Tag Archives: art

Italian Graffiti

Ivan and I left the apartment at 12:40 pm on December 20, 2012.  It usually only takes 5 minutes to get to the Brazilian Embassy.  But, there was traffic so it took a lot longer. 

I rushed to the Brazilian Embassy on the 5th floor.  There was no line for window 5 and the lady wasn’t behind the window.  I was getting worried since it was 1:05 pm.  I was hoping that she didn’t leave for lunch already.  I waited a few minutes and noticed people walking around in the back office.  I saw her poke her head out.  She was mad and said a la una.  I said there was traffic.  She still wasn’t happy.  All she had to do was grab my ticket and give me my passport which isn’t a big deal.  I was only a few minutes late. 

We went to Libertad Plaza Café for lunch.  Ivan had the salad bar again while I had a chicken sandwich with cheese, pineapple and boiled eggs. 

Ivan and I got a taxi for the meet-up of the Buenos Aires Street Art tour.  Our guide was a man named Matt. The group included us, an Australian girl, an American lady and a German couple.  Buenos Aires is different since a graffiti artist can ask permission to paint on somebody’s private property.  If they’re given permission, then they can start making some graffiti. 


Matt was very knowledgeable about street art and graffiti having co-wrote the book Textura Dos: Buenos Aires Street Art.  We went to a park that is filled with graffiti, street art and tags on many buildings. 


It’s illegal to do graffiti here, but owners would have to paint it all the time since the art changes regularly here.


We saw lots of murals, graffiti, street art, stencils and tags. 


Matt told us the differences.  There are lots of great street art and graffiti by artists like Blu, Jaz, Pum Pum, Ice, Cof, Oz and Nerf.  The street artist Blu created a video with street art in Buenos Aires – check out the video here.  This was a wonderful tour.  Ivan and I love seeing graffiti in different cities. 


I highly recommend going to this great street art tour

Ivan and I got a taxi back the apartment.  We used the internet and then took a siesta (nap). 

At 10 pm, Ivan, Lil Dave and I went to the Italian restaurant Guido Restaurant for dinner.  There are two locations, but we went to the closest one to the apartment on Cerviño.  The other location has a crazy owner and no menu.  I thought the other one sounded good, but we didn’t know it was the wrong one until we got the menu. 

Ivan and I started off with cheese with greens and fried onions in a great sauce and anchovies.  The anchovies were tinned and not fresh.  The cheese was delicious.  Lil Dave got a banana pizza. 


Ivan and I shared a vegetarian pizza and grilled vegetables.  The pizza was awesome – we’re glad since the pizza we’ve been seeing in restaurants look really bad.  It was a wonderful meal.


Ivan and I each got an espresso before leaving the restaurant.  Lil Dave headed back to the apartment.

Ivan and I got a taxi to Palermo Hollywood which is filled with restaurants, bars and nightclubs.  It was too early to head to the club, so we went to Carnal Bar for a drink.  I had a 2110 while Ivan a drink that sounded like Voltron, can’t remember the name though.

Later, we went to the nightclub Niceto for the Club 69 Gay Night.  The club was playing generic techno with the same beat going on in the background for a long time.  There were dancers on the stage. A round stage with a stripper pole would be moved by somebody around the dance floor while a girl danced around the pole.  Ivan told me later that the performers were transsexuals which I didn’t even notice while we were there. 

The club was filled with a majority of guys.  The club was dark and looked like a warehouse. 

A short dance act was performed on the main stage. 


It’s so stupid in the girl’s bathroom that you have to give a tip to get toilet paper since there’s none in the stalls.  Some girls would skip the line since they would give the host a tip and get toilet paper.  So, the second time I went to the toilet, I took a paper towel that’s provided for you after you wash your hands.  The host who gives out the toilet paper saw I had it in my hand and she tried to grab it from me.  I wasn’t having that and went to the toilet.  I slammed the door and that pissed her off.  Clubs should provide toilet paper for free.  How annoying!  I came out and she started talking to me in Spanish – I’m sure she was telling me not to use the paper towel for toilet paper and to not slam the door.  I just said I don’t know what you’re saying and walked to wash my hands.

