14 de septiembre de 1862 - Graves inundaciones; salida para Valencia después de considerar los pros y contras de los barcos de vapor (1689 + 39)

One of the last days that I was in Barcelona, it had rained hard during the night, and in the morning it happened that I had to go to the banker’s. The water had not run off sufficiently, it was actually over my goloshes. I came home completely drenched; and while I was changing my clothes, I was informed that the inundation had reached the Rambla, and that it was increasing. There were screams and hurrying of feet I saw from our balcony that heaps of gravel and rubbish were laid down before the hotels, and that up on either side of the more elevated promenades, there flowed a stream of a yellowish coffee colour; the paved part of the Rambla was a rushing, rising current. I hastened down. The rain was almost over, but its disastrous effects were increasing; I beheld a terrible spectacle—the water’s fearful power.
Out among the hills the rain had fallen in such torrents, that the tearing mountain streamlets had soon swollen the little river which runs parallel to the highway and the railroad. At an earlier stage of the inundation there had been no outlet to the sea—now the raging water had forced a passage: it poured into what was once the moat of Barcelona, but which latterly had become choked up with rubbish and stones, it being intended to build upon it, as the town was to be enlarged. Here again the outlet was exhausted; the water rushed on; it rose and rose, and flowed over every obstacle; the railway was soon under water; the highway was buried under the overwhelming flood; the fences were broken down, trees and plants uprooted, by the impetuous waters, which rushed in through the gate of the town, and foamed like a mill-dam, darkish yellow in colour, on both sides of the walk; the flood swept off with it wooden booths, goods, barrels, carts, everything that it found in its way; pumpkins, oranges, tables and benches, sailed away; even an unharnessed wagon, which was filled with china and crockery-ware, was carried off to a considerable distance by the rapid stream. In the shops themselves people were up nearly to their waists in water; the strongest among them stretched cords from the shops to the trees on the higher parts of the Rambla, that the females might hold on by these while they were passing through the raging torrent. I saw, however, one woman carried away by it, but two young men dashed after her, and she was brought back to dry land in a state of insensibility. There were shrieks and lamentations, and similar scenes took place in the adjacent narrow streets; the inundation forced its way, dashing over everything, surging into lofty billows, and flowing into the lower stories of the houses. Shutters were put up, and doors were fastened to try and keep out the water, but not always with success. Some portion of the under stonework of the bridge was removed, that the water might find an exit that way; but this did very little good: it became, in fact, the cause of great evil. I heard some time afterwards, that several people were carried off by this eddy, and lost in the depths below. Never have I beheld the great power of water so fearfully evinced—it was really terrible. There was nothing to be seen but people flying from the rising flood, nothing to be heard but wailing and lamentation. The balconies and the roofs were filled and covered with human beings. On the streets trees and booths were sailing along; the gendarmes were exceedingly busy in trying to keep order. At length the inundation seemed to be subsiding; it was said that in the church on the Rambla, the priests, up to their waists in water, were singing masses.

In the course of an hour or so, the fury of the torrent decreased; the water sank. People were making their way into the side streets, to see the desolation there. I followed them through a thick, yellow mud, which was exceedingly slippery. Water was pouring from the windows and the doors; it was dirty, and smelled shockingly. At length I reached the residence of Dr. Schierbeck which was at some distance: he had no knowledge of the inundation which had just taken place. In the many years during which he had resided at Barcelona, the rain had often caused the mountain streams and the river to overflow, but never to the extent of the impetuous torrent which had now occasioned so much mischief, and so much dismay. As we again threaded our way through the streets, we were disgusted with the filthy mud which the water had deposited in them, which looked like the nasty refuse of sewers. The Rambla was strewed with overturned booths, tables, carriages, and carts. Outside of the gate the work of destruction was still more prominent. The road was quite cut up in many places; the waters rushed down, and formed cataract upon cataract.

Carriages with people from the country were drawn up in ranks, the passengers were obliged to come out if they wished to enter the town. Large joists of wood from a neighbouring timber-yard were strewed all about, as if cast by some unseen mischievous agents, playing at a game of chance. Passing along the principal highways, clambering over prostrate trees and other impediments, we reached at length the railway station, which looked like a dwelling of beavers, half in the water, half on land. There was quite a lake under the roof; the yellow water for along way concealed the metal grooves of the railroad. Our return was quite as difficult as our walk from town had been. We fell into holes, and crept up on the wet earth; roads and paths were cut up by new streams, we had to wade through deep mud, and reached Barcelona quite bespattered with it.

Never before had I any idea of the power of such a flood. I thought of Kuhleborn in the tale of ‘Undine.’ I thought of the story which might be told by a little mountain streamlet, usually only a tiny rivulet, shaded by aloes and cacti, its nymph being a playful child; but as the little Spanish girls in reality do, springing up at once into young women, wilful and bold, repairing to the large town, to visit it and its population, to look into their houses and churches, and to see them on the promenade, where strangers always seek them: to-day I had witnessed its entrance.

