Alex’s Family Visit

October 14, 2006 at 7:25 am Leave a comment

Last Saturday, Alex’s mother and father, brother, sister-in-law and Matheus came to visit us in Barcelona. They spent a few days in Paris and another few days in Rome before ending up here. This past week was spent rediscovering the city through their eyes and interests.

I don’t remember the day of week that we discovered what was going on about town only where we had wandered. That’s probably because of the photos. We had decided to wander down to Maremagnum, a mall down by the port. On our way we stumbled across an information pavillion on the 32nd running of the America’s Cup. They had a boat on display and let me tell you, it carried the latest in sailboat racing technology. It is an F1 of sailing. They had a pool with radio controlled replicas of the racing boats. To make sure they had enough wind, they surrounded the pool with these huge fans. I found the information on these boats both surprising and very interesting.

One place we had to take them was for a walk down Las Ramblas. This is where ALL tourists go. It’s quite the show walking down this tree lined boulevard towards the sea. On our way down we went to a Harley Davidson motorcycle show. Lot’s of bikes in all shapes and form. There were some really nice bikes there.

Sometime during the week we went up to Tibidabo. It was raining and the clouds were very low. We took the bus on Psg de Gracia up to the tram. While waiting in line we ran into Matt and his wife. They were taking his mom and aunt on the same tourist route as us. It was too funny. Anyhow, we get up to the top only to find that the rides were all closed because of the weather. I thought it was great being up there in the rain. I thought it was great with the clouds being so low and the fine rain. I should have taken some photos but I guess I was too lazy. It was the perfect black and white day. Alex and I went into the lodge for coffee with Matt and company while the others went to see the church. When we finished I went out to watch the rain. I’m standing there in my own little world when someone comes up from behind and gives me a huge hug. Caught me completely off guard. There was Sebastien, all smiles that someone else had to come up here on such a day. He had taken Jackie’s grandmother and mother up to see the church. He lost them while he went to park the car and found us while looking for them. We chatted a bit then went off to catch the bus home. The others wanted to go to Glories, which is another mall but I had had enough of malls and decided to go home. For some reason, they absolutely love malls.

Alex’s dad wanted to go to Tarragona so we caught the train on Friday morning and went to Tarragona. The sun was out and the day was perfect for walking around. We let them lead and off they went to the cathedral. On the way, we came across a medieval market. There were some falconers there and they were launching these gorgeous animals from the middle of the crowds. The birds would leave the trainer and fly to a perch above the square. The trainer would call the bird to return and it would fly back to the gloved hand of the trainer. Beautiful to watch.

They had a pavillion of about 15 birds. There were all kinds of hunting birds, including falcons, owls and at least one eagle. One common characteristic was size, they were all huge.

We headed off for a tour of the cathedral. I am always in awe of the sense of antiquity when I go into these buildings. I try to sense the passage of individuals over the centuries. I wish I could touch the stone and see what had passed.

Beside the cathedral was a monastary. The cloister was a place for reflection and no matter where they are, they always project a sense of tranquility and peace.

We left the cathedral and went to the roman circus. There was a seafood restaurant in the square that Alex had read about so we went there to eat.  After eating we headed back to the train station and our way home.

Entry filed under: Alan's Blog, Barcelona, Blog, Churches, Day to Day, Motorcycles, Spain, Tarragona.

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