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Rambla, La Rambla and Arroyo...

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Offline Clive

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« on: June 19, 2007, 11:58 AM »
Hola,

The last couple of posts at http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,427.msg3081.html refers to the word "Rambla"

When we first travelled through Spain in our blue truck we noticed that this word referred to a seasonally flowing (or not flowing river)...The further south we went the less likelyhood of water in the stream bed was...

On visiting Barcelona we discovered a street called "La Rambla" and found that underneath all the shops and funny people pretending to be statues was in fact a seasonally flowing or (not flowing river)....Hmmm we thought..How do they know that the big tubes they put in will take the amount of water that flows down (Now under) "La Rambla"

As you pass through Murcia and into Andalucia then move westwards the word is Rambla is replaced by the word Arroyo which I think means pretty much the same thing....

So for any linguistics amongst you...What are the roots of these two words that mean the same thing..I guess the Arroyo is of Arab origin but what of "Rambla"

And for any Barcelona city dwellers.. Who has got a picture of "La Rambla" when it actually was a rambla? Please post one..I like those old black and white of times gone by...Sigh...

Clive
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Offline SueMac

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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 12:27 PM »
Sorry Lisa and there was I thinking I was teach something to Clive - well perhaps I am because the Collins Spanish dictionary puts the word
Rambla = avenue

and
arroyo =stream
I will look out some old piccies of the rambla with water (in black and white for nostalgic Clive) :booklook:
SueMac

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Offline Clive

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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 12:48 PM »
Hola,

The word in Collins simply gives a modern translation and not the root of the word and the definition is wrong because we all know that rambla also means "seasonal river course" "dry stream bed" etc

I have a feeling that in the old old old days, villages and towns were built either side of a small stream for various reasons...The word Rambla then got used to describe the area between the houses that could not be built on but was used for acess and of course waste disposal. Later as language evolves (and the village grows to a town or city) the word evolves as well and alters to mean "street" or "avenue" for modern use.

I think the word Rambla was there to describe the small stream before the village was even built either side of it (or not as there are many ramblas and arroyos without any villages or towns nearby)

Barcelona would be a case in point because the rambla was there before the avenue was built? (If my theory of a stream underneath "La Rambla" is correct of course)

Sue Mac, Its an antique photograph of Barcelona before "La Rambla" was built I would like to see. Living in Andalucia right now I see plenty of dry stream beds......

Clive
« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 12:53 PM by Wildside »
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Offline nick

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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 13:44 PM »
The Ramblas hasn't been an open stream for centuries, but it would interesting to find some old engravings. I wrote this last year

On the side facing Montjüic was a gulley with a storm fed stream which ran down from Collserola. It would mark out the medieval walls of the city. Today it is known as the Las Ramblas (there are five, apparently in reference to the staggered in-filling of the gully over the centuries). 'Rambla' comes from the Arabic meaning dry stream. The Arabs were not in Barcelona for very long - and they left no palace or great mosque - but they did give the city two of its essential names: 'Rambla', and also Raval, the old working class district to the right of the Ramblas themselves, meaning market garden and orchard. The stream was both a moat and a sewer, and as such became known as the Caganell - the shit stream. Occasionally in torrential weather it will surge back up to the surface and flood what Garcia Lorca described as the only street in the world he wished would never end, with raw sewage. The stream emptied into the Caganell lagoon. In primitive times it teemed with waterfowl. In the Middle Ages, it became a festering cesspool and a breeding place for malarial mosquitoes. http://www.iberianature.com/material/Barcelona_nature_history.htm
Nick
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2007, 13:44 PM »
Hola,

So who's got a picture of La Rambla from the mid 1800's ???

History & Background

Las Ramblas are rich in tradition and history. The Font de Canaletas, an old iron fountain at the beginning of the promenade, has an associated legend: all those who drink from it are truly of Barcelona. The monument of Columbus at the waterfront end speaks to Spain's glorious imperial days. And the Ramblas itself, including the Placa de Catalunya at its head, has a secure and storied reputation as a center of high society, debate and discussion, and people-watching - so much so that it has actually entered the Spanish vocabulary: a "ramblista" is one who saunters along the Ramblas, perhaps making a day of it.

What is now Las Ramblas used to be a riverbed; a wall there marked the limits of medieval Barcelona. By the 15th century Barcelona had expanded past this wall, and the character of the Ramblas changed. In the late 18th century, construction began on the characteristic central pedestrian promenade, which replaced a section of the city wall. By 1856, all remnants of the old city wall had been torn down and Las Ramblas, by then Barcelona's main thoroughfare, looked much as it does today.

Clive
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Offline SueMac

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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 14:03 PM »
In terms of this area on the edge of Andalucia I think the flooding at Puerto L was a pretty historic event and is well recorded by film. More anon.
SueMac
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2007, 14:15 PM »

Ramble (English version) to follow a winding course, meander, such as a stream

bRamble English name for a riverside plant         :biggrin:
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Offline SueMac

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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2007, 14:25 PM »
Hi
Here is a report on the Flooding in the Segura describing  the impact on the Rambla Nogalte and 83 deaths in Puerto Lumbreras.
http://www.chsegura.es/chs_en/cuenca/resumendedatosbasicos/sucesosextremos/avenidas.html

We had severe rain in October here so already have had some experience of "gotas frios"
SueMac
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 14:27 PM »
Greetings Folks,
This thread keeps getting added to with interesting snippets  :sign: faster than I can get my act together - so hopefully while you are all away at lunch I'll be able to get a couple of words in edgeways as I’d like to add my own grain of whatever it is that needs adding to this rambla question (although much has already been covered by all you enthusiastic iberianatureforumers  :dancing:).

