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Falling Rock Signs in Spain

Let's turn our attention to some peculiar finds first.
 
Pont de Suert, XII.1991 Bielsa (Huesca), V.1995 Ribadavia (Ourense), VII.1999
A most remarkable roadsign - the one Spanish find with only four boulders - reminding me of some Portuguese falling rocks with which it has several features in common:
• stripes suggesting speed
• a boulder in a cavity of the rock
• a boulder already landed. Notice the work of a local artist who gave the boulder a whole new meaning.

You'll find more drag stripes in Nepal (bat like rocks), Chile and Romania.

Note: In May 2007 I was in the region again and couldn't find this specific sign back.

The new and tasteless find from Bielsa in the north of Spain gives plenty of reasons to worry. The drawing follows the normal scheme of most Spanish rock-signs with five boulders and the lowest stone being flat, but the make is bad beyond belief. The boulders are real monstruosities and the wall is like a huge mouth snapping to the stones. Because it's so ugly this design will probably spread fast. This sign differs from any other find in Spain up until now. It was on a newly paved road and let's hope signals a new trend. It features nine boulders: that's the maximum ever found in Spain. All boulders are still in the air, but gravel is already accumulating on the road.
 
Roda, XII.1991 Sarvisé, X.1992 Linás de Broto, X.1992
 
Apart from the three specialities Spanish Falling Rock Signs come in many flavours. There is clearly no agreement about the size of the drawing and how much space it may fill on the canvas. Also a matter of dispute is the margin between the drawing and the red triangle. The width varies widely. The same holds true for the size and the shape of the stones. It may seem unlikely, but we've found a way to bring some order in the designs. First there is the group with five boulders (previous and following row). The boulder ready to hit the road is flattened. The second and fourth rock are bigger than the others. The third rock is a pebble and stays close to the wall whose shape varies from almost straight to deeply disturbed. The shape of the rocks is rather variable (e.g. follow the two highest boulders; they vary from dots, to rectangle, boomerang or flying saucer).
 
Col de Velate, XII.1992 Sarvisé, XII.1994 Pyrenees, XII.1996
 
Sierra de Urbion, V.1991 Plan, V.1995 Riglos, XI.1996
 
The second group is made of the roadsigns with six falling rocks. In general the first and second stone from the top are far apart. The third stone is the largest and often tooth-like. Sometimes all shapes are rounded, now and then even to the point that the boulders become slender and like drops (note: this design was also found in France). Falling Rock signs of the third group count seven stones. They must impress by the numbers, because their size is rather small. Again the artist has quite some freedom, but similar to the other designs, the bottom stone is usually flat and the center stone bigger.
 
Bielsa, V.1995 XII.1991 Aguascaldas - Vilas de Turbon, XII.1993
 
A Pontenova (Lugo), 10.II.2009;
pict. J. Koelstra
A fourth group with nine stones. The stones look natural enough, but their position, Oh-la-la ...

The more I look at it the more it looks like as if two huge lips are spewing out rocks into the air. Spume rocks perhaps.

 

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More road signs from Spain: Men at work - Children crossing
Road signs from the Balearic Islands: Men at work - Children's crossing - Falling rocks
Road signs from the Canary Islands: Men at work - Children crossing - Falling rocks