Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with Barcelona

Barcelona’s the most visited city in Spain (probably) and one that airlines try to push the most. I base this on the fact that I used to do work for a major airline who, every month, wanted at least one article written about the place. What do I remember from all those articles? Gaudi.

random-barcelona

You want to see his cathedral, that the lazy bugger didn’t even finish? Here it is:

a-sagrada-familia

Want to see inside it? Well you can’t, because there was a queue that went round the block. Want to see some building I saw on the street and rightly presumed he designed but then forgot everything about? Here you are:

barcelona-gaudi

As I’d already enjoyed my time in Madrid, did that mean I was destined to hate Barcelona? Turns out no. I had hoped to see a football match while I was there, but Barcelona’s schedule had them playing elsewhere while I was in town — as had Real Madrid’s and as had Porto’s. What else is there to Barcelona? There’s Las Ramblas, a famous shopping street that I didn’t photograph. There’s a cool bookshop that supposedly inspired JK Rowling in some way which doesn’t let you take photos inside. And I found churros in a spray can. It was decidely disappointing, as was the pink popcorn.

There are also Christmas decorations which Catalonians do a bit differently. The nativity scene is almost the same, except they have one extra character: the caganer. He’s basically a bloke pulling down his pants, squatting and doing a poo. They sell them everywhere and often make celebrity versions.

barcelona-caganers

barcelonafc-caganers

There’s also some kind of stick that poos out presents if you hit him enough. Does that sound right? Actually, I think it is. As Christmas is closing in, there were market stalls and shops full to the brim with these sorts of items.

shitting-log-catalonia

A few years ago one of the shopping centres in Barcelona made its Christmas display a huge caganer, which I saw a picture of on the internet so I’m cool. Join the gang here. I made the trip out to that mall in case it was an annual thing. It was a vain hope, but sometimes you need a little something to keep you going. This year there was some crap with boxes. Idiots. What are they even doing with the old display? Just keeping it in a warehouse somewhere?

The trip wasn’t completely in vain. Not only was there a guy playing with bubbles outside, but we saw someone with a promotional balloon. We asked where she got it from and found out there was a shop of interest in the centre.

barcelona-bubbles

shana-jewellery

I’m not the only person who does that sort of thing, see?

lol-shana

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