Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The next day

Another hearty breakfast and successfully negotiating the underground, once more getting off at the correct stop. On reaching the the surface we were amazed at the beauty of Casa Batila. Before taking photographs Gertrude stopped for a breath of fresh air break. Immediately she was approached by a homeless person. They exchanged words, he in Spanish, she in English. A lot of hand gestures were involved. Gertrude hadn't grasped what he was trying to say and continued to dismiss him. He was very persistent. Eventually the penny dropped. He wasn't begging for a cigarette but informing Gertrude that she was about to light the wrong end of her cigarette. Panic and apologies over he returned to his spot with his plastic cup and we found an advantage spot for another photo opportunity. The young gentleman ever intrigued, noticed the additions to the attraction shot and promptly reported us to the security officer. Thankfully she was more involved with the traffic build up and although she listened and watched us for a while she soon continued with her work. The young man settled to continue his work. We bade our farewells and waited for the green man to take us to our destination.

After admiring this fine Gaudii work we set off once more to tackle the underground. While ambling round looking for the correct line Gertrude was warned twice by strangers to watch her valuables. Our new found friend (the homeless gentleman) assisted us one final time. He advised us that he could save us 2 euro each. Pointing us in the right direction for what would be a five minute walk, he received a small reward for his thoughtfullness and we had a pleasant walk to Casa Mila
A fabulous building with the most fascinating rooftop and fabulous views. We could see Familiar Segrada, with their working cranes,where we were visiting next and Tribidado where we were hoping to visit on a subsequent day.

Onward bound another pleasant walk, we had a comfort stop and bought strawberries from a grocer. Using the cranes as beacons we soon alighted on the marvel. Our only disappointment was when purchasing the ticket we learnt ther was no longer the opportunity to climb the towers. This disappointment was soon over come by the tremendous near completion of both interior and exterior of this magnificent building to absolute perfection.

From here we once again tackled the underground system heading for Lesseps then continuing on foot to Park Guell. How beautiful the little gingerbread house looked at the gateway. The whole park was alive with tourists, locals and artisans alike. Painters with their pictures strewn across the pavement. Africans in traditional costume, sitting on the sunflowers seat, performing their traditional songs on authentic instuments, inviting their audience to join in.

In the viaduct an unusual arrangement of what looked like a wok turned into a drum accompanied by a violin provided serene music. As we wandered we took in the contrast as we side stepped the array of tat being sold on sheets on the ground. The look out was slow of his mark and there was a scatter of sellers gathering all 4 corners of their sheets containing their wares. They ran like hell in all directions. One unfortunate, not quick enough, was caught. We took advantage of the lull in events to make our way to another part of the park. Not wanting to be a by stander we took the steps to the wave seats with views over the city. Ever watchful of where the scattered sellers where hiding. Concious that the caught seller was perhaps not being searched, interrogated and confiscated of his goods and money by a plain clothes policeman as we first thought. But was in fact in the hands of the mob!

They led him our way and we slowed our pace to let them pass. Just as they were a few steps ahead of us he made a successful attempt to break away. I say successful as he managed to get away unscathed as he tried to rip his wares from the man in charge, he pushed them into Bertha before letting go. As they gave chase Gertrude call out 'be careful' as the man in charge tumbled down several hard stone steps before coming to a stop with a thud. His accomplices went to his aid leaving the seller to live and sell another day. Fortunately Bertha was unhurt. The tumbled man was very dusty, mostly his pride hurt. We managed to continue and enjoy our visit, incident free.

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