We kept dancing to the repetitive music.  Ivan and I like techno, but this was really bad techno and it was doing my head in.  At one point, a guy started rapping.  Good looking guys from the club started dancing around the rapper.. they were trying to dance to the rap which just looked silly.  After two rap songs, the techno music resumed.  We danced for a bit before heading back.


Wet Art

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9:45 am on September 15, 2012.  We packed everything up and put our stuff in the car.

It was time to check out the Guggenheim Museum.  It was a short walk there from the Airbnb apartment.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a tour in English which was disappointing. Still, at least they gave us audio guides.

Guggenheim Museum building was created by Frank Ghery which again makes you want to slide down it (like the wine place we saw a few days ago).  The Guggenheim is  the building on the left in the picture below.


It looks cool with the bridge and the curved grey building.

We got tickets and it came with an English audio guide.  It was interesting at first, but it kept waffling on and on.  There was a big art piece with copper walls called The Matter of Time. 


I wasn’t really sure what to make out of it.  I guess the artist really likes spirals and weird walls.  It’s supposed to make you feel dizzy as you walk around, but I didn’t get that feeling.  The artist was describing it in quite a lot of detail and he really was waffling on quite a lot about spirals, rhombuses and all other weird shapes. I guess he is really ‘into’ that kind of thing!

The first art you see is long LED strips with words running down it. 


One side had red letters while the other side was blue.

One of the exhibitions was by Georg Baselitz who painted the same people upside down. 


It did look like somebody painted it upside down and the art pieces had weird names.

I really liked the exhibition by David Hockney which had some cool nature in Yorkshire, England. 


He had a section of art that he created on an iPad. 

You’re not supposed to take pictures in some of the exhibitions, but I snapped a couple.  There wasn’t that much in the museum with the 3rd floor being closed.  It’s a cool museum, I just thought they’d be more art.

There’s a huge dog called Papi outside made out of flowers.  I thought it was a cat because it has pointy ears.


There are a few art pieces outside of the museum like the huge spider.  I don’t like spiders, but it still looks really cool.

Ivan and I were really hungry and went to the Guggenheim Café.  It was tapas of course. 

We went to the Alhóndiga Cultural and Leisure Center. It’s an old wine warehouse that was redesigned inside by Philippe Starck.  I love the cool pillars that are all different.


Inside there was nice restaurants and a cool shop.

We started driving at 2:10 pm towards the mountains.  The views were very pretty.

In Potes, we noticed a big crowd of people around a bridge.  Ivan thought it would be cool to stop and find out what was going on.  He knew something must be happening in this small town since the hotel was all booked up.

The river was stopped by a dam for the Fiestas de la Cruz.  The water rose and man-made boats were in the water – along with people swimming.  A generator was on board to power the high-powered hose.  The boats would go down the river and spray water at the people on the bridges. 


The people in the balconies of restaurants that lined the river thought they were safe.. but, no, the powerful hose rose up to wet the people on the balcony.  It was a funny sight.  Ivan, Lil Dave and I got wet since we were sitting on a bridge.  People acted crazy when the water started spraying on the bridges – they acted like it was acid instead of water which is pretty harmless.  There were two boats with hoses and they were trying to knock people off the other boats. It really was very hilarious!

I saw one boat that had a slide which we all wanted to go down. 

We had a tapas snack at a bar.

Ivan drove us to the next town called Cosgaya.  Here, we checked in to Hotel del Oso. 

I was checking out the amenities of the hotel with the hotel book in the room.  I noticed that the hotel had a tennis court. 

Ivan and I went to the reception and got the internet password and asked about the tennis since it said you needed reservations.  The lady asked when we wanted to play.  Ivan said 7 pm which was only a few minutes away and it was available.

Ivan and I played tennis.  Ivan beat me, but I blame it on the racquet since I think the grip was too big for me.. or maybe I just suck.  It was chilly out at night.

