Sunday, May 27, 2012

Barcelona Day #2 . . . HOT, HOT, HOT!!!

The internet said that Wednesday would be another very warm day in Barcelona so I opted for a very early start to beat the heat and say the sights.

First stop . . .

 La Sagrada Familia

Antoni Gaudi's still unfinished Cathedral. Some love it, some hate it and I just like to check in to see how they are progressing. The last word that I heard was only about 25 more years to completion!

Interseting art work everywhere

St. George at the bottom

This George on the bottom step

Maybe my new car should be a

Leapin' Lizards!!! 

John the Baptist? 

Take a knee

Math Square 

Christ is said to have died at the age of 33. If you add the four numbers in any row, column or diagonal the sum is 33.

Storm Troopers of the Devil

Christ's head is an open bible 

More on haircuts later.

Hark the Herald Angel

Gaudi's Oranges

Time to move on, the oranges reminded me of my next stop back on Las Ramblas . . .

The famous La Boqueria

On the sight of a convent that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, this open air market is a must when visiting Barcelona!

Setting up my favorite fruit stand

 Jamon Iberico is big in these parts

The Legendary server at the Pinotxo Bar

A great place to sit for breakfast in La Boqueria. I sat next to a couple about to embark on a cruise ship. They were fron Thousand Oaks, California and are friends of Charlie Wegher who is the Head Football Coach at Agoura H.S. and my former QB at Westlake H.S.

Small world.

Good dessert after breakfast balances a meal

And it is SO good for you too!

Laurie loves cherries and
she'll be here very soon indeed!!!

These shrimp were alive and kicking 

I've always found this egg stall of interest 

What the . . . 

Brian and Mike,

Looked good on a hot day

I was feeling strong and it was only 9:30 a.m. so it was back on the Metro and a funicular ride for me up to Montjuïc that overlooks the harbor.

My goal was the Fundació Joan Miró, this museum is rich with abstract art by Miró and other artists. No pictures were allowed inside. 

But she was OUTSIDE!

As were these children on a school field
trip to the world of abstract art

Followed by another horde of youngsters

I liked a lot of the pieces in this museum, definitely different. After an hour it was time to move on to another museum on Montjuíc . . .

The 1992 Summer Olympics were held
a few hundred yards from here


The first thing that greets you as you enter the museum is about a dozen HUGE screens with a different Olympic moment on each one. The very first one that I saw was of some woman named Marion Jones winning the 100 meters dash at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

What were the odds and why was she still being shown at this museum at all?

Hurdles and fire extinguishers 

The Olympic Museum has much to
offer about sports outside of the
Olympic movement

Mia Hamm
"Best  Player Player in History"

What do you think experts?

Uruguayan Team

Is that Gonzo in the front row?

The Popular Olympics 

They were going to be held in protest to Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics and got a lot of support from both athletes and ticket buyers. The only problem was that the Spanish Civil War broke out two days before the start of these Games.

Games over.

Is Fussball an Olympic Sport? 

Baseball was for a while

Abuelo and his cesta . . . 

That reminds me,
the L.A. Kings are doing well

Special Olympics Archery? 

 A bicycle built for 12?

The Olmpic Flame 

At Barcelona's Olympic Stadium 

The National Museum of Catalan Art 

Not today, I'm museumed out.

That's his city out there 

Cool steps

Where to next? Well it was Jorge Zaragoza's birthday and he loves Barça so off to their Camp Nou Stadium it was.

Getting close . . .

Closer . . .

There it is!

No games today, La Liga's season is over 

But the souvenir store was
wide open for business!

Need a new kit? 


When I left the stadium, it was about 1:30. Enough time to get back to the hotel and clean up a bit before hitting my big walking tour for the Barcelona segment of my trip.

But first . . . 

"Two dark chocolates please!" 

La Boqueria Fruit Stand was ready

In the 30ºs C/90ºs F heat,
these were a must

I had several, the price was right.

That's a LOT of Euros for a ham leg!!!

Reading is FUNdamental!!!
I read this before leaving for Barcelona

It was recommended by the tour guide on the Spanish Civil War walking tour that I took last February in Madrid and I found it fascinating. Thus, I searched the internet to see if Barcelona had a similar walking tour.


We met in front of the Cafe Zurich near Plaça de Catalunya at 3:00 p.m. for a most interesting and illuminating experience.

Our tour guide Nick Lloyd

He did a splendid job leading the tour with typical British reserved passion. He was full of knowledge and insights as he answered several questions smoothly about Barcelona's role in the Spanish Civil War that started on July 17, 1936.