I had now been almost a fortnight at Barcelona, and felt myself at home in its streets and lanes. ‘Now to Valencia!’ I said to myself; and the thought of that lovely country was as pleasing as Weber’s music. I intended to go by the diligence. The voyage of the steamer along the coast of Spain had been described to me as exceedingly disagreeable, the vessels as dirty, and not at all arranged for the convenience of passengers; if the weather were stormy, it was obliged, with great difficulty, to land the passengers; the steamer did not, in such a case, enter any harbour, but people had, in the open sea, to jump down into the rocking boats, and the weather might be so bad that even these might not venture out to take the passengers ashore. We were now in the middle of September; the certainty of calm weather was past. During the last few days, there had been a strong wind blowing; and into the harbour of Barcelona so rough a sea had been rolling, that the waves had dashed up against the walls.

In going by the diligence, one might see something of the country, and therefore that mode of conveyance appeared to me the best; but my countryman, Schierbeck, and every one else to whom I spoke on the subject, advised me not to undertake the land transit. It was a long, fatiguing journey, they said; I should be suffocated with heat in the over-crowded diligence; the roads were in bad condition; the conveyances often stopped at places where there was no sign of an inn— perhaps not a roof under which to seek shelter. The diligence from Madrid was two days behind its time; I knew by experience how few bridges there were, and how rivers had to be passed through; I had just witnessed at Barcelona the power of destruction which the mountain streams might acquire: to go by the diligence was, therefore, for the time being, to expose one’s self to the greatest inconvenience, if not to absolute danger of life. The road between Barcelona and Valencia lay through a certain place where the swollen mountain streams often caused disasters; it was only a few years before that an over-laden diligence was lost there, and it was supposed that the rush of waters had carried it out to the open sea—the Mediterranean.

Even until a few hours before the departure of the steamer, I was balancing in my own mind whether I should go by it, or undertake the land journey. Every one advised the sea trip; the steamer Catalan, which was about to start, was reckoned one of the best and speediest; the machinery was first-rate, by the captain’s account: so I determined on the voyage. Dr. Schierbeck, and our friend Buckheisler, from Hamburg, accompanied us on board; it was past mid-day before the anchor was raised, and rocking heavily, the steamer bore away for the open sea.

For a considerable way outside the harbour, the water was tinged with a yellow coffee-colour, from the inundation which had taken place on shore; then suddenly it resumed the clear greenish-blue tint of the sea. Barcelona lay stretched out to its full extent in the bright, beautiful sunshine; the fort Monjuich, with its yellow, zig-zag, stony path, stood still more forward; the hills looked higher, and over them all towered one still more lofty, strangely jagged like the fins of a fish—it was the holy Mount Serrat, whence Loyola came.

, In Spain (1864).

Tags y explicaciónes

  • Barcelona (1603)
  • Barco de vapor (13)
  • Carl Maria von Weber (1) Carl Maria von Weber (18 de noviembre de 1786 - 5 de junio de 1826) fue un compositor romántico alemán.
  • Castillo de Montjuic (72)
  • Distrito del Ensanche (14) El Ensanche (en catalán y oficialmente Eixample) es el nombre que recibe el distrito segundo de la ciudad de Barcelona, que ocupa la parte central de la ciudad, en una amplia zona de 7,46 km² que fue diseñada por Ildefonso Cerdá.
  • E. T. A. Hoffmann (1) Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (Königsberg, 24 de enero de 1776 - Berlín, 25 de junio de 1822 ), escritor, jurista, dibujante y caricaturista, pintor, cantante (tenor) y compositor musical prusiano, que participó activamente en el movimiento romántico de la literatura alemana.
  • Ferrocarril (21)
  • Galocha (1) Una galocha o madreña es un zueco de madera, con tres tacones, dos delanteros y uno trasero, utilizado para trabajar en el campo; este indumentario se utiliza en la zona Norte de España, en León y Asturias.
  • Hans Christian Andersen (2) Hans Christian Andersen (Odense, 2 de abril de 1805 - Copenhague, 4 de agosto de 1875) fue un escritor y poeta danés, famoso por sus cuentos para niños, entre ellos El patito feo, La sirenita y La reina de las nieves.
  • Ignacio de Loyola (4) Ignacio de Loyola (Azpeitia, c.
  • Inundación (5)
  • La Rambla (75)
  • Montserrat (montaña) (16)
  • Ondina (1) En la Mitología griega (Griego antiguo νεράιδα neraida 'ondina'), se llamaban ondinas a las ninfas acuáticas Náyades de espectacular belleza que habitaban en los lagos, ríos, estanques o fuentes al igual que las Nereidas mitad mujer y mitad pez.
  • Plan Cerdá (1) El Plan Cerdá fue un plan de reforma y ensanche de la ciudad de Barcelona de 1860 que seguía criterios del plan hipodámico, con una estructura en cuadrícula, abierta e igualitaria.
  • Sierra de Collserola (5) La sierra de Collserola (AFI: /kujsəˈɾɔɫə/) o macizo de Collserola es un área montañosa y parque periurbano situado en la provincia de Barcelona, cerca de la ciudad del mismo nombre.
  • Transporte público (42)
  • Valencia (36)

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