Posts filed under ‘Motorcycles’

Alex’s Family Visit

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.

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

Weekend of July 1, Canada Day

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA. I hope all my Canadian friends have had a great weekend.

Alex and I didn’t do much this weekend. The world cup has kept us (Alex) close to home. Now that Brazil is out we can start doing things again. On Friday we went up to see some bikes at the local Harley dealer. I’m thinking about getting one when we get back to Canada. Please note, thinking about doesn’t mean getting one. Here in Barcelona everyone, including grandmothers and business men, drive motorcycles so it’s very infectious. Anyhow, I’m going through the process of choosing a bike, probably something like this one.

I have it down to a few models but as I said, once back in Canada, I may change my mind.

Saturday we spent at the beach with Matt and Elena. I am always under the umbrella because it is just not my thing to fry under the sun. The water was great and refreshing but we left early because England was playing at 5:00 and Matt, being English, was quite eager to see the game. They lost and are out……… Alex and I stayed up in Gracia and went to this cafe to watch the Brazil game. We were lucky to get the last table that wasn’t reserved and the place was full of Brasilians. Alex was pretty upset about Brasil’s loss but she said they deserved to lose (see her blog).

Sunday we took a slow walk down to Parc de la ciutadella since we hadn’t been there before. Alex was taking photos and recording the time and place the photo was taken. I thought that was a great idea……….

We also saw a building all wrapped up in white. I don’t know the reason but it looked pretty cool, you decide.

We got to the park and saw this gorgeous fountain. The water was really inviting and dogs were taking advantage of it. Like I said, it was HOT (seems like my favorite expression these days)

At around 2:00 in the afternoon, all the shady spots in the park were filled with sleeping people. I now knew the true meaning of siesta. We walked around the park, went into an old church that was built in the 18th centry, passed by a lake that had rented rowboats and slowly made our way back to the entrance. We got home and sat down for a quiet evening, or so we thought. Joy sent us a text message that she needed to get out for a bit (she’s been working on her thesis that is due in a few weeks). We met her and went up to a bar in Gracia for a clara. We didn’t get home until after midnight and slept like babies.

July 3, 2006 at 8:44 pm 1 comment

Weekend of June 17

We are still recovering from our trip and played it close to home this weekend. Saturday was spent at Playa Icaria and I was under the umbrella all day. I still managed to get sunburn. The water is nice now and the waves were about a meter high which is unusual for this beach. We went to Baja bar afterwards because we thought the US was playing Italy. Marc, a furloughed United Airlines pilot was all keen to watch the game. It turns out that the game was at 9:00 and not 6:00 as we thought. Alex and I headed home and met up with them later at Bo’s. Had a great chat with Marc and Matt and headed home around midnight. The streets are still crowded at that time with families strolling about, talking in groups and just being outside.

Sunday was spent cleaning (has to be done from time to time) and studying my Spanish. I have only been doing Spanish in class and last week was getting frustrated by not advancing enough. I guess I’ve hit that point where my dissatisfaction has prompted me to put in more effort. Later in the afternoon we went to la casa de Eliza y Carles where a group of friends gathered for the Brazil vs. Australia game.

Alex dressed me up in a Brazil team shirt and tossed me into the centre of an Australian fan club. Had a great time.

That was the weekend.

One of the things I love about Barcelona are the scooters and motorcycles.

I’ve seen women in their sixties taking their helmets off beside their scooter as they get ready to go shopping. Men in business suits, teens in jeans, women is skirts, they all have their scooters to get around town. Last week, I even saw this young woman driving a Harley and I was SOOOOOOO jealous. They even have parking spots for bikes at the side of the road.

If we ever live here permanently, we’ll be a family of two bikes, a scooter and a big Harley cruiser (for country riding of course).

June 19, 2006 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

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