Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".






Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How long can you stay on your feet

Our record is virtually nine hours. We left the hotel at 8am and returned at 5pm. First we headed for Montjevic and the castle. Rather a nasty history of suppression, illegal executions and bombardment of the revolutionary citizens of Barcelona.
The views were amazing. Below the ramparts 193m down is the extensive container port of Barcelona. It was fascinating to watch funny tall container cranes on big wheels run around like demented ants, lifting containers off lorries, onto lorries, off trains and onto trainers. Everything in miniature.
To get up there we'd strolled across old Barcelona, scuttling down narrow alleyways between five story buildings with ornate architecture. We stumbled into beautiful squares, passed tiny fashion boutiques and spent time in the food market. We strolled down La Ramblas when it was empty and a delight to be on.  From there a short metro ride, then up on a little cute funicular before catching the telefrique cable car to the top a d the stupendous views across the city to the west with its hotchpotch of densely packed housing, apartment blocks and historical buildings. In the distance like soaring candles, the spires of the segrada familia.
After a tour of the citadel fort, we strolled downhill through gardens to the Olympic stadium, rather impressive actually. You can only truly understand the sheer awesomeness of that archers shot to light the torch in 1992 when you have seen for real how far and how high he had to shoot.  From there it was a walk back down to the waterfront and a stroll along Porto Vell. Past a collection of old wooden boats from tall schooners to small Mediterranean fishing vessels of old with huge almost claw like sail rigs. All beautifully maintained. What does John Welsford say......the bet varnish for a boat is white paint? He'd have been a happy man today! After daydreaming about sailing the med on such boats it was back up into the old quarter calling in at the Musee Picasso. Cant see the point of cubism. Prefer Gaudi.  Nough said!
Stopping for a picnic on our favourite stone bench in a little elongated square shaded by trees and surrounded by beautiful tall apartment blocks with their pretty balconies, we ate our bread and cheese and watched the world go by. The fashionable Spanish sauntered by. They make it an art form. I have yet to master it. Lumber along that's me. Sauntering? Can't quite get the hang of it.  The Spanish have a unique ability to take an eclectic mix of bright colours and combine them with browns and blacks and it works. They all look tanned, healthy, happy souls.
But perhaps they are the wealthy ones for like all cities, scratch a little below the exterior veneers and poverty emerges.......the homeless ones, who hide their flattened cardboard boxes behind the tall mobile cable boxes on street corners; or the North Africans who push shopping trolleys though he maze of alleyways delivering some object for someone at a bargain price. THe invisible people!

1 comment:

Bursledon Blogger said...

if you have time look up Los caricoles - one of the oldest restaurants, off the Ramblas about 2/3s of the way down from Playa Catalonia on the left - they cook over real fires and you have to go through the kitchen to the restaurant.

Haven't been for a couple of years but both the restaruants at the entrance to the market in Barceloneta were great for lunch abd good value. - great city enjoy