The internet wasn’t working very well.  I hate when a hotel says they have free internet, but their routers are crap.

For dinner, we ate at the hotel.  Ivan and I shared the grilled vegetables and vegetable soup for a starter.  Then, we got grilled salmon and tuna in a tomato sauce with onion and pepper.  The walnut and chocolate tart for dessert was wonderful.


Surreal Mountain

Ivan and I had the free breakfast at 9:20 am on September 9, 2012. 

We packed everything up and left at 10:10 am.

Ivan started driving us towards Figueres.  We were going there to see The Dalí Theatre and Museum. The drive was 3 hours or so, starting through climbing the mountains out of Cadaqués, then onto aboring regular road.

There was a line for The Dalí Theatre and Museum when we arrived.  It didn’t look that long though.  So, we decided to wait in it – if it became 12 pm we would do the tour which skips the line.  The line moved pretty quickly and we were inside. 

The first room was really big and had a antique car with a big woman on it with an upside down boat with water coming down from the boat. 


Very strange.

We walked around the cool museum which was really big.  The odd thing was that there were no explanations of the surreal art.  I guess you’re supposed to figure it out on your own.  There was actually a few pieces like 4 or so that had explanations.. not sure why these ones. 

There were other surrealistic artists in the museum as well. 


There were lots of Dalí’s famous works like the golden bread and Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln


I thought it was very cool and odd at the same time. 


The jewelry was also interesting that was created by Salvador Dali.


I like surreal art since it doesn’t really make sense but it does look cool.


It was a great museum even though we had no clue what we were seeing.. not sure if that was the point since it’s surreal art. 

The cool thing about the museum is that the whole thing was designed by Dali himself. Apparently the building used to be a theatre which had a bad fire, and when Dalí decided to create a museum he chose the theatre and redesigned it exactly to his specifications.

It was time to get some lunch.  We ate at Creperie Bretonne which was designed by Salvador Dalí. 


Ivan and I got two gallettes: La Maraichere with potatoes, onions, cod fish with a red pepper sauce and the La Beamelloise with spinach, smoked salmon, goat cheese and grated almonds.  It was really tasty.

We took pictures of the cool car that had a sink put in it. 


Lil Dave really liked the car since the car has bananas on it.

We started driving again at 2 pm headed towards Andorra.  It was really quiet on the roads, which makes driving very stress-free. Its almost as if nobody likes to drive in Spain, because there would be some moments when we would barely see a single car for over 15 minutes.


The views were beautiful with the Pyrnees mountains around us.

The windy road up to the mountain village of Bixelsarri was really small – it wasn’t scary because of the drop since there was a barrier.. but I was afraid we might crash into a car that was going too fast coming down the mountain. We really weren’t sure if we were going the right away as the road was very windy with lots of switchbacks and tight turns. Eventually luckily we did arrive at the guesthouse which appeared to be in the middle of nowhere (which is a good thing when you are surrounded by beautiful mountain views – or at least we would be if it hadn’t of been getting dark and pouring with rain!)

We checked in to the Hotel Parador de Canolich.  Our room was spacious and had a lovely view of the mountains. (this picture was taken the next day when the weather was beautiful)


Ivan and I used the fast internet which is amazing since we were way up in the mountains.

It was time for dinner at 9 pm. We sat in the dining room in the guesthouse, and the mother and son took our order while the father manned the bar.  Ivan and I shared a salad with a delicious honey vinaigrette, cod carpaccio and a mushroom cannoli.  The food was so delicious.


Dali Dancing

Ivan and I had the free breakfast on September 8, 2012.  We had bread, croissants and tea.  Lil Dave munched on his bananas.

We started walking towards the Salvador Dali Museum House.  It definitely was NOT 10 minutes walking there, which is what the woman in the guesthouse had told us!!  I was getting mad because it was hot out and Ivan went ahead to pick up tickets at a certain time.  The walk was more like 30 minutes from the hotel.  Also, there was parking!  We could have drove here instead!

