I’m a tad late today in writing. There is some kind of additive here in Catalonia that they put in the wine. Its a marketing ploy I am sure. There is some Barcelona Wine Council or Barcelona Consell Vi in some neighborhood high up on the hill close to Tibidabo where the Mediterranean breeze keeps overweight bureaucrats cool in a late 19th century converted home long enough for them to decide to put something in their wine to make an unsuspecting person drink more.
I am positive on this. They put health issues aside and decided it was good for their country economy and their wine makers. It’s an unfortunate thing for most non-natives and I naively fell victim to it last night. Thank God for the Pyrenees facing me soon.
Mike and I spent our time exploring the city of Barcelona. We decided to try one of those tourist busses you see all over the place with its blue line in the upper city and red line in the southern part but I got both disgusted with myself and a bit irritated with the diesel exhaust and traffic that Mike and I enthusiastically made the rest of the more than 5 mile journey on foot.
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city in a cosmopolitan continent. They have their own language apart of the rest of their country and the government and attorneys use it religiously. They are very independent until they need money which they do now and then their Spanish nationalism and European heritage begins to shine brightly.
The city is the home of huge artistic movements such as Picasso’s cubism or Gaudi’s Moderisme. The later is still going on. You see it everywhere. Before 1890 all of the architecture looked the same. You can see it in the photos below which could be from any country.
In 1888 Modernisme became THE cultural movement looking for Catalan national identity. Modernisme is best known for architectural expression but was also significant in other art including that of Santiago Rusiñol and Ramon Casas.(remember Mike and I went to Ramon’s cafe yesterday.)
They say it stopped in 1911 but I think it is still alive today!
We went down the very large Avenida Diagonal and Mike came across the neighborhood and apartment that he lived in while leading a new global fashion trend by modeling tighty whities (underwear) on La Rambla. That was more than 20 years ago and it was great to see the memories come across his face.
People who live in the city use these bikes that we saw all over the place. We thought it was on the honor code but Mike through not-so-bad spanish figured out that the citizens get something like a fastpass card that unlocks the bikes and charges them for the ride.
Still the transportation of choice is the unmistakable
Later in the day Mike and I decided to find a roof top bar and enjoy the city’s sky line and the Mediterranean over an ice cold martini. We had some tapas of different olives, chips, and salami. This place is right across from our hotel.
Still young, clean, and honest we made our way to dinner with Martin. We went to a nondescript street cafe which was a blast with street entertainers and good food and wine.
And we worked hard to learn this beautiful ancient city’s history from the locals
And then… that wine additive.
It was a very short night before we made our way to the train station for Sitges which turns out is the meeting point of the entire continent’s male gay population this coming weekend. I’m sure tomorrow’s blog will be interesting. Oh, and no… I did not get my suckling pig yet. Still working on it. The restaurant I wanted to go to was booked! Our ride starts on Sunday.