Tag Archives: Cantabria

Ballesteros (the movie)

I have never been a big fan of golf and in fact I have only played a few times starting in 2012 during a trip to Scotland. Thus, the phenomenon of Severiano Ballesteros if not unnoticed never fully touched me.

Earlier this month I spent some days resting in the village of Comillas (Cantabria, Spain). There we witnessed the preparation of the set and the filming of a movie. We heard that the crew had a British accent and then lunching in a terrace we learnt that the movie was about the life of Ballesteros.

I then, searched in the web about the movie project. I found several articles and read a couple from The Independent and Today’s Golfer.

The movie is produced by BAFTA award-winning Stephen Evans. The £5m movie project is running late as it was initially supposed to be already released, and now is expected for 2014, after over  5,000 hours of footage. It will tell the life of the golfer from its youth in Cantabria. While reading about the movie I found some sentences that catched my attention:

“He had one of the most fascinating childhoods I have ever come across. It is almost straight out of Charles Dickens.”

“If you don’t understand Seve’s formative years then you can’t possibly grasp why he became the man he did.”

“Like (Ayrton) Senna, Seve transcends his sport and like Senna, Seve was incredibly handsome and charismatic, but unlike Senna, Seve was not handed everything on a plate.”

“Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald are all wonderful players, but that is all they are. There is no real story, so if you tried to make a movie about them people would fall asleep. Seve is different.

I have never seen such a display of triumph and joy in my life. It was incredible, amazing and electric.”

Seve Ballesteros, Spanish golfer (by Peter from Liverpool, UK).

Spanish media tends to elevate sportsmen to the highest quite rapidly after some victories, thus I still wanted to check just a few figures of majors won. Ballesteros won 5: 2 Masters (1980, 1983) and 3 times The Open Championship (1979, 1984, 1988). In the last 50 years, only eight (8) players have won 5 or more majors: Gary Player (9), Jack Nicklaus (18), Arnold Palmer (7), Lee Trevino (6), Tom Watson (8), Nick Faldo (6), Tiger Woods (14) and Phil Mickelson (5).

I obviously missed something. I am now looking forward to see that movie.

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Sequoia National Park

When planning our honeymoon, with main destination California, it early became clear that other national parks were optional but the must visit would be the Sequoia National Park.

The schedule of the trip was tight and we were not up to long walks or hiking routes, however, with a good map and a car we could reach many of the sights in the west part of the park (be aware that within the park there are no gas stations, so you better fill up the tank beforehand).

We slept over at Montecito Sequoia Lodge and before breakfast I took the opportunity to run in the forest. It wasn’t a long run, just 8km, but it was wonderful though the climbing part was tough as I went up until Big Baldy (2,503m) where the 360º sights of snow-covered mountains and valleys were superb (it’s a pity that I did not take the photo camera for that morning run).

Run from Montecito Lodge to Big Baldy.

Run from Montecito Lodge to Big Baldy.

After breakfast, we spent the day driving through the park seeing most of the highlights of the park and dozens if not hundreds of sequoia trees. The biggest one is the General Sherman Tree, if not the oldest nor the tallest nor the widest (as there are other trees claiming those records).

General Sherman Tree.

General Sherman Tree.

It is the biggest by volume, with 1,487 cubic metres, with an estimated age between 2,300-2,700 years and about 1,900 metric tones of estimated mass (that is 10 times the weight of a blue whale or almost 200 times that of an elephant). You can see some explanation about the tree in the sign post from the park pictured below:

Sherman tree explanation.

General Sherman tree explanation.

There are many other stunning sequoia trees living or fallen, that make the visit to the park special, even if at the end of the day you end up not deviating the sight from the road to see one more sequoia.

Apart from the trees, there are many other worthy things to do or to see, including the stunning views from Moro Rock, or the different meadows you could walk by.

Enjoy some other pictures we took at the park:

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P.S.: By the way, Luca had just learn before this trip that you need not to go to California to see sequoia trees, but that in the region of Cantabria (Spain) you can see them as well! At the Monte Cabezón.

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