Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tired, and busy and having fun.

Don't you like this bat? He is part of the decoration on the Arc de Triomf in BCN. A bat in German is a fledermaus, which means flutter mouse. Isn't that absolutely perfect? My other favorite German word is in cranky house, as in a hospital. Just so accurate.

We all went into BCN again today...the idea was to go to the Catalan History Museum, but by the time we had found a forn for bread, a supermarcado for other goodies, wandered under the Arc de Triumph, and noshed on the goodies we had bought, we were having to move a little faster.....

We wandered down into the Parc de la Ciutadel and there we got stuck. The parc de la Ciutadel (fort) was originally built by the Castillians. The razed many blocks of houses and built a big honking fort on the spot from which they could and did lob cannon balls and foot soldiers into the city to keep the people under control. It was not popular with the Catalans.

Eventually the political climate changed enough that the Castillians ceded to the inevitable, and handed it over to the Catalans who promptly pulled it down, thus saving Madrid the cost of demolition. When BCN hosted the world fair, with a phenomenal lack of success, sometime in the late 1800's, they turned this space into an enormous park. There are several museums and fountains and statues, and the zoo is there. Along with a whole lot of open space. An extremely rare commodity in BCN. The kids were delighted to be there. We wandered over to a playground, and had a good go around there until we were descended upon by what appeared to be a remarkably short and high pitched hoard of screaming banshees....I think it was at least two school groups at once. We beat a hasty retreat.

There is a model of a woolly mammoth there which we trolled by, and a great big fat fountain, that is massively overdone and quite spectacular. The statues have none of the cool distant containment that classical Greek or Roman sculpture embodies. These folks are partying hard. There are naked ladies arranged traditionally, but looking coy, and shepherds slack-jawed with astonishment and delight, like 15 year old boys who suddenly discover a houseful of naked 18 year old girls when they arrive home....

There was also a surprising amount of wildlife for such a desperately urban place. We saw these ducklings,

And also these turtles catching some rays...

One of the things I love about BCN is that the buildings are all different, and that there is tremendous attention to detail.

Look at this building....

This is just brick work. Plain old bricks and a bit of imagination. Isn't it a whole heck of a lot more interesting than most of the brick work that you see around?


Beth said...

ok, I can't get past the picture of the bat. I am scared to death of bats. But the ducks are cute! As long as the bat doesn't eat them.....oh, but they eat bugs, right? and suck the blood out of humans.

Beth said...

Great pics - great mini-history lesson. (History was my other major.) I envy you living amidst such history.
As for me, I'm feelin' a bit "kranken" - what a great word!

traveller one said...

I'm so happy you finally got the camera and that we get to see your photos! Keep it up!

oreneta said...

Beth: Bats are our friends, really...they eat tons and tons of mosquitos...tons....the only ones that suck your blood live in South America so you should be safe. The bat in the pic looks pretty nasty though doesn't he.

Beth: I love 'kranken'...cranky and is so perfect sometimes..

Kim: Glad your enjoying the pictures...I'm having fun's the new house?

Lazenby Family News said...

Dear Oreneta, I love Spain. My nieces lived in Barcelona for years. So, I travel through my family's stories.

I saw the fossil in your images and was drawn to your beautiful pictures and sense of humor.

I really thought you were a woman, but yes, I know. Sailors name their boats with ladies names.

Thank you for all the pictures and lovely thoughts. I will come see you again soon. Susan