From the ship, W Barcelona, also known as Hotel Vela (Sail Hotel), a 2009 building …
… and the Oceania Riviera slips by while I'm nibbling some toast.
Passing a cheerful bicycle …
… a Catalonia flag and unusual ‘mannequin’ (worth clicking on) …
… I head to the main station (which I prefer in monochrome) to inspect the trains. Here I ponder the great Canadian question: why so difficult to have decent, fast train service between Windsor, Ontario (on the border with Detroit), and Quebec City, my country’s most important passenger rail line? This, I suspect, will not be answered in my remaining span.
And speaking of lagging behind the times, why can one find public Wi-Fi in a Barcelona park and yet in Toronto it’s as scarce as bikinis in January (making the comparison really scarce).
I fret over my mid morning coffee …
… then, as it’s nearby, give in and check progress (construction began in 1882) on Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, which I avoided last year. The central tower will make it Europe’s tallest cathedral. The exterior may - may - be finished by 2026, 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.
'My client is not in a hurry,' Gaudi famously insisted. His client, of course, is the Almighty.
I prefer the basilica as the 3D jigsaw being assembled in Maasdam’s library. Fewer people. Less expensive.
To more pressing topics … the headline ‘HORROR’ needs no translation. The man is reading about the Paris attacks.
At the Restaurante Lucano, I stuff myself with excellent paella and a headful of sangria, while reviewing the ship’s newspaper.
Cheers! That’s the spirit, screw the @#$%! More sangria, waiter! No, easy to say, on my own before the lunchtime crowds, not the most obvious of terror targets.
A time for quotes:
'Religious fanaticism is the most dangerous form of insanity'.
Claudius the God (Robert Graves)
'From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable'.
The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)
Stating the blindingly obvious, terror is not exclusive to our age. In 1938, during the Spanish Civil War, this little Barcelona square was bombed by the Italian Fascists. Scores were killed, including many in a school.
Seventy-seven years later, the walls remain pitted.
But there is still a school and children now safely play where children died.
For Barcelona 2014 and my search for George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War, go here: