Back from a week in Barcelona. Shocking how grey the UK seems after the Catalan sunshine.

The Santa Maria Del Mar, said to be the most perfect gothic church in existence. lynden swift santa maria del mar, barcelona

lynden swift santa maria del mar, barcelona

One of my favourite pieces of architecture/sculpture; the telecommunications tower on the Olympic park on Montjuic Hill. Built specifically to broadcast the games when Barcelona hosted them and designed by Santiago Calatrava. Sublime. It is seen below through the wires of another sculpture as one approaches from the stadium.

Climbing in the hills above Montserrat Monastery, I saw these two climbers descending from this severe looking ‘peak. The hills here must make for fantastic rock climbing.

Barcelona Zoo. All zoos are quite mixed in their good and bad points. I grew up reading Gerald Durrell books and I’m sure zoos can play a valuable role in breeding programmes. However, I’m never very happy to see large predators or primates locked up on their own. You can see it in their eyes or their deranged pacing up and down how bored and dejected they are. This chap didn’t seem too deranged but did look completely bored. It can’t be psychologically healthy for animals to be stared at continually either. Am I misguidedly anthropomorphising? I don’t think so; I think we share a lot of basic attitudes and emotional responses with other mammals and can have a pretty good guess how they feel. Hey; if we couldn’t tell when a cave bear was angry we wouldn’t have lasted very long would we?
Lynden Swift - orangutan, barcelona zoo

Lynden Swift - orangutan, barcelona zoo

These bears had learnt to spend their days begging, despite the signs everywhere to not feed the animals. But I think that being stared at like this all day long would be enough to send any one or any animal crazy, no?
Lynden Swift - begging bears barcelona zoo

In the MNAC gallery - this set of two monks praying.
Lynden Swift monks praying