Friday, September 17, 2010

Barcelona




Angus and myself jetted off to the Capital of Catalonia. After visiting Spain many times across my 22 (nearly 23) years on this earth, it was interesting contrast to the other resorts I’d visited in the past. We arrived at Barcelona on Monday lunchtime and was immediately glad to see that despite being further north than some of the seaside resorts I had stayed at in the past, it was still just as sunny, just as warm and still had an outstandingly beautiful beach.

But before we took advantage of any of that, there was some culture to take advantage of. So we stopped off at the local zoo. There we saw a range of animals from bears to elephants, and even saw a tortoise humping an alligator. Afterwards we rented out a boat and Angus rowed us around a lake while I led back and took in the scenery of Citucidella Park.

On Tuesday we wondered over to the Gaudi Park to see a collection of Gaudi’s architectural work as well as a strenuous stroll to the top of the mountain, where we saw a theme park built around a church. I wondered if this was something the new pope was encouraging; someone should ask him while he's over here in the UK.

After the Gaudi Park we went over to see Guadi’s most famous work, the Sagrada Familia, which was impressive, however there is building work around it due until 2030, so I didn’t really have the time to see it become finished.

On Wednesday we had a walk up through the Manjuic Park where we hiked to the top of the mountain to the castle to see some of the most spectacular views of Barcelona.

The afternoon was spent having a long awaited rest on the beach, although we were quite surprised that the Spanish have a different approach to nudity than we do; they just let it all hang out, even on the streets near by the beach! I hope they used plenty of sun cream.

Our final day was spent taking in galleries and museums, from the Contemporary Art Gallery to the Picasso Museum. I decided I liked Barcelona. It is like Paris, except its hot and has a nice beach. It’s the Chicago of Spain. I was also happy to find that Spain has Dunkin' Donuts; a brand which made me very happy in America and we should campaign it to bring here to England.... their coffee is better than Starbucks!

Our final evening was spent watching fountains outside the National Gallery, which danced to music. It was like the Bellagio in Las Vegas, so impressive and equally popular in terms of the crowd gatherings.

We returned to the airport for our flight home on Friday where we discovered there was two things which could have disrupted our flight. France were having an air traffic control strike (wonder how they’ll deport all those Roma people now?), and then a terminal at Manchester Airport was closed due to a bomb scare. I don’t know why but I always manage to attract trouble when I go on holiday, two terrorist attacts have occurred while I’ve been on holiday as well as various other misadventures, I’m clearly a curse to the tourism industry which is terrible seeing that is my major.

I’m now back at home in Manchester ready to start my final year at university. An interesting and tough one, no doubt. But hopefully it will all pay off next year.

Friday, September 3, 2010

a letter to my dear new yorkers

Dear naive tabloid junkies,

It has come to my attention that many of you are rather upset about a mosque being built upon the area of Ground Zero in New York City. It seems you find building a mosque would be insulting and insensitive to all those who died on 9/11 after all the terrible things those Muslims did to you.

I wanted to write to you today to confirm a couple of things with you before you all lose your head and embarrass yourselves during your protests and before you go writing your letters to the President (who by the way, is Muslim).

First of all; it is NOT a mosque. It is a centre of which holds a swimming pool, basketball courts and restaurants. It happens to also hold a prayer room.

Secondly, it isn't even on ground zero. It is 2 blocks away. And if it was a mosque, is there a particular distance you would like it to be away? Maybe you could measure out a suitable distance which is inoffensive for us so when we do decide to build an actual mosque one day, we can keep it within it without upsetting you all.

Finally, even if it was a mosque being built on ground zero. Who cares? Muslims are not the cause of 9/11, the Taliban (who actually happen to be muslim) did. If the city of New York decided to do a tribute memorial statue to Osama Bin Laden, then I'd say 'Go Ahead, protest away'. Remember lots of Muslims died that day just like any other race were affected that day; with the majority actually pretty distraught over the events just as much as you are, without their faith being slammed. So take your Islamaphobia, your mixed up tabloid affected minds and go home, switch the kettle on and have a cup of tea. Try reading a little less National Enquirer and a little more New York Times :)

Yours sincerely,

David Hatton