We had a tour set up with the Salvador Dali museum.  We only had a limited time in each area so I took a bunch of pictures really fast. 


Dali was very unique and creative.  From his house I figured that he liked yellow flowers (mostly a bouquet upside down), eggs, his wife Gala, the Michelin man and mustaches. 


There’s a round room called the Oval Room.  It echoed in there and I kept talking and it felt like Dali himself was whispering in my ear.  I didn’t like it. 


I took my pictures fast and got out.  I felt a bit creeped out in that room.

The pool was my favorite part. 


He got the inspiration from a styrofoam packaging that came with a radio he bought. 


The pool was shaped like a penis and balls. 

I really liked the cracked egg you can crawl into.  We took lots of pictures in it.


There was a big area outside that had a person made out of recycled parts like a tire.  One of the rooms outside had a movie playing (well actually two movies playing side by side) and there was a weird piano inside.

There was a high point where you can view the Christ of the Rubbish which is a Christ made of recycled parts like a boat and rocks.


We really enjoyed seeing Dali’s house.  After his wife died, he left this house and moved to Castle of Púbol.

I was feeling really out of it.. could have been heat exhaustion. 

We walked around and had lunch at El Barroco.  This was Salvador Dali’s favorite restaurant and he actually designed it.  The food has changed since Dali’s time and is now Mediterranean themed. 


Ivan and I shared a bunch of mezes: baba ganoush, moussaka, falafel, fava beans, fatte (cheese with walnuts).  Lil Dave got a few banana mezes like banana ganoush and banana with walnuts.  The food was really tasty.  I felt a lot better after eating.  The restaurant has some interesting and odd art all around.

It was back to the hotel where we used the internet and I worked on the blog.

That night, we went out at 9:45 pm. 

We started walking towards the restaurant – Cadaqués is so pretty at night.


We had dinner at Bar L ‘Estable.  Lil Dave got a few banana tapas.  Ivan and I shared anchovies, tiny octopus in a xanfaina sauce, fried sardines, bread with tomato and tuna, gulas (fish with chili, garlic and quail fried eggs) and fried cuttlefish. 


We had lovely sangria with our tasty food.  For dessert, we got the taps with rhum flame which was very good – bread with what we think was caramel, lemon peel and rum.

Next, we went to the big square for the Non-Stop Party (yes, that was actually the name!).  It was a mix of pop, dance and Spanish music.  It was very strange since the people dancing were ages 8 years old all the way up 50 years old or even older.  It was fun dancing.

At one point, the stupid DJ kept talking in Spanish or Catalan and wouldn’t stop.  The people were getting mad since he was playing a good Black Eyed Peas song and kept replaying it.  Annoying.. it was like he was telling his life story.. it just seemed that long.  I just wish he’d shut up so I could dance more.

We decided to go back to the hotel at 1 am.

Ivan and I watched a few episodes of Shaun the Sheep before going to sleep.



On September 2, 2012, Ivan and I had breakfast at the buffet.  We met outside for a tour outside of the cruise ship.  We were in Olbia, Italy. 

Lil Dave was hanging with his monkey friends on the boat.  They were going to race boats at the monkey pool.  Lil Dave was happy to be on his monkey vacation from The Daily Dave blog.

We went on tour with 22 people through Sardinia.  It was an overcast day.  We looked like we were the youngest in the tour group.  The tour guide was a man named Mario.

Our first stop was Porto Rotondo in the Casbah area at the marina. 


There was lots of boats and plants.  We saw a church service in progress. 


Right outside the church there was a cool bell tower.  Also, on the ground there were profiles of the popes in the marble floor.  It looked really cool.. not sure who is who though, but I’ll tell you one thing they all had big noses.


We drove more and got to stop for the panoramic view.  It was a shame about the weather because this would have been beautiful with blue skies and a sunny day. 


