Travel theme: Purple

These bizarre ladies have appeared on this blog before – here and here.  Mention purple and I immediately think of either Prince or this mad pair.  I have no idea what they were doing, but this strange street theatre on Las Ramblas, Barcelona seemed to involve some highly emotional fly swatting:


(click on the images to enlarge)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

There could be many interpretations of Escape, perhaps this is too literal.  Maybe these guys were just running for a bus but the backward glances of the one on the far left suggests otherwise; their feet barely touching the ground, they have inspired some pigeons to join in their flight:


The picture was taken at Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona in October 2005 – click on the image to enlarge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

I have a soft spot for these two ‘mad bad’ girls performing on Las Ramblas in Barcelona – I have used a similar image on this blog before.  They appeared to be attired in a single dress, intimating that they were Siamese twins, whilst swatting flies and ‘gurning‘ – I doubt they would recognise the term.  As a piece of street theatre it was quite unique and oddly fascinating.

Las Ramblas(click on the image to enlarge)

Closer to the edge – 9

A Happy New Year to family, friends and followers from somewhere in the Mediterranean.  Yesterday was New Year’s Eve and Barcelona which, short on money, had cancelled the fireworks.  Consequently the cruise ships upped anchors and headed for open seas, the local economy missing out on port fees and several thousand tourists with money to spend and pockets to pick; such is the self-fulfilling nature of a recession.

We have ‘done’ Barcelona before so we were excused the standard cultural obligations such as La Sagrada Familia, Guell Park and Las Ramblas and headed up to Montjuic Park.  For seven years, between 1969 and 1975, Montjuic Park was the glorious setting for the Spanish GP, quite the best street circuit ever devised.  A full lap is 2.35 miles which starts near the Olympic Stadium, weaves its way up and around the museums, drops down to the grand frontage of Pueblo Espanol before starting the climb back up to the start/finish in a series a glorious sweeping curves.  How fitting that a hero of my teenage years, Ronnie Peterson, holds the lap record for all time in the classic F1 car of its time, the Lotus 72.  This is the  eighth corner on Avinguda del Marques de Comillas as it heads uphill to Avinguda de l’Estadi and the finish line;  imagine Ronnie drifting through this apex at ten tenths, his Cosworth DFV screaming, life on the edge.  Fings ain’t what the used to be.

Montjuic ParkOn my return I found this wonderful footage from the 1971 GP, courtesy of  The stretch of track photographed appears in the background at around 3 minutes playing time and then again in the foreground at around 3 minutes 40 seconds.  Hallowed tarmac:

Montjuic Olympic Stadium

For some, Barcelona means Gaudi, for others, it means Zara.

Pam at Zara

Next stop Gibraltar and its monkeys where we have been advised not to forget those all-important animal snaps – who writes this stuff!

The kindness of strangers

“Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”  – Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire.  Blanche Dubois has been committed to a mental institution and utters this signature line to the kindly doctor who leads her away.

It is the kindness of strangers that is the most uplifting and purest form of altruism.  It is this that allows us to take solace from tragic events, stories of the unconditional kindness of strangers that emerged from the victims of 9/11 and 7/7 counteracts our despair.  There is also the nagging doubt, would we, in the same circumstance, find similar courage.

On a more mundane level, it is one of the joys of travelling the Western Highland single track roads, the opportunity to interact with a complete unknown who has taken the opportunity give way, to ease into the passing place, to give you priority, to make your passage, however briefly, that much easier.  You wave your appreciation and most will acknowledge with a wave in return – we proceed, uplifted.

And then there are those who give of their time and energy without even realising.  I feel I owe these two girls a debt of gratitude.  They are street performers on Las Rambla, Barcelona and I have used their image on a whole variety of occasions, even on business cards.  Whoever you are and wherever you are now, thanks for your uplifting bizarre performance.

The lyrics are courtesy of Robert Allen Zimmerman and the observant will appreciate that the words don’t match the song title – poetic licence.  Mr Z, an unlisted passion since I was 12 – from the timeless joys of Blonde on Blonde through to Not Dark Yet and beyond.

And then there are those strangers who ‘like’ my blog or even take time to post kind comments – thanks to you as well.  I proceed, uplifted.