Sunday, December 02, 2007

What a great city Barcelona is. There is a much more relaxed atmosphere there as opposed to Paris.

It dates back to the 1st century and you find the usual suspects Visigoths, Moors, Franks rolling through leaving their own particular marks. Wilford the Hairy is acclaimed to be the founder of the House of Counts of Barcelona. This means absolutely nothing to me but his name was "Wilford the Hairy". If his name were “Wilford the Balding” he wouldn’t have rated a mention. That’s the unfairness when it comes to guys with hair.

We stayed with friends of ours Kevin and Laura. Kevin is an expat from my little corner of the Midwest. Laura is a Catalan whose roots are in Barcelona. We stayed in their apartment in the Barri Gotic area around the corner from Santa Maria del Mar church. Barri Gotic is Catalan for “incredibly cool” and it lives up to its name. They live in an apartment building that was built and owned by her great grandfather in the mid 1800s and remains in the family. Down the street from the apartment is a large open-air structure. This was originally going to be a large market but after digging for a little bit they discovered the remains of a Roman town. Barcelona is lousy with Roman ruins- it occurred to me that their apartment buildings is probably, in fact, most definitely built on top of such ruins. Who know what treasures lay beneath? My obsession regarding this might have alarmed Kevin and Laura and the idea of swapping apartment for a weekend probably seems less desirable because I will show up with shovels and pick axes. I want me some Roman ruins- bad.

I’m certain there were several times in during the weekend that Laura said to herself, “…and why am I surrounded my Americans?” But she was a good sport about it and our unnatural enthusiasm. One of those times would have been when we were asked to ‘quiet down’ by the ushers at the Palau de la Musica Catalana- a beautiful Modernista concert hall. It’s beauty caused us to give it the highest compliment that can be given- “It looks like something out of the Lord of the Rings Movie!!!” After we were told to “shhhhh” (in a very cute Spanish accent). We left the building and sang “The Lollypop Guild” from the Wizard of Oz . There was a connection between the building and the breaking out in song and dance but I don’t recall what it was- it may have been the ticket office. Kevin likes a good musical and we all know how I enjoy a song or two so it just seemed right.

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