Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Gambling Blood in Me - Barcelona

Day two in Barcelona was getting lost day. By no intentions I wandered to the beach and looking at the map for the next nearest attraction I spotted on the map the f*cking casino of Barcelona. “Oh Shit” I cursed and I knew there was no avoiding it. I was almost out of cash as well at that time with only 25 euro left so I thought why not have a look. 2 euro texas holdem, 2 euro black jack …. I was really f*ck this time fore there was no avoiding it. I still had four days in Barcelona. Lost 20 euro on that first hours and I had no money left and luckily there was no atm close by or rather atm that does not charge me a hefty commission.

The Fish Casino - Barcelona

I got out later that evening and wandered around the city walking zig zagging everywhere and somehow manage to make a loop and I was close by to the casino again. This is crazy! I did not even intent to go there today and was planning to take it slow but since I am so near the bloody place and already had a restock of money form the atm machine a few hours ago I figured why not. 4 hours later from 5pm to 9pm I walked out of the casino a total of 170 poorer for that day.
Why do I even bother really.  3rd day in Barcelona and the day I am writing this shit …. On my way far far away to the furthest mountain in the city Tibidabo with a stunning view and I am determined to avoid that casino but have a feeling when night falls and I finally got bored I will be there gambling on 2 euro poker.

So I am going to write this down … the limit of loss shall be the money I carry now without withdrawing further from the atm …. ( about 150 euro ) and if I ever hit the winning limit of 500 euro I shall stand down and will also commit to not gamble at Monte Carlo the most famous casino in Monaco. A pledge to myself if my devil guardian will accept the wager.
Fouth day in Barcelona I went walking to the castle top made my way around the winding street, tried to be distracted nicely everwhere and in every little thing I could find but I guess the devil in me won in the end as I find my way zipping across town towards the casino. Even getting off the wrong metro stop did not turn me back from my crusade.

I lost a total of 250 euro in Barcelona. Not something I am proud off really. I feel the control on self for gambling or even any other thing seem to be slipping by slowly and slowly. The justification and reasoning that was my logic for doing something sinful now just seems like an excuse. What happen to the confident guy that could walk into the casino knowing he would be the winner in the end. The gamblers pitfall is when he starts to believe in luck and that he is curse ….. just one big win he will keep telling himself. I guess I am a bit better to realized what is happening but somehow I still can’t stop myself when I need to. I use to be able to do that. Control. I guess I still have it but it’s weakening, I can feel it.



Friday, 25 December 2015

Barcelona La Vie

I can see what the hype is about Barcelona and how attractive it is to tourist. A tinge of everything but that tiny tinge is of spectacular quality. First day and I did not much since I arrive in the early afternoon and it was bad weather raining and cold so I just visited the nearest monument which was Sagrada Famalia a church of the Gaudi design which was still not completed till today.

Sagrada Familia
This church or cathedral was not completed after being constructed for centuries hence at one face you see old gothic style but at another you see cubism’s style and at others I have no idea what the heck is this place. One thing for sure it is the most prominent landmark in Barcelona although incomplete and would probably be still incomplete when we all die. One could say it is a living work of art since it is always under construction. Even post cards from various years always has a construction crane in the picture. 

For an uncompleted work it was still breath-taking and even more shocking is the entrance ticket fee which was nearly 25 euro. Admire the outskirts …. Smoke, gaze, dream, I’ll come back when its finish to get my full moneys worth’s …. Which means maybe never. End of day one with a trip to the supermarket to buy food for three days.

Arch of Triumph - Barcelona
Barcelona was a crappy time for me unfortunately. Partially due to weather being gloomy and rainy and the other knowing that I would have to leave beautiful Spain soon and move on to France. Days were spent walking around the old big town. Up to the furthest hill to the top of the mountain Tibidabo.

Cristo on top of Tibidabo
Tibidabo. I only decided to go there out of a whim due to the Cristo statue that I spotted from way way down at the beach coast. Looking up at the mountain I saw something that look like a cross / Cristo and decided a day trip might be nice and the view looks amazing from up there. Like a Saint watching over the city of Barcelona I had to go pay my respects so a quick ask around and apparently it was not hard to get there at all.
Barcelona Beach
Metro goes all the way to the foot of the hill for the same price around the city and from there a short hike about 15 minutes brings you to the start point of the Tibidabo Fernicular. It cost me 7.70 euro return ticket but it was worth every penny for the view. There was small amusement park up there and one could enjoy seeing the view of Barcelona and appreciate how humongous the city really is instead of just where the tourist loiter around.

The other thing I did was hike up the hill on the left side of Barcelona to see the old castle. Tibidabo was better I would say for the view for the Castle was nothing spectacular after seeing Toledo and south of Spain. Ola Barcelona …. Somehow it’s just not for me.

Touristy city Barcelona is and full of things for everyone to do. I was alone …. And Barcelona alone is not as fun as I thought it would be so it was time to move on.
City of Barcelona - Tibidabo

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Valencia My Love

Bus ride to Valencia at night was not that bad but tired as hell. South America bus really spoil me like crazy I guess and doing overnight bus everywhere else just does not get any sleep at all other than the pre-dawn sleep of 2 hours and then off the bus at 7 am.

Valencia was beautiful surprisingly. My first impression was that this is a good slacking place to be. Great Hostel at Euro 7.50 a night, good supermarket nearby, a good kitchen, lovely semi old streets, a nearby semi-nude beach, cheap paella lunch at 5 euro I was so tempted to slack away and stay here for a month but that would have taken away time from somewhere else.
Best thing to do in Valencia is of course is go biking around the city. A really flat city making it splendid to cycle around all the nooks and explore the maze like city yet large enough that exploring for a whole day or two is possible. I took the bike from the hostel and went around just zig zagging my way around till I finally decided to find lunch.

Lunch in Valencia
The cafĂ© was somewhere I did not even know where I was but when the waiter came out I was stunned. So pretty she was, Asian face, small size plain, not sexy or hot nor cute but simple with glasses and a pony tail with white shirt and mini shorts. Too bad she could not speak English only Spanish and I was sputtering to order. Ah my Valencia love …  
Valencia was not as popular a destination in Spain for some reason. Most tourist I meet just somehow skip by this town on a fast train to south Spain visiting the coast and the culture of the gypsies. Barcelona was close enough that most would rather skip Valencia to see Barcelona. I found Valencia full of charming character.
Downtown Valencia

They had a horny Merchant that somehow bribe the construction crew of the church to install a masturbating gargoyle on the top of the church …. Not one but two of em .. at both corners … a pair of male and female …. My camera was unfortunately not good enough to capture a good picture but it is the pride and joy of the free walking tour guide that they have something no other cities in the world had.

Valencia also has some of the most crazy modern architecture smack in what used to be a river bed. The city of art and science they call it which before I arrived thought it would be a boring modern art crap that I am so used to seeing everywhere in the world. Valencia got it right … the right balance I would say.
City of Art and Science - Valencia

How many nude beach do you know in Europe ??? Up north is to cold and that leaves Portugal and Spain. France is too uptight and the Baltics are crazy. Barcelona is too crowded and Valencia is just 3 hours away and quiet lovely long long long very long white sandy beach that has plenty of room to spare. I was sure I was not in the nudist beach section while cycling along the sidewalk but it was so damn spaced out that people went bare anyway.
Valencia Beach
Like I said … My Valencia Love