Dream a while, scheme a while.

I’ve just done something I’ve not done before – watched the whole marathon event from the European Championships in Barcelona, and a fascinating couple of hours it was too. I enjoyed watching the race unfold, seeing runners trying to time their race properly; some of them to good effect others, failing spectacularly and painfully. All of it punctuated by scenes from the city, with Josie and myself pointing out places we’d seen on our modest five day sojourn.

We had a great time in Barcelona and are looking forward to another trip some day. We saw la Sagrada Familia; Parc Guell, and a number of Gaudi’s other weird and wonderful constructions. We visited the Picasso museum and the Fundacio Joan Miró, walked (ambled really) down La Rambla (a bit tacky, to be honest), with all its street “colour” (a bewildering variety of people dressed as bizarre statues, alongside stalls selling tortoises, chinchillas and the ubiquitous Barca shirts). The one thing we didn’t see a lot of was street musicians, which was a bit disappointing, this being a music blog and all…

The best evening, however, was the Wednesday when we climbed the hill to the Castel Montjuic where they show films in a large open-air part of the castle and play music. It’s a lovely evening where everyone brings picnics, bottles of wine and deckchairs, and settles down on the grass to listen to bands until it gets dark enough to show the film.

I shot a longish film which I hope captures something of the feel of the evening, with people chatting, dozing and in some cases listening to the music while we waited for the film to start. I’ve watched it quite a few times now and I can’t tell whether anyone else is going to enjoy watching it or not – I dunno, I love it…

If you’re wondering, the band playing are a trio (later a quartet) called Shine, who meandered on for a while, to the general indifference of most people who were all having much more fun catching up with friends. I quite liked them, but in truth they were not much more than ambiance for the evening.

My Spanish would not have been good enough to watch a whole film in Spanish, and a Catalan language film would have been even more difficult, but fortunately we were given La Clase , a French film with Spanish subtitles which made it easier. The whole evening was punctuated by the site of an electric storm over the hills the other side of Barcelona and occasional wild cheering from the Athletic Stadium at the foot of the hill.

In the end, we scuttled back to the hotel, having missed the last bus home, and found ourselves lost in a part of town we didn’t recognise. I know if I’d got lost in Gloucester as a tourist, I’d be getting a little anxious if I’d found myself in, say, Barton Street at midnight, but Barcelona didn’t really feel like that at all, mainly because the Spanish seem to like a late night. The streets were still packed and at one point we walked past a children’s playground full of six and seven year olds and their parents.

Eventually, we found our way back to the hotel and even had time to get an ice cream before bed.

A very cool evening in all….

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