Sunday, December 3, 2006

Beauty and violence

Friends of ours are crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas today, and I am so jealous. They have a big beautiful catamaran that they built themselves, and they are simply amazing people. They have been at a rendezvous this weekend that we have joined them at for the last few years. I knew it would get harder as we moved into the season when we are usually on board our beautiful boat. The water over there is so stunning, like nothing else you can imagine anywhere, and there are many friends and lots of fish to snorkel with and I miss it a lot.

That said. Must stop before I become maudlin.

We got sent photos about this artist and they are amazing, scroll down to the 2D illusions here.

Went into Barcelona this weekend, to Parc Guell. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, look at pictures here. Tons of people, tons of amazing architecture and tons of guys selling stuff on rugs. What we hadn't expected was some local teenage blokes, who really should have toboggans. They are in the wrong climate. They had large sheets of ply, and plastic siding, and they were starting off at the very top of incredibly long flights of stairs. These stairs are outdoors and go up a mountain. We are talking 15 or 20 flights. They sit on these sheets, and as you would expect slide down the stairs. The ply or plastic sheets are long enough to cover most of a flight of stairs. The hammering their kidneys were taking as they rattled over these mini-moguls must have a lasting effect, and when they rolled off, well, lest say, don't try this at home folks. Good way to get in a lot of tourists photo albums.
Predictably we were the only people there without a camera of any sort. No fancy cell phone and we don't yet own a camera of any kind. Not even a disposable. Maybe one of these days.

Walked down the mountain into Barcelona, eating chocolate croissants, gotta like that kind of hiking, and stopping in stores to look at shoes, bought mugs and small stuffed animals, when out of the blue a bizarre and for the kids rather uncomfortable event. All of a sudden there were 3 guys running past, fast as they could go with large gym bags on their backs, then a few more. There are quite a few illegal street vendors who lay out goods on rugs that they can roll up fast and stuff into these bags and go. These looked to be some of them. We stop to see who is following them. A few more go by, making increasingly dangerous moves as they run through the traffic, obviously the pursuer is getting closer, a couple more and then one last guy, younger, slower and less co-ordinated. This is all in complete silence. The drivers are not even blowing their horns. Then comes the pursuer, and he is catching the last one. They deek and turn several time and the pursuer is older, heavier and gaining. The younger guy ran out into the intersection and was about to get caught, and it looked like he was about to get the pounding of a lifetime, so he slipped his bag off, and his luck held, by chance the chaser stumbled over the bag, gave up and took the bag. He went back to a bystander who had picked up his keys, kicked the knapsack around a few times and then walked off with it. This was all completely silent. None of them said a peep, even their runners were quiet. None of the pedestrians joined in, no cars got involved, no one yelled anything and then it was over. The kids questions went on for a long time, and I am glad we didn't see the beating that looked imminent. Who was in the right? Hard to say, but if a guy that big was chasing me, and I had that many friends around? I think I would be yelling if I were innocent. We'll never know.

Today, a walk in the mountains behind the house. Spectacular view, kids investigated ants, and ate wild anise seeds, debated picking prickly pears, looked like a different sub-species though and met a hunter in full fatigues and the works. Looked like a lot of effort for a rabbit or a pheasant. Not that big a gun but the kids thought it was. More brushes with violence than we are used to, although the kids didn't seem that disturbed. They did wonder why people still hunt though.

Watched some fairly hilarious sailboat spinnaker work. That baby looked like it was headed back to the sailmaker.


East of Oregon said...

Hello, I enjoyed reading your blog today! Have a great rest of the day:)

Trish said...

My mother was in Bracelona this past Sept. And loved it!

One of my favourite things is Tapas and Spanish Red wine. Tell me you had some?!

oreneta said...

E of O, thanks fro dropping by

Trish: Pathetically I have not. Don't drink, although the husband has been happily glugging the red stuff, and we have been tooooooooo broke with set up costs to go out for tapas yet. Kids go to the grandparents for 5 days in Dec though.........

Nomad said...

Heya...great post.

Too scary about the stair riders and he duffel boys...hopefully a side of life neither of us will see any closer than that.

Grass is greener will kill ya.
Love ya!
Are you coming?

oreneta said...

Nomad: my e-mails to you aren't making it, drop me a note on the hotmail, and I'll resend my last two