Palau Güell

It's HOT!! So hot that outside all the dogs' hair is matted with sweat and the furry creatures are panting so hard you can see the back of their throats. So hot that I can't think inside the house without hugging the air conditioner, and I finally understand why Kasey handed me a fan she brought for me from her own BCN trip and said, "you'll want this" before I left. Ugh. Hot! I really don't think my fair-skin clad body is built to deal with such heat...but I digress.

Today I went to the infamous park designed by unreal architectural genius Antoni Gaudi... it's Wonder and Aliceland...with a Flinstone's twist. Originally meant to be a private estate (can you imagine!), it is now a Unesco heritage site. Ahh, lucky us.

Anyway, must dash. But will let the pics speak for themselves. Enjoy!

¨Lurking is not a deviant behavior that needs correction.¨

From: Nonnecke, Andrews, and Preece (2006) ´Non-public and public online community participation´ Electronic Commerce Research. (I assure you, just stumbled on this via my dissertation research on virtual communities, not through recreational reading).

No... not like dirty old men leering on the street... lurking is what the New Media academics call it when you regularly read a blog or a forum, but never post any comments. And I, of course, had to laugh...all my lovely lurkers out there - you are not deviant!!

BUT interestingly enough, they also say, ¨In general, lurkers are less optimistic and less positive than those who post.¨

As a habitual lurker myself, that made me think twice...(and decide I ought to change that)... while simultaneously concluding that Jimmy must be about as optimistic and as positive as it gets.

Headline: Spanish Knight in Green Shirt Rescues Girly Pink Laptop in Distress

So maybe it was overworked, or maybe it was the sticky heat, or maybe it had something to do with that large glass of water I accidently knocked over onto the keyboard (shhhhhh....don't tell Dell, or my Dad...), but my new laptop was acting a little finicky (i.e. would temperamentally decide not to TYPE).

But, thankfully I had a Spanish-version HP at my disposal (seriously, thankfully!) with which I undertook the adventure of navigating Dell web pages and automated phone systems in Espanol (ha! ha! YOU ought to give it go!).

And then, finally, today, Fernando arrived to make the world right and ensure that Ms. Spice and her laptop will live happily ever after...

Ahh... it's so good to know where the @ key is again...

More than Just Blueberries...

Wow! Such response to the My Blueberry Nights post (which honestly, I almost didn´t post - thought it was too long) both on (ahem, welcome FWB reader Jimmy) and off the blog. Am plotting a sequel that will likely appear after this dissertation thing is done and when the remainder of my not-so-spare moments are not completely absorbed by the exploration of BCN.

Till then, here are some pics of La Boqueria, the most marvelous (mainly produce) market off La Rambla to contemplate...Enjoy!

Oh, you seductive little dragon fruit. You look so amazing! How could your take-it-or-leave-it flavour never fail to disappoint?

An absolute rainbow of fresh-squeezed fruit juices (how does a Papaya/Kiwi/Coconut blend sound?) for a single Euro.

Thus far, I like kiwi the best.

Strolling Without the Bulls

Plenty of proof that I´m in a sufficiently warm climate.

Just waiting his turn...

The sign over the entrance says ¨Hostel.¨ Really? Hmm.

Signature shot from the Gothic Quarter.

Ivory tower at sunset.

Parentals: Take this number down... it might help to alleviate some worry the next time I, say, fail to answer my mobile. (One time!)

Just an alley I fancied.

Taken near the cheesy area/mall where all the cruise ships dock, but it gets billing since I totally wanted one of these as a kid. It´s a trampoline + trapeze holster apparatus so that you can jump higher than you ever dared believe. I distinctly remember drawing up the diagrams and eyeing discarded lumber near our backyard. Probably a good thing I never actually attempted it.

Aha! This explains why no one is afraid of the giant lobster...

Hotel de Arts and After...

Ahh... the lovely view from arola at the posh Hotel de Arts... but, ummm... we're looking at the derriere of a gigantic fish sculpture...which frankly, made me feel a little awkward and intrusive.

Blurry view of the terrace itself - atmosphere/decor/something-about-it actually reminds me of the Sky Bar in LA.

Another blurry view of the boardwalk at night (I tried! I promise, someday I will have an extraordinary camera that gets crisp night shots). 4 out of 10 accents heard: American.

So cool! There are clubs right on the beach. (This isn't actually one of them, but it gives you the idea).

Nothing particularly special about this pic or restaurant... except that it's a proper sit-down seafood place and they were still reeling in customers at 1 am. For a chronic night owl who's always chasing closing times, the world should always be thus.

BCN Back Alleys

Clothes hanging and stooped man walking (in the back of the shot).

Not really a tourist magnet, but the sort of place where you see bunches of white-haired Spanish men gather in the afternoon to drink cafe con leche and talk about... well... I can only conjecture what white-haired Spanish men might talk about: politics, futbol, the good old days, how lucky they are to be away from their nagging wives....

The street cleaner who saw me take this was really puzzled... kept looking and looking... trying to figure it out. You may be wondering the same thing, but it's just... well, I like to acknowledge when a place isn't all prettiness and such.


On the boardwalk: A couple that will actually watch an eternity sunsets together.

Also on the boardwalk: Giant terrifying lobster that not many people seem too bothered by....

Soft green trees with feather-like leaves and yellow flowers...

...that have grown up knowing which way the wind blows.

This guy wasn't happy about my paparazzi-like invasion of his privacy... gave me quite the dirty look when he was through... but I swear I was just trying to snap a pigeon at the fountain when he stepped into my shot!

In the heart of the tourist district: Special and 'tipycal' - wow! (I laugh not at the English flub, but because I'm sure it works as an English lure!)

The labyrinthine el Borne district - my backyard.

It feels downright medieval.