Thursday, June 08, 2006



Barcelona, Day 5.

This morning I passed by a small manifestation comprised of at most three or four people who were very loudly protesting the recent imprisonment of two young Barcelona men. Since I was on my way to the Metro, and didn't know where it was, I asked the person nearest me at the moment, who I noticed a bit too late (after I had already stopped her to ask) was holding a clipboard. After very kindly giving me directions, in spite of by my asking for them clearly revealing myself as obviously a foreginer, she tried to get me to sign some petition supporting the cause.

First rule of travelling: NEVER, EVER get involved in the local politics, especially of countries you do not understand. Otherwise, you may end up like her. And if you do understand, and happen to be extraordinarily well informed, still, feign ignorance and stay away. Remember, no matter how "modern" or "civilized" the country, as a foreigner you have very few rights, and little recourse, if you happen to get in trouble.

No thanks. I hope she gets her signatures, I guess, but the strategy of trying to pad the signature count with those of ignorant tourists is both dangerous for them and ineffective for her. If you're trying to gain supporters for some political cause, a show of a little more responsibility is required, for me.

Anyway, today I visited "La Sagrada Familia", the most interesting construction site in Barcelona (yes, my friends, why am I still visiting Gaudís works of questionable taste and judgement? Because they're a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that's why). The sculptures and corresponding drawings of the sculptures by Josep Subirachs that adorn the Western fa├žade, however, are terrific. Way cool. I don't think I like, though, the idea of a cathedral being such a mishmash of architectural styles that evolve with the times. Yeah, I know, that's how most traditional cathedrals ended up {shrug}. I'm a purist, then. So sue me. ;)

Afterwards, I visited the Hospital de Sant Pau, which is a beautiful masonry complex designed by Lluís Domenech i Montaner, a contemporary of Gaudí. What a contrast! What a respite for my eyes!

Anyway, not much else today (some more noteworthy architecture sighting today included the Torre Agbar), but I did get a nice phone call from my Father, who had just received the bottle of white Port I sent him a month and a half ago from Porto, to thank me and assure me that it had arrived safe and sound (wow! I did not expect this much from Mexican mail--considering how slow and careless it tends to be I was afraid the bottle would get broken or, at best, opened and my super-careful packing messed up). He said, too, that he'd wait to open it until I was there, which meant a lot to me, considering that it will not be until at least December, at the earliest, when I next see him. What a sweetie, eh? :D. That, or the man has some willpower of steel. I'd have opened it immediately. :D. Ti voglio bene, Babbo! Un baccione e un abbraccio forte forte!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anch'io ti voglio tanto bene, bambina mia! Ciao.