Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Last Full Day in Barcelona With an Old Friend

Tuesday, 28 June, 2016:

Today would be my last full day in Barcelona as I will be flying back to Upplands Väsby on Wednesday to pack up my belongings before flying home to California Friday morning.

Where to start . . .

Why breakfast at the Pinto Bar
in La Boqueria of course!

Time to meander, yet again . . .

These folks did not fare well in
this week's Spanish elections

 Detailed Street Sign
in Barri Gòtic

There's always room for churros
and chocolate, even in Catalan

And only 3.50 Euros too!

And oh so good for me too!

Laurie's three favorite Spanish words
El Corte Inglés

Nice Theater

Nice building in Example District

 Sherlock in a Spanish bookstore

 Modernista Buildings

A random building

Fishing can be fun!

Nice headline in a local newspaper
about the Italian National Team coach

After last night's 2-0 Italy win over Team España, he is now "el puto amo."

 Entrance to a Court of Justice Building

 Great European City's
MUST have statues

I stopped at the Bracaffé
for a midday Cafe con Leche

Soon after this coffee break I was joined by old friend Enrique Martín Alonso from Madrid who was in Barcelona on business.

We walked to a nearby restaurant called Joséphine that was a French style bistro with incredible, flavor filled dishes.

So good . . .

Enrique and that other guy

For many years Enrique has been the President of one of Spain's great American football clubs, Madrid's Osos Rivas.

We had a great time talking about EuroBall in general and the state of Spanish American football and the Osos in particular.

It has been so much fun seeing so many friends from all over the globe while visiting Barcelona this week.

Meanwhile, back to my meandering . . .

A really . . .

. . . really cool building

 And another

 As I said,
Great Cities = Great Sculptures
and . . .

. . . lots of statues of course

A new church

I did not go in for once.

7 de Julio?

Hey, that's my birthday!

I'll turn 69 years old in just a few days.

Lluís Compants

He was an important Republican leader in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.

Not a good thing since the Republican's lost.
 The Arc de Triomf

It was built as the main entrance for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair.

Triomf is the Catalan spelling of triumph.

 Cool bat in the lower left

Pathway towards Barcelona's
huge greenspace,
the Parc de Ciutadella

Love watching these ball
games in Spain and France too

Entry to Parc de Ciutadella

I'm cool . . .

 Jaume Garriga i Miquel

Died of battle wounds since the horse has a hoof off the ground.

Must have been a fierce warrior

Nice Crest

It mentions Alicante

This spot is 7.1 meters above the sea level in Alicante.

A great vacation spot on the Mediterranean near Murcia.

 Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar
empties into Barri Gòtic

Barri Gòtic streets

Barcelona is usually sunny

Art near the Cathedral

Love it!

"Get me to the church on time!"

A dragon to help sell
perfume . . . why not?

 Near a small street shrine

 Reminds me of walking
the Camino de Santiago in 2010

Our Camino Family member from Canada, Julie Ouellette, had this for breakfast almost every day.

Speaking of walking . . .

I trudged a bunch in steamy
Barcelona today


Meandering in Barcelona's Many Neighborhoods, a Euro Cup 2016 Game and a Guitarra Española Concert

Monday, 27 June, 2016:

I needed to do a little shopping for presents to bring home to Laurie and the kids. So, I was out the door at a decent hour to meander through Barcelona's many neighborhoods in search of hidden treasures.

Ancient Alcohols in El Raval

El Mercat de Sant Antoni
in El Raval

Closed for renovations, I had never seen it before today.

 Spain vs. Italy
at 6:00 p.m. tonight

 "So, what is there to do
in Barcelona?"

 First stop, La Boqueria

Breakfast at the Pinto Bar
in La Boqueria

Juan had his FC Barça vest on, I think that it was his version of a Game Face for tonight's Euro Cup 2016 game between Spain and Italy. 

In an art gallery window

 Barcelona's citywide
rent-a-bike program

Barcelona Cathedral

 Ramon Berenguer III

You do the math.

