Tuesday, September 21, 2010
That is the extent of my Spanish apart from general food words like tapas and sangria but we have arrived painlessly in Barcelona and our apartment is terrific. It is right on La Rambla which is entertaining night and day and although in a very old 4 storey building - it does have a lift. Someone has worked out how to retrofit into these ancient buildings by cutting the stairs in half and installing a minute (but effective) lift. Only holds one (with shopping) and that's all you really need anyway.
Enough of my ramblings - you want to see Barcelona don't you? Last night we wandered up and down La Rambla (and into a few interesting alleyways like we always do) and found there are definite areas. The usual tourist rubbish section, the draw your portrait in 20 minutes section and then the busking - or is it living sculpture - section.
All along the central promenade area are these great figures who move (of course) only when you put coins in their buckets. Some are really elegant and beautiful
and some just plain weird like the first picture or this guy who just sits there all day (and night) grunting and making farting noises. However - the tourists continue to drop coins into buckets so I guess there are worse ways to make a euro!
I think these two had an environmental message.
Evidently we picked a good week to be here as there is a big festival starting in a couple of days with these giants and lots of their friends being paraded down the street right in front of us.
We also live near a market (of course) and these colourful displays greeted us early this morning. No - I didn't partake but they were tempting.
The architecture is astounding in this area - beautiful decorations and paintwork are everywhere.
Lunch was tapas (actually so was dinner last night) and here is part of it. Cheap and tasty.
The toilets had interesting signage too.
We spent most of the day on a couple of the tourist buses getting a feel for the layout which we will explore further tomorrow but we did go to Gaudi's Casa Battlo and spent a couple of hours just wandering in awe at his vision and lines and colours and shapes and........
This is the light shaft which goes down the centre of the building. Note the colour change of tiles as you go up. This balances out the light to an even colour from the bottom I believe - or so the audible guide tells you. I love the colour anyway. The long shapes below the windows are revolving air vents which can be opened or closed as required.
I will post more of Gaudi's work tomorrow but I need to rest now.