El drac

          I dipped into the files in search of sunshine and arrived in “Park Guell” on a busy afternoon in June.

2014-06. Guell steps.

          In fairness, this was the busiest part of the park, protected by admittance by ticket only, we paid our fee and joined many, many other tourists who were there as we were, not for the quiet tranquility of this piece of park, but to feast our eyes (and cameras) on what “Gaudi” had offered our imagination.

          This first picture is taken from the window of the gift shop building, and to me the steps look just as much as they’ve been made out of gingerbread and icing as the two gate buildings.  If you look at about half way up the steps you can see a small crowd, this is the main focus of most of the cameras in this area, the salamander water fountain, locally known as “el drac”  (the dragon).

2014-06. Salamander.

          Hubby sat very patiently while I tried hard to find a gap in the crowds for my turn with the camera, eventually I managed to find a gap on one side and quickly snapped this one.

          Then with a lot more camera clicking, a little tight cropping and a bit of help from photoshop, I managed to come up with this one.

268. El drac.

           More from before : Basking in “Barcelona“, June 2014.


2014-06. Olympic sculpture.

          Do you have a dreamscape ?  Another world which you visit in your dreams, a strange world where people are in the wrong places, the wrong times, where things are dis-jointed and you jump from one place to another as if they’re next to each other ?  You do ? Oh good, I’m not the only weird one among us then.

          The picture above isn’t part of my dreamscape, it’s a picture of a metal sculpture in Barcelona, as far as I can gather from online, it was commissioned to commemerate the Olympics in 1992.  Do you see the tower behind it, we took a lift to the top of the tower to catch the cable car on the day we visited “Montjuïc Castle” (link to follow). Although this isn’t part of my dreamscape, looking through the pictures the other day might have triggered the re-visit to one dream in particular.

          Part of my dreamscape is a lift, sort of, or is it a bathroom ?  I’m not really sure.

          The first time I stepped into the lift I was with Mum-in-Law at some sort of elderly person’s residence.  A comfortable happy sort of place, there was a corridor type room running from one end to the other, too wide to be a corridor, but too long to be a room, easy chairs and coffee tables were dotted about the place where residents were sitting and chatting.  We entered the building, arriving in this corridor which ran from left to right in a crooked dog’s leg type shape, Mum-in-Law went off to the right to see the lady we were visiting, I forget her name, if I ever knew it at all, and I had to go somewhere in the lift which was directly to the left, the crooked dog’s leg shape corridor/room bending to accommodate it.

          The lift looked just like an ordinary lift, the call buttons on the outside were two circular buttons with up and down arrows in them, and the doors, heavy dull silver in colour, gave no indication of what was inside.  I pressed the button and stepped inside still talking over my shoulder to Mum-in-Law and as the doors closed behind me I found myself to be in a bathroom.

          Quite a fair size bathroom, a shower unit in the far corner to the right, on the left wall was the bath, underneath the window, with the toilet nearer the door on the same side.  Opposite the bath against the right hand wall was a wicker washing basket, not the ali-baba type basket with a plop-on lid, a pale wicker woven one, with a hinged lid.  The floor is scattered with numerous bath mats, and the decoration, although it’s not clear, I get impressions of muted yellows, blues and greens.

          Now that you’ve joined me in the elevator, stretch your imagination a little further, thinking along the lines of the famous elevator in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.  My elevator isn’t glass, apart from the bathroom window, but can you remember how the elevator shot off at speed in strange directions at the end of the story before it burst upwards into the sky above the factory.

          Well, the bathroom started to move, slowly at first, then faster and faster, as it went up I found gravity pulling my feet to the floor and it followed that as the bathroom moved down and from side to side that I found myself flung across, or suspended in mid-air, never once getting hurt or feeling afraid I must add here.  Every now and again I would catch a glimpse of the outside world through the bathroom window as we passed over the countryside below, the green and yellow of fields and the blues of an odd stream here and there. Eventually the bathroom stopped and the doors opened.  I stepped out feeling more than a bit disoriented, Mum-in-Law had concluded her visiting and was heading towards me with her coat on ready to leave.  I didn’t look back at the elevator until I heard the doors close, and woke up with that weird feeling of not being sure if you’re still dreaming or not.

          My latest visit to the bathroom was just last week.  I have a lift home from work most mornings from two friends, a lady and gentleman I work with. On our way home one morning I had to call at a grand hotel, don’t ask me why, I really don’t know, but I did.  I walked in through a huge glass door and up some semi-circular,  very well-lit, possibly also glass steps to the lift. Reception was behind me and as I stood waiting for the lift I looked out of the wall of windows to check that my friends were waiting for me in the carpark below.

          This in itself is strange as of a morning the gentleman friend would usually go ahead to the carpark and sit in the car whilst the lady friend and I collect any shopping we need and walk to the car together.   In truth, I can never remember what the car looks like and waiting for my lady friend is my cover for the memory block, (although I expect my cover is now blown), but on this occasion I could not only find the car and see the two friends sitting in it but could quite easily see the dials on the car radio and hear the music playing, absent-mindedly listening to the music on their radio I stepped into the lift and there I was again, in the bathroom.

          Off we went on our trip around the countryside.  Once or twice I caught a glimpse of the magnificent glass fronted hotel, and of my friends sitting in the carpark waiting for me.

          Eventually the lift came to a stop and the doors opened.  I stepped out as a young man in a tailored suit stepped forward. I didn’t see his face, my eye-level was at collar and tie height but I put my hand out against his chest and muttered something about waiting for the next one as the doors closed behind me then I trotted off down the semi-circular stairway, waking up somewhere before I reached the bottom.

          By now the bathroom is quite familiar to me, there’s no worries about getting hurt as it shoots about the countryside but also no point in trying to use the facilities,  or in trying to get out before it deposits me back at my starting point.

          I feel more of a resignation that even though it’s probably just a matter of minutes in real sleep, I awake feeling confused and disoriented… as if I’ve spent the last few hours being tossed around in a bathroom.

          Well, as the bathroom deposits me back where I started, here we are back at the top of the tower in Barcelona waiting in the queue for our turn on the cable car to the hilltop castle so I’ll share a couple of views, taken through the surprisingly clean windows, of the beach below.

2014-06. W hotel view.
2014-06. Beach view.
2014-06. Castle view.

           More from before : Basking in “Barcelona“, June 2014.

Wine and dine

          After last night’s “Flamenco” entertainment, perhaps you’d also like to join me for lunch on the beach…

2014-06. Lunchtime view.

          There are still quite a few vacant seats available, although not many in the shade.

          Perhaps a little more style with your meal ?

2014-06. Wine and dine.

          Although they don’t seem to be very busy at this time of day either.

          Maybe we should just grab a waffle from one of the many stalls on “La Ramblas” and eat later this evening instead.

2014-06. Waffle.

          After all, the locals think we’re either all “Mad dogs” or Englishmen for being out in the mid-day sun while they huddle in the shade playing dominoes.

2014-06. Dominoes.

           More from before : Basking in “Barcelona“, June 2014.