NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER real time are in [square brackets].

Trip Log 20.  Day 20. Barcelona Sights.

Monday November 1, 2010. Tibidabo.

My iPhone alarm goes off at 8 am. Our glass doors open onto the roof's patio and garden area. I can see Magpie, Collared Dove and Starling right off the bat. Well, no bats.

Breakfast is at 9, and it's way more than I can eat. So I let everybody else have a little. {We are fed so wonderfully in Catalonia. A classic Mediterranian breakfast with rolls or fresh bread, cheeses, light meat, fruit, marmalades (YUM) and honey. Then a big lunch at about 2PM (really a dinner) and then at about 8:30 or 9PM I hear Emma in the kitchen again cooking. Are we really going to eat a big dinner again? Every time I prepare myself to politely refuse food because I'm not hungry, the great smells and food MAKE me hungry and it's a wonderful meal. Emma, Emma, Emma, what a wonderful hostess! She and I very quickly learn to talk with my little Spanish and her better English, we can quickly joke about our husbands.[Wait. What?]}

Emma presents Sharon with a wonderful, huge book on the architect Gaudi. That's like saying the baseball player Babe Ruth. I say thank you to Ramon, but he replies immediately, "Keep me out of it. That's from Emma to Sharon."

And it all comes back. At Mizzou we used to talk like that back and forth real fast. Sort of like speed retorting.

As we go out the door, then out through the yard gate, I capture the front of their home. {This house has been in Emma's family for generatons and they have expanded and renovated with each family that lives in it. It is on a quiet side street where there is no access for cars and they say it used to be out in the country, but the city has expanded around it.}

(L) Wonderful doors. (R) Outside their enclosure, we're standing in the "passage" or paseo. No cars can drive on it, so it's not a street.

We walk the neighborhood a little but Ramon senses that we don't necessarily want to walk, I think, and I go with him down into the basement of the parking garage across the I'll-call-it-a-street to retrieve his Audi. The street itself is incredibly narrow, like an alley, but is a fairly well-traveled road. Anyway, down we go into the basement. He bought this spot many years ago, and I heard stories of them going for as much as $50,000. I think at one time Ramon maybe had more than one. Anyway, his son Marc doesn't like to park down here. He likes it up on the street, right along beside all the other motorcycles, of which there are lots. Everywhere.

Before I get in the car, I said, "How do you do this? You and Emma in front, or..." and he says before I can finish, "Men in front." So I say, "Dang right." {"Los Hombres" I say to Emma and she gives me a knowing smile.}

From the street, I can look in one direction and see the 1600-foot tall peak, on top of which is some kind of church or cathedral. Ramon says that's where we're going now. {Tibidabo}

Up and up, round and back, and we make it to the top, park and get out. There is a fierce uphill gradient as we walk on to the top. There is an amusement park here, the oldest in Barcelona. Kind of surprising, with the church here too.

(L) Up, up, up. (R) Amusement faces

We see other birds, like female House Sparrow. These birds love inhabited habitats. Sharon gets a Long-tailed Tit flyover. Later we get female Black Redstart and a possible Blackcap.

Ramon has complained vociferously about the parrots squawking and making messes, and we can ID them as Monk Parakeets, a very successful species of bird, which adapts well to city life.

So this is Tibidabo. The origins of this name are from the Latin tibi dabo, ‘I shall give you,’ the words of Satan as he tempted Christ on the hill overlooking Jerusalem to submit to him and he would give him everything. Christ, of course, did not succumb to the temptation and what Satan offered was His already.

(L) What sharp eyes you have. Yes that's a magpie on top of the chimney. (R) That's the sea behond the city, below the clouds.

(L) ... and then Rrrrrrrramon said... . (R) Posing in front of the amusement park, in front of the church.

We have lunch,

take some more photos,

and ultimately head for the car, but first I have to check out the carousel.

(L) What's cool about birding is that you can do it anywhere. (R) Communications Tower.

I like this reverse tricycle motorcycle.

then it's down the mountain and to our first Gaudi experience.

(L) The sign signifies that Gaudi was the designer of this home. (R) A very cool dragon guards the vehicular entrance. {St George is (I think) the patron saint of Barcelona so Gaudi has lots of dragons in his work.}

(L) Emma inspects for cavities. (R) This was designed rather early in Gaudi's career, and was pretty tame when compared with his later works.

I enjoyed the asymmetric pattern of the door that fits in this perfectly symmetrical opening. Like saying, "You were expecting.... what?"

The sunset is getting really good now.

and Emma and Sharon are thrilled that we are heading home.

Ramon has WiFi so it isn't long before he sets me up for writing reports. He also generously lets me use his photos as well as my own. What a guy. I love it when I hear Emma call his name, rolling the R, "Rrrrrrrramon?"

So I start doing it too, plus rolling whatever 'R' word I can think of. Wrrrrrrrrrrong. Rrrrrrrrrrasberries.

OK, OK. I know. I'll get rrrrrrright on it.

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