I apologize for the lapse in posting over the last two days. Papers had to be written and such, because the London Programme wants to fervently assert the fact that although we are here to have fun, YOU ARE NOT HERE TO HAVE FUN ALL THE TIME. So, 4,000 words of papers later, I return. To the internet. For this exclusive performance.
Our aims and dreams were high, full of life and electricity at the possibilities for the remaining daylight. Barcelona's really pretty from the heights, with its chunky grid moving in lines without visibile end. So we wanted to make it out by seeing some pretty stuff from the ground. And, with the setting sun as our aid, it turned out pretty well.
Every big street in every Romance-language country features at least one column. Come to that, even Hamilton Boulevard, in Allentown, features one. If you're driving from the West, it looks like it's some guy holding a big fish. Turns out it's just parchment that Mr. Allentown's holding.
We had miscalculated the time that it took to get from where we were to where we wanted -- the end of Las Ramblas, by the harbor. So we scrapped the idea of the Picasso Museum, and thanks to a very well-written and far more than literal translation advertising for Port Vell ("breathtaking views of the city," "myriad options for entertainment," etc.), we walked out there. These bubble-arch things were on the road that ran along the shoreline.
The skyride allowed two gondolas up at a time along a ride that took about 15-20 minutes, running from a tower across the harbor to some other tower near the mountains (wait for pictures).
Seagulls, everywhere. They had a lovely tan color to them.
Tay said this sailboat, docked in the port, had some sort of special significance. Neither of us were sure about that, but most seaworthy vessels are pretty special, I think.
Channukah card, anybody?
Maybe this was intended by the builders.
And we fight, moment to moment, to find the brilliance that causes a breath, a slight pause to remind us that something's larger than we are.
This is the main building on Port Vell, a big movie theater, restaurant, bar, bar, bar, shopping mall. Like the ones in every suburban town. Just on the water in Barcelona. With cool reflective glass that better photographers would have more fun with.
The end of the sky ride!
Some cool, impressionist art along the backside of the building. Tay examines it to see how deep the paint goes. It was quite deep.
EUROPEAN HANDBALL! I'm not kidding. We strolled into Old City, just to the east of where we were, and this was playing in a window facing the road. I thought this game, a staple of Emmaus high school gym class, was the love child of Sue Butz-Stavin and Gene Legath.
I think the owner of this Vespa got on right after this picture was taken. We quickened our pace.
See the column at the end?
Now this stuff, taken earlier in the day:
Anarchy's still going strong in Barcelona.
People make some pretty decent money standing around the street for hours after painting themselves. It's kinda creepy, if you ask me. Especially when they grab lunch and you have this statue diving into ham.
At least the International Breakdance Society cooled things out and brought the noise and da funk.
Aaaaand...back to the nighttime:
Senor Barcelona, at the entrance to a big park that hosts Parliament and the zoo. He has much bird poop on his head. So does his horse, whose one foot raised means Barcelona died at war...another Tay fact.
Tough to see because my hands shake too much to take good night pictures, but it's a gigantic temple/fountain. It's as big as the Pantheon, and absolutely stunning. Just comes out of nowhere, this hulking and cavernous monument to Paganism and water.
There was a row of these next to the fountain/temple. For those who crave ping-pong at any time of day.
'el mamut chiquitito quería drogar....'
A huge, life-size wooly mammoth, donated at the turn of the 20th century for some reason by someone.
Sharing some hot chocolate and delicious pastries after a 6 a.m cab to the airport on Sunday. And looking ravishing. Because Tay won't make her next appearance in the blog until March, I'm very sorry, viewers. I'll try to keep my face blurry.
And it's supposed to snow tonight in foggy Londontown. If this is the case, that is fantastic.