Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Barcelona, Day 1

Back to the beachside we go! Today we arrived in Barcelona around noon, and had a nice walk through the city to the campus residence halls in which we are staying.

Once we got to our room we celebrated by taking a two-hour siesta --- we did have to awake at 5 am to get to the airport in Paris.

We then headed out to visit the gothic quarter of Barcelona, and snapped a nice shot of some of the interesting late-late-late-late-late-late-late-late-late-late-gothic building style where glass and steel became the focus.

Our first stop was to the Cathedral Santa María del Mar, built in the 14th century --- which is over 100 years ago! Because of the history of Barcelona and Catelonia in general is one of the sea, this cathedral is important to sailors and shipmen, and midshipmen, and probably low and high shipmen as well.

On the main altar is a model of a boat at the foot of some figure of the looming type. This is not the largest cathedral in Barcelona. We tried to go visit that one, but were turned away because Carla was wearing a tanktop and shorts --- even as a gaggle of giggly girls were exiting that were dressed the same, albeit with hose. That is good they are keeping out shorts-wearing, tanktop-bedeckered women.

Then we found an excellent colorful market full of fresh fruit. We each bought some fruit juices and a big bowl of different fruit slices. These were an excellent gouter, as they say in French for snack.
As we continued walking toward the docks and beaches, we came across the famous statue of Christopher Columbus, who is pointing in the direction of Genoa, Italy --- his hometown. This monument marks the spot where Columbus arrived back to Spain after his first visit to the "New World."

Barcelona has its own Arc d' Triumph, but this one was not built to celebrate conquests and empire, but instead for the 1888 Great Exhibition of Barcelona. This reminds me, I need to gear up for the 2009 Great Exhibition of Bob Sturm.

Finally, we made it to the beach, where I just had to kiss a surfboard adorning the wall of the local surf shop.

This hairy shirtless genie was walking around with a board-full of donuts balanced on his head. We did not buy any donuts from this genie.

Tonight, we are going out to find some paella and sea food!

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