Sunday, April 1, 2007

Of ships and well, not shoes, nor sealing wax

Into Barcelona today, and look what we found. Papabubble an artisanal candy making shop. You've got to love a town that has a chocolate museum and an artisanal candy making shop...that gave the kids free samples no less. Well they thought they had died and gone to heaven. We'll have to go back sometime. Their website by the way is very cool and has lots of pictures...

We've had a pretty cultural couple of days, the youngest also went on a field trip to the Antoni Tapies Foundation, and abstract painter... although the little one described the trip as, you've got it, boring. Though I would like to go...

When I asked the little one what her favorite thing had been at the gallery, she said his wardrobe, complete with clothing. Apparently it is on display. I was surprised by her selection, but then the conversation continued, and she had wondered how he got his clothing every day. A mental image of the artist wandering forlornly through Barcelona in his jammies every morning was pretty worthwhile...there are performance artist who may find a reason to do this. Who knows?

Our real goal today was to try to go to the Maritime Museum in Barcelona, which doesn't have the best website, but was very cool inside, especially for the boat mad like us. There was a bit of everything there, including an incredible display of items and photos from the Croatian coast of the of the world's great cruising grounds, if they can get their politics settled down a little more. There was a sextant there, made of bronze, which upon closer inspection was made by the same company as ours, and a year later....we had a good laugh over that. Apparently we are museum pieces ourselves.

As I sit here gloating about the cultural life we are leading, the kids are fighting about who can imitate the opening line from the Rocky Horror Picture Show better. Seems they are getting a fairly well rounded view of the world anyway.

In the museum there is a full size replica of a galley from 1568. It would have been built in the same shipyard the replica sits in, and they have built catwalks up over it so you can look in. There are four oarsmen, read slaves, to each oar; the inner most man would have to stand, and the oar would circle up over his head and down below his knees. That would be profoundly brutal work, especially in the summer. It was quite fascinating to look at, especially the details of how some of it is put together. It would bore the tears off almost everyone, even the fanatical sailors...I can personally only think of a handful of people who would be interested. Needless to say the sailor girls were able to make some pretty good educated guesses about some of the items on display.

On the walk back up, we saw umpteen people eating ice cream cones, and both children managed not to whine, beg or whinge...indeed they didn't ask at all, and so they were rewarded with a cone each.

When asked what their favorite thing they saw guessed it the candy and the ice cream. Ah well, there is also a Leonardo exhibit going on at the Maritime Museum that we will head back for this week. They had a model of one of his flying machines was pretty amazing. There was also a wooden bridge, made without any ties, nails or glue, which I can find no sign of on-line, as I forget it's name...sorry.

It is also Palm Sunday, and around here that involves a fair number of actual palms...there are two major choices...oh for a digital...I may get one soon, anyway, you can purchase enormous palm fronds, for the boys fully 8 feet high, the budding frond, they are a pale yellow straw colour, and grown tightly together. The girls get shorter ones intricately braided and wound to create scepter like shapes....I have heard several Catalan women saying that they were jealous when they were kids, and wanted the long spiky ones, and apparently now it is not such an issue, you can get what you want. That said, all the girls we saw had short ornate ones, and all the boys had long long ones. Palm envy anyone? I would load an image or link, but I have apparently lost all search skills this evening and cannot for the life of me find one. Sorry.

Just to let you know, the weather hasn't been bad here lately, although we have had a rain shower every day, and my laundry is going to be extremely well rinsed before I get it off the line. Darn it.

...later, now the wind has started to howl, and I'll have to bring it in wet or risk losing it....

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