Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Sitges

Carol and I go out to see the streets of Barcelona at midnight.


 The trip to Sitges was fairly difficult.


 We take the L5 subway to the Sants train station and buy tickets to Sitges from a kiosk machine.


 Our tickets don't work in the turnstile so an official let's us though another gate that doesn't require the correct ticket.... We take the light green R2 train which goes to the airport. There we discover that we should have taken the dark green R2 and backtrack one stop to catch the dark green R2 train.


 When we arrive in Sitges we discover that the ticket kiosk has given us tickets to a wine tour in a small city in another direction for a price which greatly exceeds the cost of a trip to Sitges.


Ann and Carol in Sitges...



Regardless of all that, Sitges is a lovely little beachfront town on the Mediterranean Sea.


 We have lunch, wander the beach and later have a glass of wine.


We are glad we went...next time we'll do better... it was a learning experience...we are moving up on the learning curve..



 The water is about 68F right now...a few hardy souls are splashing in the surf...I take off my shoes to test the water.


Monday, 28 April 2014

Show me the way to the next Tapas bar

Well, show me the way
To the next Tapas bar
Oh, don't ask why
Oh, don't ask why
Show me the way
To the next Tapas bar 


Oh, don't ask why
Oh, don't ask why
For if we don't find
The next Tapas bar
I tell you we must die
I tell you we must die
-The Doors


Eventually we find the Tapas (small plates) bar on Blai street. There weren't any tourists here and they kept track of what we ate by using the traditional method of counting toothpicks....We met a nice guy on the train from Montserrat yesterday who recommended this tapas bar....it might be one of our highlights of our ten days in Barcelona...Thanks Marc if you read this...great tip...


In the morning we take the L5 and L3 subways to the funicular and then the gondola up to the top of the mountain to see the huge Castell de Montjuic...


 Lluis Companys was the democratically elected president of Catalonia who was exiled to France in 1939 after the Civil War.  He was extradited by Nazi German authorities to the Spanish government in Madridin early September 1940 and imprisoned in the cellars of the headquarters of the Dirección General de Seguridad.. He was  kept in solitary confinement, tortured and beaten, while senior figures of the Franco regime visited his cell, insulted him and threw coins or crusts of bread at him. After a military trial which lasted less than one hour, lacking legal guarantees where he was accused of 'military rebellion', Companys was executed at Montjuïc Castle in Barcelona at 6:30 a.m. on October 15, 1940. Refusing to wear a blindfold, he was taken before a firing squad of Civil Guards and, as they fired, he cried 'Per Catalunya!' (For Catalonia!).He is buried at the Montjuïc Cemetery, near the castle. The cause of death was given as 'traumatic internal haemorrhage'. 


Among other things, several million containers pass though Barcelona each year.



After the tapas and the castle, we visit the Maritime museum, wander back up the Ramblas and buy dinner...I like it here...a little sad we must leave and go to Florence on Wednesday...





Sunday, 27 April 2014

Montserrat

We take the L5 and L3 subways to the Placa Espanya and the try to find the R5 train to Montserrat. I finally figure out why I don't see train tracks on my map...they're all underground.


 We miss the train bt two minutes and find a place to kill time with cafe con leche and croissants...We buy the ticket that covers the train, the rack railway up to the monastery and the two funiculars at the monastery...


 Carol and I take the Saint Joan funicular and hike back down about two miles...it's a beautiful day...





This is the  Saint Joan funicular leading up the mountain to an overlook...


 Overlook...


 This is a statue of Pablo Casals. I'm pretty sure we saw him at FSU in 1965...


 The line to see the Black Madonna was way too long so we just went into the church which was very lovely and a crazy waste of human effort and resources...maybe the church should be more interested in feeding the poor and less in building expensive ornate edifices...


 One highlight was meeting Marc from Barcelona on the way back...we chatted about travel for a long time and he gave us a lot of tips about things to see in Barcelona...


Badalona

Steve and Marta invite us to Badalona on what appears to be a big Roman festival. Steve is my cousin's son and Anna and Steven are their children.


They have a devil burning festival on the beach in May....


 Marta and Steve treat us to a great lunch...


 Badalona was founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, with the name of Baetulo


Anna and Steven speak English, Spanish and Catalonian (Steve says Catalonian is very difficult)....



 We wander the narrow shopping streets and beautiful beaches...


 Carol and Marta on the pier...


 The museum in Badalona is a gigantic excavation of the old Roman city....


 This guy crashes with every jump, but he keeps trying...


We enjoyed the day very much...





Friday, 25 April 2014

Barcelona #5

 

When they evaluate the competence of older people, they always ask if you have fallen in the last year. Today I hit the pavement in the middle of a busy street and broke my camera and scraped a silver dollar size patch of skin off my hand. It's nine hours later and it's still oozing blood.


They put a little black bump in the street about eight inches high to keep cars from changing lanes...I was looking at traffic and not looking down. Fortunately the USAF trained me well on falling and not breaking anything so the tuck and roll is pretty instinctive.


This picture is left over from Good Friday in Alicante. I've switched completely to Iphone Pix now that my fat camera is trashed.


Carol took this shot of the Sagrada Familia on her Iphone..


We met some of the local inhabitants and shared some tapas with them.


 The back side of the big gothic cathedral.


The Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall in Barcelona, Spain. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908....


 Montaner was a contemporary of Gaudi and competed with him in a style which is called Art Noveau in some countries and modernista in Barcelona. At the time he was more famous than Gaudi...



 We take the tour of the music palace and I wonder if Bennett Lerner has performed here? Aaron Copland was here for sure...


 Anyway...it's an impressive place and it's been finished 104 years...