Beneath Biscay

By Douglian


The Greek daemon of peaceful death Thanatos lends his name to the Spanish chapel of rest, the Tanatorio.

We spent most of the day at Gijon's tanatorio, from about 10 am until about 8 pm as friends, neighbours and relatives arrived to give their condolences on the death of my father-in-law Julio.

Under the circumstances it is a very pleasant place. The family has its own room with bathroom and even a small private patio where one can step out for a breath of fresh air. There is also a cafeteria and central patio with pond.

Before the tanatorio existed, families used to have to open up their own homes and provide the drinks and hospitality, which must have been miserable when grieving for a loved one.

The photo is from the steps of the tanatorio looking towards the Universidad Laboral which is quite a spectacular building. It was originally a kind of polytechnic built in Franco's time and I believe the second largest civil building in Spain.

For a long time it was in the doldrums, with no one really knowing what to do with it, but now it is mainly dedicated to the arts, branded 'Laboral City of Culture'. It houses amongst other things a new theatre, the local television company TPA, and Gijon's music conservatory.

There are good views of Gijon to be had from the top of the tower. Perhaps a future blip. In the meantime I think the sunset was a fitting epitaph for the day.

(As you may have noticed, with this and with our being out of our flat due to repair works, the regularity of my blipping went to pot at this time. I shall be back blipping for some time).

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