He was the great Count of Barcelona who extended the province's territory to both sides of the Pyrenees during his reign.

 Gaudi style street lights

Sant Jordi
Patron Saint of Barcelona

A.K.A., San Jorge, St. George

Isn't that Sicily in the sky?

Random Workshop
in Barri Gòtic

Basilica Santa Maria del Pi

The Basilica Santa Maria del Pi
is a classic Gothic structure

The Basilica's side chapel

Tremendous Spanish Guitarist 

Ekaterina Záytseva is part of a group known as the Barcelona 4 Guitars. I saw them play in the gorgeous Palau de la Música Catalana a few years ago and they were great fun.

Tonight she would play a solo concert in the Basilica Santa Maria del Pi's side chapel.

I had her her here on a previous visit and looked forward to hearing her again later tonight.

One of my favorite things to do in Barcelona, besides eating and drinking, is to get lost in all of the city's small, twisting lanes.

Like these . . .

No cars allowed

Early morning quiet

Lonely walker

Starting to wake up

A city in full tourist mode now

Plaça del Pi, 2

What could be for sale in this tienda?

 Why fans amongst other things

Laurie had commissioned me to buy her two plain, black fans to add to her extensive collection.

Francisco here is the owner of this store, the Antigua Pasamaneria J. Soler founded in 1898. He waited on me and was great fun.

I found the two plain, black fans here and had a great time talking the current world geo-political situation with Francisco.

How many chickens die daily
to feed the world?

 Nice Dome

Barcelona's Main Post Office

Carnival Masks for sale
near the harbor

See the white one hanging on the right? That style mask is known as a Plague Mask because during those dark days of The Plaque, doctors would wear them with the beaks stuffed with aromatic herbs, spices and flowers to combat the odor of the dying and, they thought, perhaps stop the physicians from getting infected themselves. 

 Someone's personal boat

You just HAVE to have a helicopter
aboard your pleasure craft


View of the harbor through
a well situated restaurant

 Art on my harbor walk

The harbor

"La Parella"
by Lautaro Diaz

 Joan Salvat - Papasseit
Barcelona, 1894 - 1924

He was a beloved Catalan poet.

 Columbus still pointing the way

The iconic Columbus Monument
at the base of Las Ramblas



In the evening, I was off to the Barri Gòtic to the La República RestoBar to watch Spain and Italy do battle on the pitch.

But on the way . . .

I stopped into Santa Maria
de la Merced

 Nice Altar

 Good Cupola

St. Michael beating
the Devil himself

 Cool Wine Shop

The view from my seat at
La República

I was early and the crowd arrived a bit late for the 6:00 p.m. start.

Ours was definitely a pro Italian crowd, I was surrounded.

I was expecting to finally meet long time EuroBall coach Sebastian Serrano at La República tonight. He is another long time Facebook friend that I had yet to meet in person.

Unfortunately, unforeseen issues at work did not allow him to meet with me tonight.

I wasn't lonely as Danny Page joined me to watch Italy knock Team Spain out of the tournament via their 2-0 victory in Paris.

Of course, the Italians opted to be subdued after the game so as to not ruffle the locals after the game . . .

. . . sure they did

The game was done at about 8:00 p.m., plenty of time for me to walk to the Basilica Santa Maria del Pi for my 9:00 p.m. Guitarra Española concert.

I was hungry. 

Oh no! Not this place again

Laurie collects fans, I collect toothpicks.

Nine more were added to my growing collection on this trip.

At least I was still dealing in single digits.

Ekaterina Záytseva
GREAT Concert!!!

It was late, I was tired
time to walk home

According to my iPhone, I logged another 10.97 miles strolling this great city today.

I should have gone double digits.

Reading Is FUNdamental

Mari Jungstead
does it again

She has yet to disappoint me, I just hope that the Camarillo Library has more of her books for me when I get home this Friday.