Laguna Negra and the Urbion Glacial Circuit Natural Park

March 10th, 2010 The Natural Park Laguna Negra and the Urbion Glacial Circuit is to be declared Soria’s second Natural Park. The park will cover a total of 4617 hectares of land and include two villages (Vinuesa and Duruelo de la Sierra).  The area includes the glacial lake of Laguna Negra, which inspired Antonio Machado, and also includes the source of the Duero. Soria’s other Natural Park in Soria is the Canyon Rio Lobos, which was declared in  1985. More on the forum

Hiking in Picos de Urbión

February 4th, 2009

I enjoyed this forum post by Alfredo on hiking in the Picos de Urbión in Soria.

“The Picos de Urbión is one of the most important sections of the Sistema Ibérico, the mountain range that crosses east to west through the north of the Iberian Peninsula.  In this range we find the source of the Duero, one of Spain’s great rivers.  The region is also a popular location for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and is home to the magnificent glacial lake, the Laguna Negra, an inspirational place of the famous Spanish poet Antonio Machado. “

Schreiber’s bats in Soria

September 3rd, 2008

Iberianatureforum member Alfredo recently sent me this rather spendid photo of a pair of Schreiber’s bats (Miniopterus schreibersi – murciélago de cueva) roosting in a cave. Apologies to him for the delay in posting this. He notes “One of our guests sent me a photo they took whilst walking through a small gorge on the way to the Canyon Rio Lobos Natural Park. They entered one of the many limestone caves throughout this area and came across a few bats….the long fingers are a give away for the species.  ” The photo was taken by Dulana Herath who has kindly allowed me to publish it here. Click on Dulana’s photo to see the bats in all their glory.

Alfredo also runs Spanishfootsteps which offers a range of expert walking and driven guided tours in Soria, one of the least known and fascinating parts of Iberia.

Calatanazor juniper forest

November 25th, 2007

The Sabinar de Calatanazor is a remarkable forest of Spanish juniper (Juniperus thurifera) in Soria near the village of Calatanazor. Read

Antonio Machado in Soria

November 13th, 2007

I loved this documentary about Antonio Machado in Soria shown on Escarabajo Verde last Sunday.

Ian Gibson explains how Machado’s visit to Soria was to have a great impact on the poet’s work. The poems he wrote here were published as “Campos de Castilla”, a collection lyricising the beauty of the Castilian countryside. His first work in Soria expressed the poverty and ruggedness of the region, but his writings were to soften when he met, fell in love and married Leonor Izquierdo, daughter of the owners of the boarding house Machado was staying in. Sadly, Leonor soon fell ill and died from tuberculosis, just a few weeks after the publication of Campos de Castilla. Machado was devastated and left Soria, never to return. He moved to Baeza where he wrote a series of poems dealing with the death of Leonor which were added to a new edition of Campos de Castilla published in 1916 , which now saw the Sorian landscape full of melancholy and sadness. The documentary also mentions the articles Machado wrote for the local press expressing an early environmental concern and denouncing the burning of pinewoods for pasture. (Escarabajo Verde, TVE2 from Forestman)

Fields of Soria (extract)

Hills of silver plate,
grey heights, dark red rocks
through which the Duero bends
its crossbow arc
round Soria, shadowed oaks,
stone dry-lands, naked mountains,
white roads and river poplars,
twilights of Soria, warlike and mystical,
today I feel, for you,
in my hearts depths, sadness,
sadness of love! Fields of Soria,
where it seems the stones have dreams,
you go with me! Hills of silver plate,
grey heights, dark red rocks.