Our next stop was Porto Cervo.  We walked around with Mario for 10 minutes and then we got some free time.  Porto Cervo is filled with expensive stores like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Versace… but we also saw some cute boutique shops.  A few people were walking their cute dogs.


There were a lot of interesting art pieces around the village.


Ivan and I each had a scoop of gelato on a cone.

It was on to the next destination which was Baja Sardinia (Sardinia Bay).  We stopped by the Holy San Antonio Church where Mario sang All Come All Ye Faithful in Italian – he has a lovely voice. 

Mario talked earlier of the most famous Italian song Mama.  He sang it beautifully to the tour group on the bus.  Somehow, the bus left without two people.  Good thing somebody was paying attention.. because I surely had no clue who was really on this tour.  Luckily, the bus went back and Mario and some people went looking for them.  Somebody saw them near the bus. 

Our last stop on the tour was Palau.  It was another gorgeous panoramic shot. 


Mario even said that he felt bad showing us these beautiful places with such bad weather.  The driver drove us through Palau and then we drove back to Olbia.

It was time to head back to the cruise ship.

Ivan and I had a late lunch on the Carnival Breeze.  I had a lovely burger with sautéed onions, banana peppers and bbq sauce with their oh so tasty seasoned french fries from Guy’s Burger Joint while Ivan got stuff from the Tandoori (Indian food) and the buffet.

We went on the fun water slides a few times and then read our books in the jacuzzi.

Later, we decided to hit the buffet instead of going to the restaurant since we had a late lunch.

Ivan and I had some tasty food at the buffet.. we had sushi, seafood chowder and tilapia.

We were so knackered (tired) that we watched an episode of Beaver Falls and then called it an early night.


Mussels in Brussels

On July 17, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9 am.  Ivan and I packed everything up and left the very orange Easyhotel. 

We got took the train to King’s Cross and left our baggage there.

Today, we were doing the Street Art London Tours in Shoreditch.


Ivan and I love graffiti and it’s always evolving in London. 


We went to many places and saw lots of cool graffiti. 


We recognized a couple of graffiti pieces that we saw last time on a different graffiti tour we took. 


The tour guide showed us a Banksy, but it was covered by glass and it up high where my short self couldn’t see it. 

After the tour, we headed back to King’s Cross to collect our luggage and then pick up tickets for the Eurostar train.  I was hungry, so Ivan and Lil Dave stayed with the luggage while I got some food at Marks and Spencers.  Ivan also bought some food.  It still hurts when I swallow – even just water.

Then, we left on the train at 2 pm from London to Brussels, Belgium.  The train is very cheap at 49 Euros each and it goes under the sea for an hour.  We fell asleep the whole time though. The train arrived at 5:05 pm in Brussels.  Ivan tried to find the bus at the airport, but the one we needed didn’t stop there.  We were too tired and decided to get a taxi cab to the Airbnb apartment. 

We were welcomed by this sign next to our room. 


How cute!!  We met Carine and her son.  Carine is a friendly Belgian lady.  She had a map for us and we talked about our honeymoon and Brussels.  Her son made us tasty mint Moroccan tea.  I need to learn how to make it!  Carine is always smiling.  Ivan asked why mussels is so famous in Brussels.  She wasn’t sure.  Ivan reckons it’s because it rhymes. 

We took showers and then walked to the city at 7:30 pm.  Along the way, we saw Brussels Cathedral.

Ivan showed me the main square la Grand Place.  He said it looks a lot better at night.

We found the restaurant Chez Leon on a very busy street filled with restaurants.  Ivan read online that this is the best place for mussels. We shared a good white beer.  Lil Dave got a banana pasta.  Ivan and I each got a 800 gram bucket filled with mussels: one with white wine and one with celery, onion and butter.  It came with pomme frites.  The mussels with celery, onion and butter was the best one.  The mussels were real good, but not the best we’ve had. 


Ivan and I prefer the mussels at Comme Ca in The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.  I’ve never eaten so many mussels in one sitting in my life. It really was a LOT of mussels!

