Saturday, October 13, 2018

and of course.... the Flamenco


One last walk around Madrid...

Like so many European cities, Madrid is awash with amazing architecture, historical commemorations, amazing statuary and as a friend once told me of the Italian culture... a people with a story to tell.  If you take the time to absorb it, Spain does have a wonderful story to tell.  My heart still belongs to Italy, but I now agree Espania is indeed a wonderful country!  These pics are just walking around stuff from this morning... a very small example of what is here.  Enjoy...

Hope you liked Madrid!  I took a ton of pics and we walked 5 to 6 miles every day and saw so many wonderful things.  The people we met were so kind it - was a wonderful visit. 


Friday, October 12, 2018

Madrid has a lot of museums... the MUNCYT is a gem

The Prada is fantastic by the way!  I love to wander through the engineering and science museums when I get a chance and the Museo Nacional De Cienciay Technologia was no exception.  Engineering is that happy fusion of math, art, creative problem solving and materials science.... for me it has been a wonderful career and looking over an old motorcycle or piece of lab equipment and seeing how my colleagues from years ago solved problems, designed kinematic systems for suspension systems... damped vibrations... dealt with fatigue such fun to visit these places!

I remember these Bultacos back in the 70's   they were some of the first true trails bikes in that era. You can see these old lines  copied  in the Honda trails bikes of the 1980's!

A Citroen nicely restored

This is truly an awesome machine!  In production from 1897 to 1905. 

The engine plugged  right into the rear axle without a torsional compensator or damper.

The venerable Norton GG

A nicely restored Guzzi

Another really nice 1950's Guzzi

Dondolino viva Carcano!


A Norton Manx from 1952

Cool, I've only seen Panhard's in a book before this fine 1914 example. I wonder if P&Lwere the inventors of the panhard rod?  Eventually Pahard (P&L) was absorbed by Renault.

A Scott, Squirrel not to be confused with the Scott Flying Squirrel is indeed a magnificent motorcycle!

What an engineering masterpiece!

Yay! A tornado...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Santiago de Compostela some say the final restig place of the Apostle St James

I first read about the Camino de Santiago about five or six years ago.  It was a pleasant surprise to experience the cathedral where it is said is the final resting place of the Apostle James. 

This is a most simple church.  No admission fee, just a very humble place. I lit a couple of candles for those I love and care so much about. 

The plaza is a gathering place for  pilgrims who hike into town and visit the cathedral.

The alter is magnificent with a statue of St James placed just beyond.  Below the alter is the crypt where the relics of the apostle are kept . 

After visiting many cathedrals I can attest to the fact that this one is very different.


Monday, October 8, 2018

The most amazing building I have ever been in!

I have traveled to many countries, and have seen so many places and met the most amazing people.  Today I have to say that I have experienced something so beautiful that it is truly hard to describe.  The pics certainly do not do it justice... I'm writing about the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  One of Antonio Gaudi's obsessions... here you will be mesmerized by the beauty, the sounds of the organ and the creation of exquisite colors painting the interior of such a massive structure with an adroit avoidance of straight lines.... An attempt to create a space as if trees held up the ceilings, and the most interesting architecture I have ever experienced... organic almost natural living in its structural elements.  Gaudi had a vision that only an artist could have!  He could see what this could be before it was built and how it would be so incredible.

The construction will be finished by 2026...

and has been going on since 1882

The facade has modernist influences by the primary chief architects of which Gaudi was the second.

The exterior details are striking

But it is the interior that is so amazing!

The light with it's color content is spectacular!

Columns leap skyward and dissolve into tree like branches...

The ceiling shows the column termination and the amazing interplay of color turns to a dominating brilliant white

Simply amazing.  The volume of this space, the crispness of the wavelength's of light and how they mix and paint the floor, walls and columns is an experience to enjoy for a lifetime.


As you turn to towards the alter, the cascade of colors fades to different effect which brings focus to the Crucifixion 

Chapels along the walls have a miniature effect of color as well

And then there is the music!

Hope everyone liked the pics!  A most incredible place and well worth any extra effort you may encounter in trying to get here.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Retro Auto-Moto Museo in Barcelona!

I was dissapointed to learn that  the motorcycle museum in Barcelona had moved...  it's now in Bassella.  So we set out to see the RAMM a very nice collection of cars and motorcycles in the Gotic Section of Barcelona.

A beautifully restored Senechal 804 'Torpedo'

A Le Zebre Cabriolet... note the simple fender manufacturing (no compound curves) and the cab is simply abruptly merged to the cowl.  The cost savings presented an automobile that was not as stylish, but performed as well as costlier cars at a lower price... a timeless formula for model placement.

Gosh this says Bugatti to me... but it's not!

WOW what a nice Triumph!

A springer Monet - just like new!

Cars of the 20's have a certain cache.  I do like the 30's the most though.

The Benjamin was a low cost touring car.  The simple fabrication of the fenders give it an odd look at a time when most maufacturers were making tooling for stamping out those beautiful curves we find in the 30's! The canvas top was cleverly designed to overlap the top of the windscreen so as to make a water tight seal - if a bit frumpy. Another low cost solution that provided the same water tight result without a molded channel and complicated interface between the canvas and the windscreen frame....

The Radior... a bicycle powered by a new fangled concept - the gasoline engine.

Looks like the designers of this sidecar were impressed with the bullet nose Studebaker!

Not an early  Karmann Ghia, but it  has a lot of those styling cues!

AND NOT an Isetta... it's uncanny how many ideas have come and gone, how so many manufacturers have copied from each other over the years... this shakes my faith in the design studio. Maybe an international travel budget should be part of every automotive styling studio! 

Oh my... so many of the rare motorcycles are here.  I have only read about them.  I thoroughly enjoyed studying the drive trains, the fuel systems, the manufacture of the frames and the ergonomics.... 
What a wonderful day! What's old IS what's new...