The Madrid Telephone Exchange Building
Plaça de Catalunya

The May 3, 1937, the takeover of this building by Republican government forces from the pro-Republican C.N.T. workers touched off bloody street fighting in Barcelona between militia factions that were all fighting FOR the Republican side.

Needless to say, the Fascist pro-Franco side was happy with this turn of events.

The former Hotel Colon
Plaça de Catalunya

Not the chic place to be during the Civil War, many were imprisoned and tortured here.

The Hotel Continental
Las Ramblas

This is where George Orwell's wife stayed while he was fighting on the front lines.

Las Ramblas was still busy despite the heat

Much of the Barcelona street fighting occured on this wonderful street.

I'll have to remember this in Madrid

Is that a Camino de Santiago clam shell I see?

A New Discovery
Plaza of the Unknown Militia Man

When the Republican side took over Barcelona, they changed the names of most of the streets and plaças to reflect the new Left/Socialist/Communist/Anarchist nature of the tenuous coalition government.

When the fascist pro-Franco side won the War, all the names were changed back.

A few years ago, while this building was being cleaned, this Republican sign was found and preserved.

Sant Felip Neri Church

A bomb dropped here by Mussolini's Italian Air Force in full support of Franco's forces, killed several people. While rescuers were trying to find survivors, another bomb killed several more Barcelonans. These are shrapnel marks from those bombings.

This graffiti was added to Sant Felip Neri's
wall  about five years ago

No one knows who wrote it and no one is in any hurry to erase it either.

Recently, the Italian government apologized for their role in these bombings.

The wonderous Barcelona backstreets

The Cafe Moka

It played a key role in Orwell's first hand account of the Barcelona street fighting.

This wonderful tour was officially over but Nick led us to a bar to debrief, get out of the Sun and enjoy a caña.

Of course it had a great
Spanish Civil War vibe

The C.N.T.
A key Anarchist faction
in Barcelona

This group of women enjoyed new
freedoms in sexist Spain

The equivialent of the Uncle Sam
"I WANT YOU" poster

If you like the History Channel and you are in Barcelona, definitely take this tour!

For more information got to or contact Nick at

Irati Taverna Basca

I just had to walk past my favorite tapas bar again

It was only six blocks out of my way.

I got rid of the olive and enjoyed only five tapas tremendously with . . .

A Cafe con Leche

Sweet dessert tapas

You only live once

Cranberry glaze, YUM!

Walking through the Raval neighborhood I ducked into a church.

What is she doing?


I lit one for Kevin and one for Jacob

Raval street futbol

The winning goal

Losers off the pitch, all those guys behind the goal could now play the winners.

A Unisex Barbershop
Just down the street from the futbol games

I was in need of a haircut and beard trim so I decided to take a closer look at this working class district business.

This translates into 8 Euros for the
much needed haircut and beard trim

My one haircut in Thun a few weeks ago had cost me the equivalent of almost $50.  This barbershop was charging me about $10!

With proper planning to buy a Sky Works plane ticket well in advance, it would be almost cheaper to fly here for a haircut than to get another one in Thun.

The young Moroccan who did the shearing did well to get my flowing locks back under control.

In Spanish, I asked him, "What is your name?"

He said, "Naim."

Once again in Spanish I said, "Yes, what is your name."

He said, "Naim."

Again in Español I querried, "Yes, what is your name."

He said, "Naim."

Finally it dawned on me as I awakened from my Abbott and Costello ESP channeling.

You can't make this stuff up.

I love Barcelona's
ornate drinking fountains

One last note, the Raval district was a well known hot bed of pro-Republican sentiment during the Spanish Civil War and was thus bombed severly. After the war, Franco's fascist government made sure to neglect this district at all times in their efforts to rebuild.

It was after 10:00 p.m. and I was a bit hungry still so I ambled down the street from the hotel again to Can Eusebio where I had the Patatas Bravas yesterday for a light snack. They sat me at this table numbered . . .

Uh-Oh . . .

All of the other tables that I could see displayed numbers lower than 23.

Suddenly, something came over me and I was wildy ordering food.

First it was Patatas Brava.

Then I asked for a Torta Española.

The waitress smiled knowingly as I later ordered Croquetas Cocido.

I also needed a diet conscious Coca Cola Zero to wash down the meal.

But I could not stop there, I ordered Flan for dessert and a Cafe con Leche.

So much for my light snack.

Total bill for all of this was only $14!!!!


Now it was time to get four or five hours of sleep before flying to Madrid and readership controversy.

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