June 13, 2005
Spain: More than Bulls
Seville was little more than a stopover, but I was a lot more than lost wandering through the endless alleys. I met Serena at a hostel in Valencia and accompanied her to Barcelona, her new home.
A glass of Bio Frutas "Pacifico" juice and a bowl of gazpacho at a coffeeshop in Seville.
I met three Canadian backpackers on the train from Seville to Valencia. There was a stadium directly across the train station about to host a bullfight. The four of us had vague ideas about what to expect, but we realized our ignorance once the bullfight began.
Out comes an angry bull. Bullfighters tease and tire the bull, and then three bullfighters stab it twice each until there are six swords dangling from his back.
Two bullfighters come out on blindfolded and shielded horses and one of them stabs the bull. In turn, the bull attacks the horse and the horse remains calm.
When the bull slows down drastically, the matador gives him one last stab and the bull falls stiff to his side. Two horses comes out to drag the bull out of the stadium. Hooray! Workers cover the bull blood with dirt to prepare for the next bull. The Canadians and I stayed for five of the six bullfights.
Serena and I met at the Home Hostel in Valencia. We walked around and when we heard loud bangs, we walked toward them. I think we caught the last firework, but what was left resembled my mental image of a bomb scene.
Serena and me.
A view of the neighborhood from the roof of the Home Hostel.
A smiling lobster resting on a roof along a boardwalk.
This fashion season we offer you Pop Tits.
Las Ramblas is the tourist street in Barcelona. At the end of Las Ramblas was this abandoned cat. I fed him for two days and the third day he was gone.
Street performers and vendors line the sides of Las Ramblas. This businessman was caught in time.
And this man was painting.
On some trains, the subway cars are connected without doors. The train is like one long car.
Antonio Gaudi's work is scattered across Barcelona.
Shadow of a monument that reads:
"To those who died defending the rights and constitutions of Catalonia in the siege of Barcelona (1713-1714)"
An artist risked his ass by vandalizing a wall to warn tourists about pickpockets.
Even the so-called "Designated Graffiti Area" sign is a Designated Graffiti Area itself.
June 16, 2005
I stopped by Zurich, Switzerland on the way to Rome. Swiss watches and Swiss army knives are popular, but I didn't spot any Swiss cheese or Swiss Miss. I ran errands and further practiced the art of wandering.
Free speech means fur coats and opponents of fur coats. An ad at a train station in Geneva.
Broken window to a fur shop in Zurich.
The city put up dozens of bears around town, designed by artists and businesses in the community, while I was there.
Biggest Clock Face in Europe Award goes to: St. Peter's Church.
Potable water is free.
June 26, 2005
Italy: Steez & History
Rome is a conglomerate of extensive history, architecture, and style. I met my friends Puff and Maxx there. From Rome we took the train north to Cinque Terre and then east to Pisa and Florence.
Sunlight shining through the oculus of the Pantheon lit the wall.
The colossal Colosseum.
Batteries not included: Trevi Fountain.
Puff, Maxx, and I drank and drew on a piece of paper at a bar. Before we left, we added our paper to an evergrowing lampshade above one of the tables.
St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City: It's a big church.
Pillars at the Vatican City entrance.
The first construction of the Castel Sant'Angelo was completed in 139 AD.
Torre Argentina is a cat sanctuary where stray cats are fed by volunteers. In 44 BC, Julius Caesar was stabbed here.
Cinque Terre is easily one of the most gorgeous places I've seen. It's composed of five small villages, connected by trains and trails, along the west coast of northern Italy.
Three badasses who hiked the trails along the coast of Cinque Terre.
A poster in Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is always erect but anticlimactic.
In Florence, Puff gravitated down one particular street. His gravitation led us to 8 x 8, an exhibit of eight rooms designed by eight design companies.
Colorful shops on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.