and it happened an unexpectedly beautiful sunrise, the colors of which appeared out of nowhere also dashingly as it had disappeared.



At unfamiliar terrain catching the elusive light turned into a kind of marathon, a distance of which was quickly ended in a few moments. And such dawns then will be counted by fingers, because for the lion's share of the total photo-travel we will be accompanied by “bad weather”. More precisely, it was changed all the time, sometimes abruptly from one extreme to the other. And in the “magic hour” mostly spoiled, not allowing light to walk. Surprisingly, but it did not upset me personally.


Specific character and flavor of the local landscape did not liberate me by their uniqueness and magic, and it seems to me that the gloominess and lead-colored of concomitant atmosphere only better emphasizes the nature of these places. There is no need to seek solitude or to think up the repose - they are everywhere: just contemplating before you and hearing what is happening. And even if you never knew what is meditation, it seems at this moment you drift in it.


Also during the whole trip it was interesting to observe own fears: their birth, struggle and death. For some reason it is here, away from home, in the folds of another country, the process looked simple and natural. For example, this characteristic rock was hidden from prying eyes for long mountain where, to capture the giant in full growth, it was necessary to climb. Without thinking I started to climb there, soon realized that to do this is something extremely difficult and dangerous. I clearly remember how the brain frantically tried to break through the excitement of the flaming heart: 'I want, come on, go ahead!' In such moments, when it is quite clear that it does not descend down except head over heels, the panic looking for any loophole to escape from captivity. And amazing, suddenly out of nowhere, calm inexorably leads me to the top. And there, when steped to the flat expanse, I proudly spread my wings as if I had won in a bunch of battle.


Generally, here are many offers to know yourself. If you go towards the “bad weather”, but not running away from it, if open embrace to natural phenomena - get whirlwind of positive emotions back, unbridled joy and impaled grace. The ebb and flow of the ocean realm tides in this respect are very entertaining workout for the mind. And, if at the low-tide the judgment calmly explains the possibility of walking on the naked seabed, in the high-tide it immediately slips away, especially since it comes without a defined boundary, a smooth transition from one state to the opposite.


A similar situation had arisen in one of the cute and, as a rule, treacherous places. Knowing that the falling tide goes to the end I walked to photography across the beach, which can be only passed during the low waves. During the time I was chosen point of view, exhibited a tripod, changed the flashcard, lens and finally began to take pictures and been carried away, so the way back was no longer to be seen. However I come back waist-deep wet and immensely happy, and not so much because of pictures but because of the communicating with a mischievous sea.


It happened sometimes very special place that it is not easy to find even knowing the specific location on the map, and then get there. But each time it was worth it, despite all the complexities, tired feet and sweat.


Sometimes in these moments deft mind proves itself that the charm of the area is directly proportional to the expended effort to hike to it. Whatever, but to wander, to climb and to wriggle I had more than enough at this time. And always when overcoming path or obstacles I was rewarded in the end by picturesque aesthetics.



Regardless whether you're descended by a cliff into the raging ocean waves or crept to a running cascade through the thickets of the forest, hiked to the mountain with trembling knees or drowning them in the muddy dirt.



All depends on your own attitude and can easily happen that the overcoming is not less valuable and refinement than the aim itself. In our case, the target is pictures. And it is desirable that they turned out spectacular as possible, with a splash of various colors, so everybody says “waaaaah!”. And here, on the shores of the Atlantic ocean, this thirst of digital images suddenly became not so important: this stale feeling first moved in me. And at a heated seat arose a new interest - thirst sensations, the very process of cognition of the world surrounding and internal, their relationship. Imagination and passion for adventure sparked in me with an ardent flame. This inexplicable feeling, when everything is taken with a smile, when you like everything, when you notice the beauty from left and right, see it above yourself and under your feet, when the beauty is around you, when the beauty is in you.



I realize that it sounds crazy, but at some moment I noticed that I talk with the wind, talk with the sea and with the silent stones. The stones I was especially stung with. If everything growing and moving we accept a priori like a living organisms, then everything else seems dead, not endowed with the spark of life. But not much can fit in our rational-upbrought and logically-trained mind. Yes, somebody to tell - is funny, but I was keeping silent with stones, they through one are billion years - why not.


Just look at them carefully, they should not be encouraged, they are so self-sufficient and of course empty, but there is the beauty and energy inside, attractive charm, all shapes and kinds, so boundless diversity. Even if fantasy is tired or she not to yourself, when you look at this - the chord is ringing. Unsurpassed artist shows the world his own unique works loose, not skimping.


Here is a typical inhabitants of the Spanish Atlantic coast crawl out to hunt at dusk.


Here are two inseparable silhouette: day and night - forever together.



Here and there - everywhere are stone individualities with its ages and history.



This exemplar of the marine fauna is perhaps the most expressive of all known at northern coast of Spain... We were catching it for hours and hours in comparison with others: coming back to his habitation's place at the mornings and evenings for a few days, but he did not succumb... I even thought that I have not captured him in the most suitable form after so many attempts. But later it turns out that in a series of repetitive captures one is came out however: maybe not the best and even happenstance, but - the only one where he looks at me - an eye to eye...


And then, next to him, side by side - not less bright creatures, and even the twins.


In the Basque Country you should always be on the lookout: watch your step because of the some monster's tail... Not one but another...



All in all, as you may have guessed, my delight was unbounded. I with relentless pleasure acquainted with the infinite diversity of the local characters, from morning till evening, from evening till night and so on.


And all this happens on the lap of exalted elements, irrepressible and zealous, truly-totally and omnipresent. There were peals of thunder such power that it seemed you never will hear anything, lightning such brightness that seemed forever you are blinded, rain shower was beating as if buckets finished at heaven and the wind accelerated great drops of rain to a speed of parallel to the horizon, and waves... waves, turned to dust, covered everything and everywhere they could reach. And I'm in this...


... and overfull feeling of joy and enthusiasm when you find yourself with all the miracles of nature alone, and not looking at them from behind the glass, from security. When it is not important what will happen to your mortal body, what surprise fate will present, what you will have: to be or no more - all these beautiful moments of risk, disappeared fears and vanished logics you shared at once with admiring calm. And how many wet clothes and shoes were from time to time, many abrasions and bruises appeared, so many delight and passion, tranquility and ease I experienced.



Here, in Northern Spain, happened to me little but lasting revolution of the consciousness. Exactly here it clings to me even at the first visit. And when we came here for much longer, I tasted myself with a new enthusiasm. And it turned out that my interest to life and death still was as if asleep. But sometimes is just enough to be throwed by the wave. Bah! And here you are already awake and fresh...


And miraculously to find own sensations at the head level: if before the brain needed to scroll some conclusions and decisions, with the release of everything that was familiar and important, logical and valuable, you come to a simple content - messages of the heart. Even if they seem strange to yourself and abnormal for others.
And pictures... Pictures, to which flew, then drove, then went, and after crept, because of which did not sleep, did not eat and puffed - not more than pictures, but all that happened on the way to this aim - is the juice, relish, taste and unique aroma of life.

We made shot videoclip during the trip:

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