Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Farewell Spain!

The window in front of me has lots of tapas, delicious little nibbles, that you can select and have with your drink. When you are finished they count the toothpicks and work out your bill.

Figueres - The Dali Museum

Some guy - obviously tyred. We hopped on a train to Figueres, not far from the French border, and visited the Dali Museum. Quite surreal. But you probably already knew that.

Is it Lincoln? Or is it a nude. Squint or don't llook straight at it.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Parc Güell - More of that man, Gaudi.

Caught a bus to Parc Güell today - 'worker's paradise' created by Gaudi for industrialist Güell.

The project, a closed community, flopped and is now a public park. Gaudi's touch is very much in evidence.

Monday, 28 July 2008


We head to Morocco on Wednesday. Not sure what the internet availability is there.

La Sagrada Familia

Very few people get to see a cathedral being built in their life times. The one being built in Barcelona (it was started in the late 1800's) is amazing in its size and quite incredible in its design. The architect, Gaudi, was of the modernista school and liked the organic look. The next photo shows some of the interior columns, the association with trees is unmistakable. Overall the work is only half finished. (The 'free' internet service I am using wont let me go to Wikipedia at the moment but put 'La Sagrada Familia' into you browser and look at it. They have yet to start on the main towers so it will be a tall beast when it is finished - abt 2030.)

The bell towers - will house tubular bells.

Inside a bell tower. Two of the towers have lifts in them.

Some of the stained glass. The photo does no justice to the vibrancy of the colours.

La Pedrera

One of Gaudi's many creations that dot Barcelona.

One of the light wells.

Some of the chimney pots.

Temporary store

A guy selling bags - if the police appear he, and dozens like him, just run. Their 'shop' closes like a draw string bag and follows them down the street. Quite surreal.

La Rambla

A Barcelona pedestrian walkway (well, it has single lane traffic down either side...) that has everything - food, paintings, caged birds, flowers, a multitude of 'living statues', con-artists (three cups & the pea tricks) , beggars and lots and lots of tourists.

Erotica Museum

Barcelona has an erotica museum. Sort of a collection of postcards, prints, the Karma Sutra and a seedy little room showing some 1920's porn flicks. Oddly the men stay partially dressed.

The Japanese section was bizarre.

The Irish connection

After passing countless Irish pubs in Spain, I weakened and had a Guinness.

Saturday, 26 July 2008


Alicante, a seaside town.

From the castle.

One of the hazards of a sidewalk cafe.

Communications - now and then.

Being on the highest point around, the castle has communications equipment on it.

The old way of communicating.

Bullring, as seen from the Castillo.

Castillo - Alicante

High above the town is a castle. You can get to it by lift - a tunnel goes into the mountain and then lift to the main courtyard. What happened tot eh good old days of laying siege? Is there a service lift for Moors and Visigoths?


It is hard to know where to begin with Alhambra. These are just a selection of photos. This is a skylight above some baths.

The Courtyard of the Myrtles, with reflective pool a la the Taj Mahal.

Another courtyard.

The (unfinished) palace of Carlos V (Charles V).

Some of the extensive gardens.


The view from our hotel balcony.

Granada Cathedral

Getting a bit of cathedral fatigue but this one was unusual in that it was white.

And it had some very large books. Don't know what this says about the eyesight of the clergy. ("Stop that! You'll go blind!")

Dinner in Granada.

Order a beer in Granada and you get free food! Not always great food, but every drink comes with a tapas. Sometimes chips (fries), sometimes olives, sometimes meatballs, all sorts of stuff.

Seville Cathedral

The bell tower - a minaret in Moorish days - it was built by Moors up to the bell level and then the bells were added to it by the Christians. Inside it is easy climbing as it is all ramps, not stairs. That was so the Moors could ride their horses up it.

An orange tree courtyard in the cathedral.


And a crocodile. Don't ask, I don't know.

Fiscal problems

What the Seville Town Hall looks like when the builders had money.

Looking the other way we see what it looked like when finished on the cheap.

Pillars of Hercules.

Hercules is credited with founding many cities in Spain and Portugal (eg Seville & Lisbon).

The symbol most associated with him is two pillars, a ribbon and the words PLVS VLTRA, meaning further beyond, reflecting the exploits of the early Spanish explorers in sailing beyond the edge of the earth, as it was known.

The two pillars and the ribbon became the $ sign as it was on early Spanish currency.

Alcazar, Seville.

Outer wall.

Christian style window

Part of a tapestry of the then known world.

Part of a sunken garden - bottom half of the building is Moorish, top half Christian.

Moorish doorway

Wall decorations.

Garden - lots of orange trees. Well, it is Seville...

The local art school.