Thursday, October 25, 2007

24 October 2007

It has been a few days since I put anything down. I have been too busy getting this blog started to have actually written anything. I have spent the mornings in Barcelona walking around Parc Guell, Sagrada Familia, Gaudi Palau and other Gaudi works (Casa Milo and Casa Brillo).
Gaudi Park (Parc Guell –pronounced ''park whey”) was just as spectacular as I recalled it. I went further a field than I had before and I still didn’t see all of it. This time there were thousands more people than were there when I was here in late December of ’95, which made taking photos much more challenging than I would have liked. I also went through both sets of batteries (one was almost done when I walked in the park) just as the light started to become good at sunset. How very frustrating. It is even more frustrating that that I got this compact charger specifically for traveling in Europe and it quit working after 2 charges. C’est la vie!

After almost three weeks out, I have run out of steam to stay out late so I have been reading or setting up the photos from the comfort of my hotel room. I do seem to have taken some good photos this trip, some almost worthy of framing, but I will have to look at them on a better screen than my laptop to make that final determination.
24 October 2007

It has been nice to have free internet in the hotel room for a change. It was also nice to have a Jacuzzi tub in the room. After walking from Sagrada Familia back to the hotel on La Ramblas, I really needed it. On the walk back, I stopped at the monument that I threw Champagne bottles at on New Years Eve while here last. At one time the monument was the sole monolith in this corner of the park, now they have added a little pool and statue of a mermaid-esque woman. After walking across half the city it felt good to sit. I was there for a spell (I am not certain how long a “spell” is, but that is about how long I sat there) and a woman walks up behind me and started saying something. My first thoughts were that I was being approached by gypsies like the last time I was here. It put me on edge a bit, but I put the feeling aside and allowed the conversation to happen. It was nice…she was just trying to show me the photo that she took from behind me of the statue and monolith in front of me.

Like I said, it was nice. Virginie and I sat and talked for almost two hours in front of this statue watching the sun set, the people filtering through the park on their way home or to a restaurant or bar or just wandering like I was before I sat. It was nice to sit and talk with someone in English for such a long time, I think the last conversation in English I had was about a week ago in Seville. We talked about her childhood growing up in France, her move to England when she was 19, her two children, her view that she is an underachiever, my trip, my work in Iraq and other various subjects that come up when you just meet someone.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t talked to anyone since I left everyone in Seville, but I have been in places that English hasn’t been spoken, or if it has been spoken, I haven’t engaged in conversation. I have been able to secure a meal, petrol, direction and a room in broken Spanish. Even in Benidorm I didn’t talk much to anyone…why would I want to? Oh, that’s not true I guess. I did speak with an older couple about my motorcycle at breakfast on the morning I was leaving. They saw the bike loaded up and were intrigued, but there wasn’t much of a connection. Once we finished our toast and eggs we were on our way.

One more day in Spain
To be wasted on a train
No sights left for me

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