As some of you may have noticed, the DRAE is not always the best source to turn to when it comes to words in Spanish (bit like that Collins many of you insist on using >:D, when looking for decent translations :banghead:) but it is nevertheless a source  :booklook: . Below are extracts (non-relevant definitions deleted) and a couple of wikilinks I've embedded:

rambla.
(Del ár. hisp. rámla, y este del ár. clás. ramlah, arenal).
1. f. Lecho natural de las aguas pluviales cuando caen copiosamente.
2. f. Suelo por donde las aguas pluviales corren cuando son muy copiosas.
4. f. En Cataluña y otras zonas de Levante, calle ancha y con árboles, generalmente con andén central.

(The first two meanings above were the ones I knew of – and which I always use as an example of stupidity in urban planning when the powers-that-be in coastal villages/towns concrete them over, trying to make ‘em into levees , thus preventing the parched soil absorbing some of that gota fría (cloudburst/flashstorm? – anyone?)

arenal.
1. m. Suelo de arena movediza.
2. m. Extensión grande de terreno arenoso.

arroyo.
(Del lat. arrug?a, galería de mina y arroyo, voz de or. hisp.).
1. m. Caudal corto de agua, casi continuo.
2. m. Cauce por donde corre.
3. m. Parte de la calle por donde suelen correr las aguas.
4. m. calle (? vía entre edificios o solares).
7. m. Am. Mer. Río navegable de corta extensión.

Keep 'em coming!

Impressed regs.
Technopat

Ps.
I liked SueMac’s take on the word, so I followed it up:
  Oxford English Dictionary

ramble
  • verb 1 walk for pleasure in the countryside. 2 (of a plant) grow over walls, fences, etc. 3 (often ramble on) talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way.
  • noun a walk taken for pleasure in the countryside.
  — DERIVATIVES rambler noun.
  — ORIGIN probably related to Dutch rammelen (used of animals in the sense ‘wander about on heat’), also to RAM.
 
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 16:28 PM »
Hi everybody
Up here in the Leon, nearly all of the seasonal waterways are called Arroyos, there is another word they use but I cannot for the life of me remember it. A lot of the Arroyos here have not seen water of any quantity for years, and certainly not in the sense that there is any flow.
Regards
Dave

Offline lisa

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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2007, 22:22 PM »
Wow  :o :o :o thanks to everyone I can now join the "all" in Clive's

 the definition is wrong because we all know that rambla also means "seasonal river course" "dry stream bed.
In Torquay (necessary passing reference - town of birth) the main street was built over a small river and was only relatively recently made successfully flood-proof.

SueMac, sorry I was too late to warn about the bandying of the "C" word.

Sue, welcome to the "Identity Crisis Club"  ::)
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Offline SueMac

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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2007, 14:43 PM »
Hola
Its amazing what one finds when following la nariz  - off I went to the Ayuntamiento who sent me to the library. Nice lady showed me how to use Puerto Lumbreras website :lighttbulb:!This great site on the area and La Rambla is worth a look.  Many of the bits of info that the forum has helped me with were there all the time.
But particular reference here is for hydrografica - there are several pages but one showing headlines in La Verdad for 19 October 1973 (death toll was actually 83).  Note Los Menchones where we live currently in splendid isolation.

http://217.125.91.142/scorazon/
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2007, 15:29 PM »
Hi SueMac
what a superb website. That particular article shows what nature can do, luckily not very often
Regards
Dave

Offline nick

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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 22:45 PM »
Hi all back from that drizzly place with wonderful images in my head of lochs, otters and puffins.

Yes, interesting web.

In the fauna section there's an insect called the frailecillo which I'd known as the Spanish for puffin. I've seen these often and never knew what they were. In English, anybody?

Anyway, it states

Frailecillos

Animal que se introducía en un bote con aceite y posteriormente el líquido resultante se usaba para calmar dolores de ciática.
Nick
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Offline lucy

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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2007, 09:11 AM »
Hi Nick, those memories of drizzle and puffins will be especially nice during those sauna Barcelona nights.  Luckily, the heat's still holding off. I think the insect is this one:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,365.0.html

Offline nick

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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2007, 18:25 PM »
Returning to the theme, sort of, I've just come across this remarkable collection of photos of old Barcelona, plenty of the Ramblas too.

http://www.juanmabcn.com/barcelona/XIX/1.htm

Including these Catalan ostriches



Nick
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2007, 20:00 PM »
Hola,

Thanks Nick those images are wonderful...

In the last few shots there is a tram going down the middle of Rambla...When did that system get removed? i don't remember a tram there when I visited..

I'd like to see some images from earlier though, When Rambla was a river bed......

Clive
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Offline nick

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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2007, 22:15 PM »
Well spotted Clive. I hadn't noticed that. Will try and find out.
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2007, 23:33 PM »
Greetings Nick and All,
Thanx for the Bcn pics - some amazing ones among them. The ostrich one is particularly great! And I thought the craze for eating ostrich meat was just a modern fad.
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline steveT

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« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2007, 23:45 PM »
Nick,

Great photos ..wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it!!!! I wonder if the ostriches originate from the Spanish Sahara   ..... I read they were relatively common there in colonial days and may still be present in low numbers now.

steveT