Leaving Barcelona

The Barcelona Inside Me
Robin Becker

Give me, again, the fairy tale grotto
with the portico-vaulting overhead.
Let me walk beneath the canted columns
of Gaudí’s rookery, spiral
along his crenelated Jerusalem
of broken tiles, crazy shields.
Yes, it’s hot as hell and full
of tourists at the double helix,
but the anarchists now occupy
the Food Court, and the arcadian dream
for the working class includes this shady
colonnade cut into the mountainside.
I’ve postponed my allegiance to
the tiny house movement, to the 450
square feet of simple, American […]

By |June 4th, 2015|

Shadow of the wind

Some years ago now, Corrie and I were staying in our friend Maddie’s room in England and came across a book that looked very interesting. It was a novel set in post war Barcelona and probably the best and most creative novel I have ever read. The book by Carlos Ruiz is called ‘Shadow of the Wind”.

Just after the war, Daniel’s father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of […]

By |June 3rd, 2015|

Barcelona – ‘rapera’

It was on again last night! The busking stars under a full moon. There were 20 people there at 8.00 and it had not yet begun. Maestro was setting up the accompanying music as a young lad opened his music sheet, the losange man from last night was lurking without a losange in sight. It was time. The maestro pointed to the lad, who, seeming a little anxious, began quietly, soon to be joined by […]

By |June 2nd, 2015|


Another ‘rambal’ as they call strolling around Barcelona. And it’s difficult to go for a stroll without seeing evidence of one of the great architects of the world – Antoni Gaudi. I decided instead of giving a layman’s interpretation of his work, I would google some pieces that I thought may be of interest to some and add a few of my photos.

As Catalonia grew in wealth and power around the mid-19th century, the region […]

By |June 1st, 2015|


Well, it’s all happening! Our air conditioning wasn’t working so we got a swanky room instead for the same price. The reason I don’t like the classy ones is that it’s hard to leave and explore. But we did leave and ‘ramballed’ (name of the main street) down the crowded boulevarde in the middle of the street. Corrie doesn’t like crowds, and anyway the food was tourist expensive, so we wandered in and out of […]

By |May 31st, 2015|

Pamplona – last day

We spent the day walking around the outskirts of Pamplona admiring this ‘green’ city. Pamplona went to a lot of trouble to protect itself from invaders over the centuries, and not only built a fort, but waterways and stone walls erected in a way to slow the invaders down. Today, all these defensive constructions have been filled in or enhanced to create green areas.

One of these areas has been set aside as a deer park […]

By |May 30th, 2015|

Pamplona fiestas

We are staying in Calle San Nicolas a popular bar street in medieval Pamplona where the bar tops are decorated with a bounty of brightly coloured tapas treats. The street is awash with pink decorations to celebrate the festival of La Calle de Rosa, the pink or rose wines that are famous in this Basque region of Navarra.

As I was casually watching the workers tying the pink balloons above bar entrances and twisting pink […]

By |May 29th, 2015|

Pamplona – the next day

Well, I read Hemmingway’s book ‘Fiesta: The Sun also rises’ and it failed to give me an insight into the soul of Pamplona. It talked about his unrequited love, other relationships, and his efforts to get to Pamplona to excite his passion, or ‘aficion‘ as the Spanish call it. The book talked about this ‘aficion‘ as something so powerful that bullfighters’ anxiety and nervousness were not seen as weakness as long as they had ‘aficion’. […]

By |May 28th, 2015|


A little room with a tiny balcony on a narrow tapas street will be our home for a few days as we live in the large controversial shadow of Ernest Hemingway, the author that made Pamplona famous/infamous. His book, which I will try and buy and read tomorrow was very successful and it has been seen as a very good first novel. I’m not too sure whether I will like the book’s theme but I […]

By |May 27th, 2015|

Day 37 Zubiri to Pamplona

Our Albergue (called a gite in France) was like a hospital following the walk over the Pyrenees and a further 25 kms. Damaged knees were the main injury and there were 3 in our place alone, being only one amongst 15-20 other refuges. One of our new Australian friends was among the wounded so we shared Corrie’s very successful rehab. solutions – anti-inflammatories, slow right down for a bit, a light massage with good oil […]

By |May 26th, 2015|