Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Just returned from a marvelous adventure aboard the Azamara Journey. With my friends, Ira and I boarded the ship at Barcelona and wandered for a few hours, before sailaway, along the wonderful Rambla. Lots of mimes and freeze-pose models entertaining large groups, groups of artists selling their works, souvenir kiosks, cafes, flower shops along this pedestrian boulevard. I especially loved walking around the market that's next to the Rambla, looking at carefully arranged meats displayed to whet the appetite, fresh, crisp vegetables and fruits that create a riot of color and though the aromas of the fish stalls aren't great, the beautiful shiny fresh catch of fish and shell fish is visually great. My camera kept clicking.

Our next port was Valencia...yes! that song kept reverberating in my head. As we came into port, I was having breakfast on our balcony, thanks to efficient room service. How I wish I had room service at home. Again, visited a much larger central market housed in an old, elegantly tiled, very light, huge space. Across the avenue was La Lonja, a UNESCO world heritage site that was the Silk Exchange, built in 1483. It looked like a cathedral w. very high quoined ceilings, a lovely garden at its center. My favorite stop was at IVAM, the museum of modern art. There was a fine Joseph Beuys show that included his wooden sled laden w. blanket & flashlight, the Coke bottle in a box, et al. But the big surprise was a Jean Tinguely retrospective. Each of the kinetic sculptures was set in motion by a floor mounted button, and oh! what happened was pure magic.

The local soccer team had won their conference and were being feted w. a special mass as we came to Plaza de la Virgen. Armies of fans had the team colors draped around shoulders, waists, as flags waving furiously in front of a huge mural of the Virgin created w. flowers. And we visited the sleek Arts & Science complex designed by Calatrava. Another city that I'd like to visit again!

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