Dec 15-Happy Pills

by Amoeba December. 15, 2008 2330 views

There were still a few things that I had wanted to see in BCN on my last day. My first stop was Palau de la Música Catalana and the exterior was just stunning. My favourite was the mosaic arches and the Catalan Song on one of the building corners. I am certain the interior would have been lovely as well, but there was too long of a wait for the next English tour and you were not able to go inside without one.

From here, it was a short walk to Catedral (Cathedral of Santa Eulalia) which was so lovely. There was a lift that provided access to the roof of the Catedral, but once up there, only a limited area was accessible. But it did quite a beautiful view of the city. Especially the laundry that hung on many balconies as far as the eye could see. I think this was one thing I remembered most during this trip, the sheer volume of laundry that is extended out overhead, slowly fluttering in the breeze. Making my way back down to the cloister of the church, I was surprised to see geese meandering about in a secluded area. I have since learned that apparently there are 13 geese to signify the age of Santa Eulalia when she murdered. The children were clearly delighted with the geese as there was much chatter and attempts to pet them through the fence.

Outside, there was a Christmas market happening in the square and I witnessed something really bizarre. Hordes of school children were lined up to beat this large log with smaller sticks while singing on a stage. Ur…alrighty then. The more enthusiastic ones (in other words, the brutes that were whacking the stuffing out of the log) had their stick gently removed and were herded to the end of the stage. Apparently this is Tió de Nadal or pooping log (seriously, I’m not making this up). Tradition has it that on Christmas day, this log is beaten with sticks to poop out goodies for the children. I know there are strange traditions out there, but a pooping log that you whack with a stick is a touch beyond me.

After this bizarre little form of entertainment, I wandered quite aimlessly though Barri Gòtic. There was no rhyme or reason once you find yourself in this quarter and that was the most magnificent aspect. There was no guarantee of what was around the corner. I found myself at Església de Santa Maria del Pi, which is quite lovely with an enormous nave. However there were renovations being done the noise inside was deafening. Along the way, I passed numerous patisseries and chocolate shops that I drooled outside of. But having lost all sense of smell and taste, I was sorely disappointed that I would not be able to sample any of these.

Then the rains came. Torrential downpour similar to what we sometimes have in Vancouver. Unlike when I am at home, I didn’t have a brolly or any type of rain gear with me as I headed off to Parc de l'Estació del Nord. I have to say, the park looked pretty dismal in the rain and most of that was probably due to my feet being absolutely soaked, I was freezing and pretty miserable. This put quite the damper on my hopes of taking the Telefèric de Montjuïc. I had initially planned to take this on my last day as a treat to see the city. RATS!!!

I took the funicular up to Montjuïc to see if things were any better once I was on higher ground. It was just not meant to be-the city was covered in a grey gloom of rain. That was quite a disappointment…booo. Next time. And with that, my time in BCN was wrapping up quickly as I left in the morning for Lisboa. In all honesty, I still had not fallen in love with BCN. While there were interesting sites, museum and the lovely sea, something wasn’t quite working for me. If I ever happen to venture here again, there are still a few remaining items to be crossed off of my list and perhaps sway me to like it a little more…

The area around Palau de la Música Catalana


(Top to Bottom, L to R) Little tykes outside Catadral being led around on a string, quite literally; Happy Pills; Ah, the joys of childhood and swinging yourself over a bar; Chocolate store; Patisserie; A quick shot as a walked by a record store; A waiter talking to his customer over the counter; A sculpture in Barri Gòtic; A street in Barri Gòtic; Funicular up to Montjuïc

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