after the storm

As always, if you have questions, objections, worries or praise, and especially if you found your picture and want it removed, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also read my full disclaimer, if you are interested.

 

A few days ago the seagulls started to behave in a weird way. Particularly one of them suddenly started scavenging in our street. This is not Brighton and seagulls don’t normally attack people or feel the need to bother anyone not in sight of the sea. And our street is actually quite narrow, so this was really very odd. Once the beast even tried to land on our windowsill. Did it think it was a pigeon, or what? It only started to make sense when we walked past the beach the other day and realised that the sea was way too rough for the seagulls to have any chance of catching something.

Then yesterday early in the morning there was a storm flood. All four bridges along the river lost their railings, part of the railings along the promenade went with them, the local spa was flooded, a few boats in the harbour sank and there was flooding in the old part of town. We of course noticed nothing, since we live a few minutes away from the beach. We only heard the news in the evening and then decided to go for a little walk to look at the destruction. A lot of people had the same idea.

All pictures taken with: Olympus Pen E-PL3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 ASPH.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

So far nothing out of the ordinary. It wasn’t high tide though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

A little bit sandy for winter when hardly anyone drags sand up from the beach.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Ok, a lot more sand.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

And still high waves. It was very dark, so not the best conditions for the contrast AF of my E-PL3.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

People watching the waves. It was really cold.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Now we get to the interesting parts: Police tape! These folks were on the illegal side of it.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The kid obviously found the sand fascinating. It’s amazing how even kids notice when something out of the ordinary is happening.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

A lot of people were out and about, standing around, chatting, looking out at the sea. It was unusually busy for that time of the evening in winter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The police tape forced us to cross the street and walk on the side that is normally almost deserted. Did you notice the sand? This is on the other side of a wide street.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Kid mesmerised by the main attraction. Look at all that sand! The beach was invading the city.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

There are three odd things in this picture. 1. The sand, 2. the police tape along the middle of the street and 3. something is missing: The railing along the promenade! This was why the kid was mesmerised.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

People  ignoring the police tape. The police didn’t really care since it wasn’t high tide. You can see what’s left of the railing on the left. It used to run all along the seafront.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

It seemed almost like a street festival. People standing around chatting, eating, looking around.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Normally this view would be rather empty.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Even the dog is confused about the sand.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

More police tape.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

For this guy it was business as usual.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

All the bars and food shops were open. On the other side of the street they probably weren’t all that lucky.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

We could cross back on the other side where the Kursaal shielded the rest of the street. It’s a rather big conference centre. On the other side of the building the promenade was still closed off today.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Kid in the background pointing to the first bridge at the mouth of the river. Another kid on the bike lane …! Slightly exaggerated? He doesn’t look like much of a danger to anyone.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Beneath the roof of the Kursaal. My black and white spidy sense was tingling there.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The first bridge over the river was entirely closed off. Although there wasn’t a danger all the time, occasionally a big wave would spill over the side of the bridge.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Not much left of the railing. There were only a couple bits left standing on the far end. As you can see the bridge must have been open for a while until a big wave took care of the temporary fence.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

People were waiting for another big wave to hit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Pointing at the closed off bits of the promenade.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Watching the water at the first bridge.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

At the second bridge. Another big one was coming.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

She was filming the waves like a lot of people that day.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

You see how this could have happened, right? And further to the other side you can see that this was no flimsy metal railing, but stone. Must have been quite an impact. The second bridge was partly open.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Entertainment for the whole family.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Looking at the second bridge.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Scary, but also interesting!

We had seen enough and decided to head home. Too cold to spend hours looking at the waves.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

They must have been discussing how to look especially posh.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Perfect example of the low light performance of the E-PL. Not sharp and a lot of noise. One.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Same here. I like it anyway. Looking at this in full resolution is horrific though. I definitely prefer grain to noise. And well, the AF on the E-PL at night is a joke as well. If only my Zorki had a better viewfinder I would shoot with that at night! It’s hard to see anything on the rangefinder when it’s dark though. It’s like choosing between being blind on one eye or on the other.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

With the closed bridges the buses weren’t running as scheduled. The queue was longer than this still, but it would have taken a panorama camera to get them all in the frame.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Last one. Another one for the black and white spidy sense.

 

I actually wanted to post a different bunch of pictures already yesterday, but then this bout of destruction distracted me and we went out instead. Well, at least you have a bit of an impression of the perks of living near the sea. I know why I’m not too eager to have a sea view. One pays for that not only with stiff rent prices, but also with the risk of flooding.

Today I went out again during the day to have a closer look.  The local paper was headlining with “Tsunami” and apparently this storm affected the entire Basque coast. No surprise that I also saw 3 TV crews. The beach looked quite crazy with a lot of driftwood and rubble that the storm flood left on the shore. The police was also still guarding the spots where the waves could get dangerous, but both bridges were open. They were already working on temporary railings along the bridge, because they are a very important to the infrastructure of the city. It will take a while to fix all the damages though. Most of the pictures from this daytime walk I took on film by the way, so you’ll still have to wait a while before I can show them to you.

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