Tour Diary – Spain: Cartagena and Barcelona (Nov 12 and 13)

Cartagena (Nov 12)
I think it’s just an unwritten rule of the European Road that the bus has to smell of piss at one point along the way. I’m not sure why that is…surely the Germans have developed the technology to efficiently hold piss in a tank without it smelling. Truth be told, there is no tank on this bus, it all goes straight to the road. Yes, we have been marking our trail across Europe with our pee. It’s an old Canadian trick, you wouldn’t understand. And yet, it still smells in here.
When it is Spain’s turn for the big bailout they should definitely put some money aside to fix the road from Madrid to Cartagena. The journey last night was like travelling 8 hours in a…in a…in a..bus with no suspension….try falling asleep with someone shaking you, with controlled violence, every sixty seconds. In between shakes your body vibrates at a high frequency while you wait for the next round. One begins to understand the power of torture by sleep deprivation. We had no expectations of Cartagena; we were told it was basically an industrial town. But most of us ended up liking it quite a lot. There is a crazy mish-mash of life on its’ streets, in its’ architecture and style. Untold armies of all the great and nasty civilizations have stomped this town. The list is staggering. It is a crazy quilt of Roman ruins and housing projects, Medieval castles and pedestrian walkways. Centuries of human habitation will do that to a place.
The gig tonight was a snoozer. We were exhausted and the audience was flat and didn’t seem to have any knowledge of our music, which can sometimes be a good thing, but tonight we needed a critical mass of energy to will us to be good. It didn’t happen so weren’t very good. But we made up for it by going out after the show with Jorge the promoter rep. He told us about his olive groves and about growing up in Germany and in Spain. He introduced us to a magic yellow elixir. We had fun.

Barcelona (Nov 13)
It turns out that Jorge’s magic yellow elixir is a lot more fun when you are drinking it than it is several hours later. We were dumped off the bus at our hotel at 10am and had to sit around and wait for our rooms to be cleaned…it was a blurry morning. Unfortunately it was a very rainy day in Barcelona. We’ve been very lucky with the weather, but not today, the rain barely let up all day. But we all made an attempt to wander and most of us found our way to the Sagrada Familia; Antoni Gaudi’s crowning glory to God. Most of you have probably at least seen images of this church, in person it is truly awe-inspiring, whether one likes the design is kind of irrelevant when faced with such a singular and massive vision. I definitely need a lot more time in this city. I think a week would do me fine….I just love the feel of this place.

We had a very good gig to end off this run of dates. It was in a very interesting theatre/club: an old and beat up room but it had a good feel and the people working it were great. An excellent audience tonight and we gave them what we had left. This has been a very fun couple of weeks for us. We are all exhausted and a little beat up but we had many excellent shows and went to a lot of cities and places that we have never visited. I think Spain has been a revelation to us all. It is such a big-hearted country with enough nooks and crannies to keep one exploring for years. We definitely need to get back soon…….Time to head home and finish up volume 4…stay tuned.