Sunday, January 17, 2010

Exploring Barcelona

We walked along the Via Rambla, a busy shopping area. There were many vendors along the street, as well as in shops. KFC and Mickey D's were in evidence. Once again, unfavorable exchange rate and shallow pockets caused me to come away with only pictures, but I find I enjoy them more than I would have appreciated one more thing to introduce into my materially cluttered existence. Loved the cows and happy mannequins.

Listed as a "must see" in a brochure was the market on the Via Rambla. All sorts of things were available for purchase, much of which were foodstuffs. No shortage there aboard ship, but those who wanted wine or alcohol found it much less expensive to purchase while on shore.

It was a crowded, busy place- difficult to keep track of each other. We also had limited time available. Soooo....onward! But first:

"This little piggy went to market...." Evidently it was in Barcelona!
Something I don't see every day...

or ever!

How is it they don't look particularly unhappy?

Hung a right to the Gothic Quarter. No people dressed in black with weird make-up and black fingernail polish--just really old but often ornately decorated buildings.

Probably the best illustration of the penchant for embellishment was a second floor walkway between buildings above the road. No opportunity for decoration was ignored. Following the picture of the entire structure is a series moving top to bottom from the eaves to the underside.

Beautiful! It is this attention to detail and concern for beauty that I find missing in so much of urban building. I understand the financial limitations that make so much prohibitive. I mean, look at my house! No passers-by are stopped by the beauty of the place. I did so appreciate the efforts to make every surface the feast for the eye that I frequently saw on this trip.
We made it back to the ship early, and I caught the Flamenco dancers in the Princess Theater. Not as impressive as the shows at the resort in Playa del Carmen, but I guess they bring out the big guns for the evening shows. Then I ordered pictures from the day's outing and waited for 5:30 to meet Mike and Janet for dinner in one of the dining rooms. Nothing too adventurous for dinner---I came armed with reading glasses to avoid any pitfalls. Later Janet and I went up to deck 15 for the "White Hot Deck Party." Lots of fun, and no need to get up early in the morning!
Tomorrow: at sea.

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