Saturday, May 26, 2012

Warm and Friendly Barcelona

Lots of catching up to do as I had next to no internet time this past week while taveling in Spain, let's get started.

On Tuesday I was up bright and early for the bus, train and bus rides to the quaint Bern International Airport for my Sky Works Air propeller plane trip to unwind in sunny Spain for a few days during the Thun Tigers' BYE week. I remind you that we opted to use this as a week of healing our bruised and battered bodies as we head into the final month of our 2012 campaign.

The flight went off without a hitch and I made the two transfers on the Barcelona Metro system flawlessly as I found myself in the warm embrace of the city of . . .


My "Budget" Hotel

Located in Madrid's Raval district about 125 meters from the Metro's Paral-lel exit, it offers a "Motel 6" ambience which is just fine by me as was the price, $58 USD per night.

Three beds was a bit much

It was early afternoon and I was ready to hit Las Ramblas running but about 30 meters from my hotel I saw this sign . . .

I just HAD to stop!

I was in heaven for only $2.25 USD

The Bravas sauce was as spicy as it should be and the caña was ice cold.

Nourished, it was time to start the Las Ramblas Ramble.

I started at the port end
or bottom of Las Ramblas

Colorful, but of course!

The Port's Customs Building

Who doesn't love a griffin?

Christopher Columbus is BIG in Spain . . .

So is his monument . . .

VERY big indeed!

I'm not sure who this is
but the chicas dig him!

Playing "Cops and Robbers"

Maybe it's "Cat and Mouse."

You see this sight all over Europe.

African immigrants selling sun glasses, leather belts and purses on the street illegally on bedsheets that fold up instantly with their mechandise safely inside when a lookout signals that policemen are in the area.

The police always seem content to just watch the immigrants scurry about as I have yet to see an arrest.

Here you can see the white bundles of merchandise with two police officers in a slow speed pursuit on foot.

Barcelona's Marina

Ode to the Glory Days of Spain

A nice drinking fountain in bronze

Another one in gun metal gray

I think that this might be a tour group

Rough day for this statue

I LOVE Barcelona's lively side streets

Always good people watching on
Las Ramblas

Nice Look

Antoni Gaudi's Palau Güell

Yes, ALWAYS good people watching
on Las Ramblas

On a warm afternnon,
a guitar and friends is always a good option

Antoni Gaudi again

Nice Gaudi snake up close 

Hey, I know that dragon, it leads to . . .

My favorite tapas bar in the world!

Maybe I should stop in just to take a look at what they are serving tonight.

Uh Oh . . .


I was.

And only ate eight tapas with my caña. The tapas were only about $2 USD each, a bargain!!!

As you may know, the Spanish economy is in the WC. For the tourist that translates into very cheap prices and a travel dollar that goes a long ways.

I wonder how they are doing financially?

Statue time in Plaça de Catalunya. . .

Yes, many of the Spaniards ARE small people

Ode to the Swiss Unspunnen Stone?

Girls just want to have fun

Spanish Lady Godiva?

The flag of Catalunya

In Plaça d´Espanya

The old Barcelona Bull Ring is now . . .

An indoor shopping mall

The people of Barcelona voted to shut down bullfighting in Catalonia for two reasons. First, there is the whole animal cruelty issue that many of my readers believe in wholeheartedly and second, by doing it they would infuriate their fellow countrymen in Madrid who still love Los Toros.

Either way, some readers are happier now I'm sure but will not be in a future post about my time later this week in the Spanish capital.

The view from the top of the
Arenas de Barcelona
of the Plaça d´ Espanya

That is the Catalan Art Museum in the background, the "Magic Fountains" in the middle and a pair of towers guarding everything that you see.

I wonder if Jason Johnson has anything
to do with this restaurant  in the
Arenas de Barcelona?

In Joan Miró Park

Miró was one of Catalonia's best 20th century artists. He specialed in abstract art. More about him on Wednesday.

Also in the Joan Miró Park,

Meanwhile, back on Las Ramblas . . .

Two of my favorite things!

Oh, and I like these as well

Why the sad face just because
two fish are kissing?

The Cathedral of Barcelona

Not this trip, I was on my way to a 9:00 p.m. concert in the La Ribera neighborhood at the . . . 

Palau de la Música Catalana

I got a FOUTH ROW seat for only $36 USD

GREAT Modernista architecture 

The Barcelona 4 Guitars

These four, seen here post-concert mingling with their adoring fans, played fantastic music on their Spanish guitars and had a great sense of humor that made for a very enjoyable concert. If they are ever playing at a venue near you, buy a ticket, you will leave with a smile on your face I promise.

It was still hot outside at 11:30 p.m.


No, wait, we are in Catalunya, so make that . . .


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