Wednesday, August 15, 2007!

We were sad to leave behind Dave´s extended family and cute Maisie who, it turns out, wouldn´t fit in our packs. Luckily, Barcelona, Spain is happening enough to make up for it. The city is full of architectual eye candy, from the gothic Barri area, Gaudi´s gorgeous buildings, to inventive landscape gardening which has produced many scenic parks.

The busy square, Pla├ža Catalunya

Barcelona is abuzz with activity, boasting an effervescent street culture and a string of sexy sights. For our first few nights, we stayed in a shoebox room at the Hostal Las Ramblas which is just off the main street. It was a good access point to the craziness that is Las Ramblas, which hosts buskers, dancers, skilful folk. And yes this street 'with all its human stains' as one artist describes harbours and a few odd people with half-baked money making schemes.

Buskers include a lady dressed as a fruit stand, a green man pictured next to Dave the grim reaper, a teenage mutant ninja turtle and much more. Las Ramblas also has a fresh produce market, many a restaurant and artists who have turned to caricatures and portrait painting to make a dime.

Initially we were at a loss of how to map the city, mentally and physically. So, we jumped on a bus service called Bus Turista. For 22euro for two days, you can catch a few different routes around the city which pass the main attractions. These double decker buses make for gorgeous sightseeing and snapping from the top view. Dave was tickled when we glanced across to spot a man streaking along on his bicycle, a la naturel. Yes you read right, he was starkers, nuddy, exposed, utterly nude. How rude!

Speaking of rude things, Dave and I got down and dirty at the Erotic Museum on the main street of Barcelona, Las Ramblas. Interesting pieces include artwork blending photography of pink bits, the S & M room and a pleasure seat with inbuilt dildos and a pleasure (?) control to be operated by someone other than the user. The ancient Greek erotica was pretty cool. For those who find the place abit too overwhelming or dare I say it, naughty, there is a outdoor chillax area with bamboo sun chairs.

Shocked at the erotic museum!

We are cerebral creatures too, so we were ecstatic to learn of a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition on at the maritime museum. ´Knowledge is the daughter of experience´ was a mantra of da Vinci, and this philosophy was tested in the various inventions which were showcased in the exhibition. These technical-scientific studies only showed a glint of Da Vinci´s genius as his abilities spread across many disciplines. Frenetic, a word from a plaque at the exhibition, captures the frenzy of activity that produced these inventions. The music, intense and fast classical tunes, highlighted the prodigious productive capacity of da Vinci.

I´m going to section off these posts into little Barcelonic portions, because the city is really a feast of architectural and cultural delights that can´t be dealt with easily.

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