Edit Blog Post
Published: August 8th 2006
Left South America behind (boo hoo!!) and flew to Barcelona Spain. Temperature has gone up a degree for every hour I've travelled from Argentina with temps of 35++ degrees. Steaming!
The last time I was in Spain was 22 years ago, which really shows my age. What I didn´t expect was that every 2nd person I would meet would be Australian and that everyone is here to party, get drunk, lie on the beach, and maybe hit a tourist site after they´ve dragged themselves out of bed in the afternoon. Thought I was beyond the pub crawl and clubbing scene, but got dragged out by the college kids and hostel managers to various places over the next few nights until 6am. Coolest place was a public pool that operates as a nightclub only on Sundays called 'Liquid'. Had a refreshing dip at 3am, surrounded by scores of raving techno-heads, and thought there's no chance something like this could operate in Australia. But it wasn't all a drunken haze; I also managed to visit a couple of Gaudi sites (La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo). Really great to finally see inside these treasures as they have only been opened to the
Structurally efficient with natural ventilation shaped like dinosaur ribs
public in recent years.
Then it was onto Madrid where I hit the Big 3 Museums - the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza. Totally brilliant (especially the Picasso exhibits), but my feet were suffering by day's end. Decided to treat myself by having a degustation lunch at Sergi Arola's restaurant in the Reina Sofia. This pretentious stuff tickles me no end. He's rated as a culinary genius, and have to say the food was delicious and well worth it, even though it blew a hole in my hip-pocket.
Was hoping to catch a football match but the season hasn´t started yet. I figured the next best cultural / sporting event would be a bullfight. I found the whole experience morbidly fascinating with the matadors strutting around waving their red capes and the shouts of "OLE!" from the passionate crowd, whilst sitting on an uncomfortable concrete bench in the searing heat. However I also found it gut-wrenching with the slow and deliberate killing of the bulls, accompanied by the crowd waving white handkerchiefs, and the final ignominy of dragging the carcass around the stadium. I wouldn´t have rated this as family entertainment, but the Spanish are a pretty bloodthirsty
Beautifully carved door jambs and celings
lot; kids under 4 years can get in free.
Then it was onto Andalucia which used to be a large Muslim kingdom. Absolutely amazing the mix of Muslim and Christian influences in the architecture. Went to Seville (Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda, and a free flamenco show); Cordoba (Mezquita Cathedral); Granada (Alhambra); and finally to Algeciras to catch a ferry to Morocco. A flying visit of only 12 days.
Tot: 0.97s; Tpl: 0.06s; cc: 9; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0204s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb