Santa Claus vs the three Wise men, pt II

And for a quick update. The big parade is friday night and, as I said on my previous post about it, it happens in most towns of Spain. Well, it seems some took this whole conflict with Santa Claus a bit seriously – I read yesterday that Valencia prohibited any Santa from showing up at its Cabalgada de los Reyes. The kids can wear whatever they like, but no red suits.

It feels a bit surreal for Alan and I to walk downtown. Here we are, enjoying some post-Christmas blues, but as soon as we hit downtown we realize it ain’t over yet baby. All the stores are packed and opening extra hours (even during siesta!). It’s the week before Christmas all over again!!!

Of course, we won’t miss the parade on friday. Stay tuned for that.


Museu Maritim

Back in November when Christine was here, we visited the Maritime Museum for the first time. As usually happens when I visit museums, I was more impressed with the actual building than with the museum itself. Back in the middle ages, it used to be the royal shipbulding facilities and is full of larger-than-life galleries like this one (look at the people on the right side of the picture to get a sense of the scale):

Photo by Alan Bell

I wasn’t able to take too many pictures of the inside since it wasn’t quite light enough for me to shoot without flash. Since I have a film camera, I didn’t want to take too many risks… But all was not lost and I snapped a few shots:

Royal boat

And I bet you didn’t know the submarine was a Catalan invention? Well, here’s its first model:

Submarine (is it yellow?)

At the end, there was a gallery filled with sea-related poems on the walls, written in a childish handwriting. I liked this one:

“El oceano… se salía del mapa, no había donde ponerlo. Era tan grande, desodernado y azul que no cabía en ninguna parte. Por eso lo dejaron frente a mi ventana.”

Pablo Neruda

And for a very amateur translation:

“The ocean… it poured out of the map, there was no place to put it. It was so large, disorganized and blue that it wouldn’t fit anywhere. Thus, they left it in front of my window.”


The Museu Maritim is located on Av de les Drassanes, at the port near the beginning of the Ramblas. A good place to take kids.