A Bloody Mess

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Dancing in Red Rings

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Numbers are marked on old cement benches that circle and rise concentric from a lustrous red wooden wall making an amphitheatre around the giant circle of fine-raked yellow sand. On the ground, following the wooden wall, has been painted two massive red rings. High over the empty sand and all of us in the Plaza del Toro is a clear Spanish sky. Tourists wear shorts and carry blue vinyl seat cushions. Locals are in Sunday dress and carry glossy colored programs. People climb over one another, arms stretched to hands trading Euros for Cerveza’s, Ice Crème and Peanuts. The crowds’ soft rumble grows and above it sound whistles and hollers from seated friends to wandering ones.

Dressed in tights and jewel studded armor of bright blues, pinks and yellows, the players parade into the ring. They are a star matador and an army of others who strut and wave with a noble dignity. From their march, they take to positions beyond the freshly painted red wall. The crowds’ common voice had hushed for the display, but returns now. As the full bullring chats, drinks, eats and waits an anxious excitement grows inside all of us.

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Travel Fatigue

Spain, Thoughts & Reflections 4 Comments »

For those of you who have been following my travels closely, I suppose it’s fair to keep you abreast of my relevant moods and ideas. As you may have noticed from recent posts (or lack thereof), I’m getting a bit of travel fatigue. Considering I’ve been moving around for about five months now, maybe it is to be expected. Sure, there were times I’ve spent a couple of weeks on the same bed (Bangkok, McLeod Ganj and Paris), but I think being in one place for awhile without having had plans to stay there, still feels transient.

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C’mon, We Gotta Go

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We were circling around the cathedral on our search for a bar with a free Flamenco (Spanish dance) show. I was walking slow and falling behind, trying to decide if I wanted to leave them and head back to watch the street magicians we had stopped for only a minute to see.

This cathedral was a giant, the biggest in Spain. It stood wide and sort of haphazard, full of steeples that looked bumpy until close inspection revealed them to be laced with intricate sculpture. All stone churches look old, but this one looked older. The stones that made it appeared as if they were cut crudely and stacked quickly, like a medieval castle. The sun was hidden from me, but still lit the tall cathedral.

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Some Seville Life

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Barcelona, Seville, Iran – 3 of 3

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While in Barcelona, I also made friends with a Kiwi (New Zealander) named Cameron who was staying at my hostel and working as a deckhand on a ship in port nearby. I was impressed and intrigued with his job and the way he was travelling and likewise was he with my magic and pictures.

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Barcelona, Seville, Iran – 2 of 3

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“Hello! Do you speak English?”

“Yes. Only!” I responded.

It’s a phrase I’ve taken a liking too. I must look very European, because I get to use it quite often. Other English speaking travelers often speak to me very slowly at first. A few times I’ve made up my own language on the spot and watched them try to figure out where I was from. Spanish people will carry on complete conversations with me until I repeatedly tell them I don’t speak Spanish. I must mumble, because they don’t seem to notice I’m responding in English. Maybe I just look Spanish or maybe it’s the fact that I do a very good “Hola!” and the only other phrase I know is “Yo Hablo Espanol!” (I speak Spanish!) I do like the Spanish language. I’m trying to figure out which language I’m going to take a serious stab at learning. It’s a toss between that and French right now.

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Barcelona, Seville, Iran – 1 of 3

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Phil, that writer/photographer I befriended in Bangkok, needed a website to promote the new book he’s working on. I spent most of my days in Barcelona building it for him, so although I was there a week or whatever, I didn’t see that many sights. However this didn’t bother me much, which brings me to my next point.

I’m getting sick of sightseeing.

I was in and out of the Luovre, which I think is the biggest museum in the world, in less than an hour, I took the metro to the most famous cathedral in Barcelona only to sit in the park across the street and read and just today I did a full lap around one of the biggest churches in the world, went into the ticket office, looked blankly at the lady sitting in the booth then patted my stomach and lied to her saying ‘I need to eat first’ before turning around and walking back outside.

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Colorful Barcelona

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Here are a some images I shot while walking around Barcelona this week. Open markets, sidewalk entertainers and a crazy park designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi.

A Better Bench

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The square in front of Sea Point Hostel is a big stretch of flat grey stone tiles that ends at the beach which goes a bit, then dips quick, hiding the place where Barcelona touches the Mediterranean. People walk in all directions drawing an imaginary mess of paths. A few tables stuffed full with lingering groups remain scattered far from each other. It’s closing time and as each group gets up the waiter comes quickly and takes their table away. The sun is setting and long shadows cast the grey ground dark, but things with height stay golden and the calm sea, still bright, moves left against the warm shaded sand.

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