October 16th Barcelona
Greetings from...... It's Thursday..... it must be Barcelona! Today I've done very much tourist things.... Spent money on....going up the Christopher Columbus tower down by the sea. The monument marks the spot where in 1493 he was welcomed back a hero by Queen Isabella and the king. He brought back with him six Caribbean natives, new Christians who are also commemorated in the cathedral somewhere. One wonders what they would have made of it all. Don't know much about Columbus as a bloke. Let's hope he was kind to them. I guess a bit like Salvado taking back Christian aborigines to Rome. But it's whet my appetite to learn more.
And tonight, another concert, a serious presentation of flamenco music. I'm still trying to process what I made of it. By and large I could say they made no comprises to the average tourist, and some left during the 90 min performance. You couldn't doubt the passion, intensity and feeling of it all. But some of the subtlety of the music I felt was lost, as it was almost all done in the whole ensemble, comprising 3 dancers, two guitarists, and five other singer / percussionists...using mostly simple hand clapping (but I shouldn't use the word 'simple'. It wasn't!) But I would love to have heard some guitar solos, but their role was very much to accompany the dancing and the singing. I think I can safely say flamenco singing isn't my cup of tea, especially after lots of it. But I'm certainly glad I went. I have much to learn about flamenco, but to me in my ignorance I have to say its a bit musically repetitive, especially in terms of the harmonies used. But the rhythmic subtlety makes up for that. Anyway thank God it was sexy. No chance of dozing off.
On a more mundane level Barcelona FC is playing at home this weekend. Single tickets start at 45€. (about $60 Australian....... but who would compare Buddy Franklin with the genius Messi!!!)
Tomorrow I'm joining a conducted tour, much of it hopefully by bus (my knee continues to be Sore). The tour focuses on the famous architect, Gaudi and finishes in the his famous church, the Sagrada Familia which is still being built (see photos)