Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Today is the Monday after the night before in Spain they won the soccer Euro 2012 and excitement rules. Visited the King. All the official fun in Madrid.

We took the shuttle from the ship to downtown close to their World Trade Center and this column topped by a statue of Christopher Columbus (with his back to me). Nothing personal, he is looking at America

As we got off the bus I realized that we were in the midst of this steel tube sculpture typical of Barcelona there are design and art features everywhere here.

Walking up La Rambla (or Las Ramblas) you see buildings that have interesting decorative features

A number of them with Spanish tile

This unusual one with a Chinese theme to it.

Tourist season is incredibly busy here people wall-to-wall. Also everything you hear from the guides and the tour folks on the ship make you paranoid to beware of pickpockets. So we started out early and returned to the ship at lunchtime to avoid the biggest crowds
We walked La Rambla and the Gothic area taking in the vibe, people watching and window shopping a beautiful day, sunny but not hot.
Loved this concept, lady disinfecting / cleaning the lampposts rides a Segway!!

People sitting around reading the papers, chatting, having coffee under the trees ignoring the chaos around them

Flower seller with a colorful display not unusual but these bouquets of tiny colored flowers were.

We went into the market place off La Rambla as it was opening. I love this way of life so much better than the Gristides / Safeway bore.

Beautiful and exotic fruits. Wonderful fruit drinks ready for people to take to work. Cut fruit packaged with a spoon for easy munching.

This is the way folks start their days. Stock up and head off to work. The land of siesta. Open at 9am; close at 1pm. Open again at 4 or 5pm then work late (by our lights).

We also came across a lovely artisans market ceramics, jewelry, leather goods the artists selling their works. Merle supported the local economy best she could. Paid cash so cant be sure they contributed taxes!!

Spain has its economic issues right now as we all know but thought this was an unusual solution taxing food and drink on a visiting cruise ship for the duration of their stay in Spain (8am to 4pm). signs of deperation? Maybe they realize that this source would at least pay. Bizarre.

Some stores were a bit more out of the ordinary than usual the condom store had an extensive stock and attentive assistants no customers (yet) maybe at siesta time?

A shop selling seeds. Not exactly nasturtiums. Maybe this offers Spain a lucrative future certainly seems to have provided Colombia and Mexico substantial cash crop opportunities!! Also another way to spend siesta.

The struggle to find high speed Wi Fi continues making it difficult to keep the news up-to-date. Hope Lisbon (tomorrow) may provide the solution

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