Posts tagged travel

Bilbao during Santa Semana. no wait, first a word from my future… :-)

The story of Bilbao is a dull and rather existentialist one full of ennui and lonesome misery in the endless rain, which I can’t rush through. I will try to give it justice sometime tomorrow, but really think it’s more likely to spark a novel.

Right now, I’m in a better mood after rejoining my friends in Barcelona. I’m even grateful to be back in Raval,  because the muslims store owners see no reason to shut down on Easter Sunday, unlike all the devout Catholics driving this country deeper into financial ruin by taking damn near an entire week off for Easter. Speaking of which, I finally went to church in Barcelona! šŸ˜‰ Paddock Motard Bar (which I happen to live very close to, and you’ve read about before here), was open for Sunday services: to show the MotoGP races. They had set out all the chairs they had in rows facing the TV’s and the place was packed with rabid fans watching the 125 race when I arrived. It was awesome! Everyone was going crazy, and it felt so damn good to be somewhere in Spain where Easter didn’t seem to be bringing life to a grinding halt. However, mother nature brought MotoGP to a slippery halt, as it was rained out. grrrr. It rains like 4 days a year in Qatar, and it seems those 4 days are always when the GP is in town! They actually had to cancel the race because they run it at night to show off some fancy lights. The problem is: bright lights + rain = zero visibility. pffft. do it in tha daytime, people!

I’m more interested in keeping my eyes on the prize. Whenever I need a boost, looking at real estate in LA makes me happy. It’s a pleasant way of daydreaming about what I want in life, thinking about where I want to live next. So today’s entry is this third floor loft in the fabulous Barker building. I went to a party at a friend’s loft there in August (which feels like a million years ago) and fell in love with the place. The sexy rooftop pool/spa, the Urth caffe across the street, the whole downtown arts dist. vibe. Love it. Would sacrifice a private garage for it…

Salvtem Per Aqvem

Salvation through water. SPA. cool! I wonder if that’s actually how the word Spa was derived. Anyway, this hotel I’m staying at in Bilbao has the most awesome Turkish bath, filled with circus people. OK, so the circus (du Soleil!) people are hotel guests like me, but it’s still interesting. This Italian acrobatics coach invited me to dinner after the show, but since it didn’t include a free trip to see Varekai (again) I demurred. He’s old enough to be my dad, ok. I did, however, talk up my niece, as she is a killer gymnast, and could totally own Cirque Du Soleil.

More later, gotta get out and enjoy this gorgeous day!

Full Ben Spies Fan Club at Valencia

Here we are, with some Spanish chicks who had the good sense to bring along a giant American flag! Well, I brought the Gigsville cowbell at least. Every Texas boy needs a cowbell, no? I hope next year they have even more Ben Spies fans in Spain. Bummer about the crash, but he did a good job in race 2 on his B bike. Still need to inject that boy with some charm for his podium speeches, he’s so dry. But he definitely smiled when we made a big racket for him!

Palace of the Marques de Dosaguiaus

This is the cozy little palace next to the fabulous hotel Britt found for us. So gorgeous I couldn’t even bring myself to close the curtains on it at night, despite it being lit up like Christmas. more pix of it on flickr.


pool, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

The train from Nice to points west is a fabulous place for daydreaming. The best view from any train I’ve ever been on, even the ones under Manhattan.

view from here and now

view from here and now, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

one of the many fine views I enjoyed over the weekend at Valencia. Those long concrete strips leading up to the Ford billboard are actually steps. That’s where they put all the bad MotoGP fans who thought they bought tickets, then had their tickets revoked and didn’t figure this out until 2 days before the race.

As you can see, there are not nearly as many WSB fans in Spain as there are MotoGP fans. Only about 43,000 people turned up, so the cheap seats were totally empty. And I could hobble up the day before the race and buy one of the good seats. Sure felt good being able to do that.

graffiti in Valencia

graffiti, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

is gorgeous! Used to have even better graffiti in Barcelona, but it’s all gone now. So sad.

Pythagorian Theorem of Riding

Wow! So I’m catching up on my horoscopes, and this is amazing. I actually followed Brezny’s advice without even realizing it. The dogma was that I am too cool to ride a scooter. I finally relented and rented one (with a nudge from Britt, if she hadn’t suggested it, I might not have done it). And what’s changed about my worldview is that I can actually enjoy getting from point A to point B even though I am the slowest guy out there. While some of you have survived being passengers in a car driven by me, none of you know what goes on inside my helmet at a red light. IĀ filter to the front, thinking nasty thoughts about what a bunch of tools these cagers all are, especially the idiots in North Carolina who honk at me as IĀ neatly cut through the lanes. Losers. And I am appalled beyond belief at just how excrutiatingly slowly people pull away from a light, especially in North Carolina. In Barcelona, of course, people drive the way people should drive the world over. Fast. No dilly-dallying. So I thought I would need to be on my fast bike to enjoy riding here. But I’m on the slowest thing ever, and I’m actually digging it. ANDĀ I actually arrive calmer because I’m not freaking out over how slow everyone is the whole way there.

I’m glad that Pythagoras’ dogma was shattered because everyone knows mere numbers can’t provide the ultimate truth about reality. pffft.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras is
known as “the father of numbers.” He taught that mathematics provides
the ultimate truth about reality. His otherwise productive career went
through a rough patch when one of his students found that the square
root of two is an “irrational” number that can’t be expressed as a simple
fraction. “Impossible!” said Pythagoras. His system was built on the axiom
that there are no such numbers. Yet he couldn’t refute the student’s
proof. By some accounts, Pythagoras had the student drowned for his
impunity. The brilliant theorist couldn’t deal with the threat to his dogma.
I bring this to your attention, Aries, because you have an opportunity to
do what Pythagoras couldn’t: accept the evidence that your beliefs about
reality are limited, and incorporate the new data into a revised worldview.

my favorite brand extension ever

travel press!, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

Yeah, you’ve got your Swiffer deluxe that changes the pads by itself before you even realize they’re dirty, and your iPod nano with 10 terabytes and an app that actually finds you the coolest new music faster than the band can even record it. Whatever. Those pale in comparison to the coolest extension ever.

1- It’s a Bodum french press (the Kleenex of french presses)
2- It’s personalized with whatever 2D object(s) you want in there. Mine, of course, is Rossi

But best of all-
3- It’s a travel mug, and not just another BS “only works in a car” travel mug either. This bad boy can be shaken, upside down, and still retain all it’s contents. Which means it might even survive 30 minutes in the trunk of my motorcycle. I’d duct tape the spout for extra security, but just to keep it shut. the seal on it is airtight.

I have been exploring the full line of Bodum ever since I got sick and tired of replacing the damn glass every time I brushed it against a pillow. I guess I’m not the only one who got sick of those fragile things, because the Bodum store in Paris (and their website as well) has a lovely selection of metal and plastic presses.

What will they think of next???

chewing gum, or “I heart Paris”

this is why Paris soooo much cooler than Barcelona. Barcelona wishes it was Paris. Barcelona tries so very hard, but will never be as awesome as Paris. My direct English translation of this notice on the metro:

“Chewing gums are huge romantics. Their hearts get attached very quickly. But the poor things, rarely is this love returned, they desperately seek the big Love with the promise of a fusion. Yet that love awaits them in all the trash cans!”