#5: Walking Tour Day
So I went on the best walking tour I’ve ever been on. Actually it was the only walking tour I’ve ever been on but any future ones will have to be pretty damn good to match this one.
We’d found the Travelbar on one of our first explorations but this time, decided to go in. They served full English breakfasts (a nice change from pastries), ran flamenco, cookery and life drawing classes, and most of the staff spoke English- so I got some inside info on places to go! It’s right in the centre of the Ramblas and offered free walking tours a couple of times a day!
…We went looking around the Gothic Quarter, where we were introduced to these pretty places…
… and this ugly one.
It’s the Barcelona School of Architecture. :(
Other things we learned about:
Apparently, these are everywhere! If you mark the location of each on a map of the city, they will make a giant Space Invader. The makers are in the process of conquering the world…
You know how every town has its weirdo? (Norwich has the Puppet Man.) Well, Barcelona has the infinitely cooler and more disturbing Elephant Man. Have a look at THIS.
You may have noticed that he is naked in the middle of the street. Well, you know all those places I was dying to shoot nudes in and didn’t for fear of being arrested?? It is LEGAL to be stark naked in public in Barcelona as long as you have a pair of shoes on.
Huge massive thanks to our guide (I’m SO sorry I have forgotten your name but you are Australian and amazing), and the lovely Kiki, who also worked for the Travelbar doing pub crawls. We met several times while in the bar on different days- she rocked. :)
Can you settle a debate?? Apparently, this gargoyle is supposed to be an elephant. I think it looks like an aardvark and my housemate says “duck-billed platypus”. Opinions welcome on this gargoyle that is so obviously an aardvark ;o)
#6: Gaudi Day
We went to visit some of the other Gaudi buildings on our own as they were in easy walking distance of our hotel.
This is the Casa Batllo- the entire building was based around the concept of water and it is also called the House of Bones as the bars on the windows look like bones. :S
It is a little like a sea-monster (the bones on the inside and the scales on the roof):
And this is the Caixa (Bank) building. Those Ringwraiths are back again… :
We learned that day that Gaudi went a bit “eccentric” in later life. He started dressing like a tramp and wandering the streets, so when he was knocked down by a tram (heading to a building he designed), he lay in the road for three DAYS before anyone realised anything was wrong. They took him to the poor people’s hospital, where he died.
So anyway… we went for dinner, ice-cream and back to the hotel. Except it didn’t quite happen that way.
On the way back, we came across a man in agony, clutching his chest. After a ten-second dilemma (is he just drunk or out to con us? We don’t know this area) and all the while thinking of the Gaudi tale, decided that help was needed NOW. Not speaking Spanish, there was much pointing and gesturing until a Spanish-speaker came to call an ambulance.
During the wait (which seemed hideously long), the man lost consciousness and I honestly thought I was watching someone die.
The paramedics finally came and put sticky things on his chest and so we, being unable to help, went back to the hotel to watch from the balcony. My last view of him was not a nice one so I couldn’t go to bed until I had SEEN him leave, preferably alive.
After about ten minutes of lip-chewing, the paramedics came around the corner with the man WALKING between them, and off they drove. “Relieved” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Needless to say, I do not have pictures of this.
Next post: my last adventures here… in a Knights Templar Cathedral and the Museum of Erotica…
My favourite tearsheet of all when I came back was this one!
Gregory Miles Brown has published an art book with the photos from my trip to Murcia with Anita De Bauch, Iveta Niklova, John Evans and John Tisbury! I’m on the left of the cover.
The book is called Triptych and it can be bought in hardback HERE:
The softcover version can be bought HERE: