I love the Olympics, I love watching them and my life grinds to a halt if at all possible while they are on, winter or summer. I do have questions about the whole process, there is the bread not circuses argument, which to some extent I find specious, there can be room for both. On a simpler level, the sheer selfishness that is required to achieve that level of mastery I find a little hard to swallow. I was training at sailing with the idea of trying to make the team for the Atlanta Olympics, went to a number of Nationals, spent too much on a boat....decided, blessedly early on that it wasn't fun, sort of like business travel, but you can't afford to extend the trip for a day or two, and you regularly get wet and cold, and I realized that by the end of the entire process I would probably HATE sailing. Plus, I couldn't get fired up about what my spreader deflection should be considering the fore casted wind speed and wave heights while taking into consideration........blahblahblah. The thing that really threw me over though was the sheer selfish drive that was required. You have to ask of yourself, all of your friends and family, your government, and plain old strangers for a truckload of money, time and energy. So that YOU can go. Maybe.
I quit, and bless my team mate, we are still friends, even though it killed her dream too.
That was a really long intro to the fact that, nonetheless, I LOVE the Olympics. I think I relate to how much they WANT it. I love watching them win, and every time there are some truly great moments of absolute sportsmanship. People who have put years of their and other peoples time and money and energy into this, and when it all comes apart, they do the right thing. Canadian sailors who give up a race to help a fellow competitor, etc, etc, etc.
So why am I talking about this? We went to Montjuic today, the sight of the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. I was really amazed, and it was really exciting to be standing where it all went on. To see the venues, and the plaza where the athletes lined up to go into the stadium. It was a beautiful place, although quite odd looking. The eldest said it looked like a computer animation and it does. Found this image on the web, and it quite captures the otherworldly feel of the place. The guy who put this site up has WAY more photos, so check it all out if you want, you'll see lots of stuff we haven't.
There are galleries and gardens, and ponds and fountains and lots of stairs. It is really very lovely, and we didn't begin to see all of it. Worth another trip, although the kids voted it the worst thing in Barcelona so far, so there may be considerable resistance to a repeat. They cannot seem to articulate what was so awful, but they didn't like it. It may be the sheer distances they had to walk. Who knows.
The three kings celebration is coming up on the 6th. Santa and Christmas is a bit of an import here, and the three kings is the big hoorah..parade on the 5th, then the kids put out their shoes, and the kings come by and leave something in it. Like Holland, but a month later. If they are bad it is coal, if they are good... Well the girls will put them out, but these days the coal comes from the patisseria. I went and bought some chocolate coal today. Chunks of chocolate cake looking stuff, although it is a pitchy black, and even slightly grayish. The patisseria makes glorious stuff, so it should be good to taste. It is the same place that had the candy potty in the window, although that is gone now. I will probably post more about this as it comes closer.
We have the second tree and a FEW presents under it as well. Still madly making decorations, between trips to government offices which I don't want to talk about. More offices tomorrow, maybe by them I will want to vent. Not now.