Dr. Hoffer's Travel Site This site was last updated 05/05/11
IBERIA2001 #14 Las Ramblas to Colón
This past week I was very saddened by hearing of the deaths of two people in my life. First, Dr. Peter Choyce, of London, England, a pioneer lens implant surgeon who perfected the anterior chamber lens. He was a close personal friend and always made a point in his lectures to honor me for starting the American Implant Society (ASCRS). I will miss him very much. Second was the passing of Father John Keefe who was the principal of Catholic Central High School who gave me the appointee scholarship to Siena College. What an effect his decision had on my life.
We were going to drive south to below Valencia to visit Brian & Krysha, our friends we stayed with in Nottingham, England in 1999, but we weren’t able to reach them before Krysha had flown back home and there was little time left. We will try to join them when they return in September. We are getting lazy staying here and the days are melting into over a week. We have to go. Jairo & I ordered things from SONY and we are waiting the delivery; he a wide angle lens for camcorder and me a floppy drive for my computer so I can move photos from memory chip to another computer. Now I am using a special memory stick floppy drive but it will not work anyplace else. If it doesn’t arrive today, we may have to leave without it. Now Jairo tells me he has me scheduled to give a talk on Phakic lenses at the Spanish Society meeting here in Barcelona on September 28th - first I’ve heard of it. Oh well, it will be nice to come back here again. Barcelona is a very beautiful and modern city with very broad streets like the big ones in Paris; many exquisite shops and eating places along them. It would be very easy to live here, if you like cities. Driving around we saw the main bullfight ring stadium (photo), but it is not the season for bullfights. Barcelona is not all that hot on them, but they have them anyway. We also saw the towers (photo) that look like the Campanile in St, Mark’s square in Venice as well as the Castle of the Ancient Kings (photo) where the fountain display was the day before.
Maite took us to see the Poblo España (Pueblo) which is on Montjüic. It was built for the 1899 Exposition and is a village containing buildings representing every region of Spain. The King wanted to show off the Spanish architecture. The buildings are not dead like Disneyland but rather filled with shops, artistic workshops and eateries - a very pleasant place to visit. We bought Kaylin a little Spanish dress that she should look cute in. I did my run down Montjüic to Carrer (street in Catalan) de Sants and back and then joined Maite & Marcia for a cap at the Valencia house in the Poblo. We headed back to Barri Gottic and saw the Palau (palace) Guell (photo) which is the house Gaudí constructed for his close friend and benefactor Guell. Together they planned a modern community called Park Guell which they began but the whole thing went bust and it is now just a Park. We went down several side streets (photo) in the Gottic and walked down the most famous street in all of Spain - Las Ramblas. It is very wide and goes for 4-5 blocks and is usually wall-to-wall people 24 for hours a day (photos). In the middle is the Mercato San Josep, a large market place selling fresh everything. Hot peppers were a gorgeous site (photo). We also saw the Generalitat again but in daylight (photo). At the end of Las Ramblas is the statue of Colón (Columbus) and he is pointing his finger out to sea which is to the east instead of toward the New World in the west (photo). That evening we went out on our own for dinner and tried the Hotel Ritz’s restaurant, Diane, which was a very good meal and reasonable for such a fancy place. I ate filet of kangaroo (cangaru) for the first time and it was very good. Also saw some paintings by a famous Spanish artist (Antonio Reverte), the best was this one of the Cadequés (photo). One interesting eating pattern here is the plate with tomatoes and a garlic clove on it (photo). The bread arrives which is toasted on the outside and crunchy. You cut the clove with the sharp knife and rub it all over the bread. Then you cut the tomato and squish the juice all over as well. Finally you pour some olive oil and salt on it. It is called "pan con tomate." Very tasty and I think it should be better for me than butter.
KJH Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #15
Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD
Bellaterra, Barcelona, España
[1) Table setting of tomatoes, garlic & oil for tomato bread, 2) The Castle of the Ancient Kings, 3) The Generalitat building which governs Catalunya, 4) Peppers hanging in shop in Mercato San Josep, 5) The buildings in Poblo España, 6) Las Ramblas street scene, 7) Las Ramblas again, 8) Towers, 9) Side street in Barri Gottic, 10) Oil painting of Cadequés by Antonio Reverte, 11) Statue of Columbus (Colón) at end of Las Ramblas Santa Monica at night, 12) Palau Güell, 13) Barcelona Bullfight Arena]
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