It was 9:30 pm and it was still light out.  There are many statues of the Pissing Man statue.  Ivan thought he’d get a drink.


We went to the main square and then headed to the real Pissing Man statue. 


I thought he would have been a lot bigger than he actually is.  I think he’s less than a foot tall. 

We walked across to the bar Poechenellekelder (say that three times really fast!!).  This bar is connected with the Pissing Man statue.  I think about 12 times a year this bar changes the outfit of the Pissing Man.  I wish he wasn’t naked and had an cute outfit on.  Oh, well next time.

We wanted to try a sour beer, but they didn’t have any.

Ivan remembered a cool bar with 250 beers nearby.  We went to Delerium and ordered two beers.  One beer was honey and the other was cherry. 


I really liked the cherry one.  The beers are really strong here.  It’s best to ask how strong it is before drinking too many!

We saw the Pissing Woman statue in the courtyard of Delerium.  I couldn’t get a good picture of it since she’s behind a gate. After drinking our beers and realising that there is no way we could drink more than 4-5 of them because even just one (at 9% alcohol) made us feel tipsy, we jumped into a taxi and headed back to the apartment.


Abigail’s Market

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early again on June 29, 2012.  I guess it doesn’t help that the blinds in the apartment we’re staying at arent very good and let in lots of light.  We should be sleeping more since we’re jetlagged. 

We headed into the city at 12 pm.  It was an overcast day.   We started walking over the famous Tower Bridge and it was raining hard.  The gods were certainly not very happy today!

We met up with Neal at The Draft House Tower Bridge.   Ivan and I shared a tasty, fruity Belgian beer and which was passion fruit flavored. For lunch, we shared potted smoked mackerel, ratatouille salad with toasted pine nuts and goat’s curd and chili crab linguini. 

The weather couldn’t make up it’s mind and it was now sunny. I guess we had done something now to please the gods…

We said bye to Neal and headed to the bus station.  It was time to head to Covent Garden.  Ivan and I noticed a market happening at Southbank Centre, so we decided to get off the bus early and walk to Covent Garden later.

We walked through the new Jubilee Park which has a wooden playground.  We saw the purple upside-down cow Udderbelly. 

The Real Food Market is a great farmer’s market filled with stalls of food.  Ivan said we should check it out on Sunday for lunch.  There was lots of good food, but we were stilled stuffed from lunch…Didn’t stop us from getting a few free samples though. I mean you just cant say no to some free cheese can you!!

We walked around the River Thames and saw Rainbow Park which is an installation with colored sand in a big sandbox. 


Why didn’t they have cool stuff like this when we were kids?!  Lil Dave played awhile in the sandbox with the kids.

We walked towards the bridge and saw The Poetry Takeaway


You can get a poem created for you on the spot for free.  Unfortunately, there was a long line so we didn’t get one made.

We started walking towards Covent Garden.  Ivan noticed a place to get a haircut – I’ve actually seen 3 new shops like this in London.  I read the Standard newspaper while Ivan got his hair cut.

We walked around Covent Garden and noticed a few of the cool BT Artboxes. 


It was time for ice cream!  Ivan mentioned earlier that we were getting Breast Milk ice cream.  I thought he was joking! 


They actually sell it at The Icecreamists.  We got three scoops of it for a hefty price of £20.  The breast milk ice cream was creamy and tasted really good!  I like the hats the staff wears – the girls wear patent leather policemen hats while the guys wear black French berets.  I think the guy who served was being French himself – a bit rude when he didn’t understand what Ivan was saying to him.

I was sooo very tired with jetlag.  Ivan found a place for chocolate espresso.  It was naughty – like drinking a melted down chocolate bar.  I don’t think it had that much espresso in it. 

Ivan wanted to check out the art at Somerset House.  We walked nearby and got free entry with our student cards.  Ivan and I checked out the artwork.  I’m glad that Ivan isn’t the type of person who spends hours admiring the fine details of one art piece.  Some of the pieces had a glass over the art.  I’m surprised this picture of Van Gogh didn’t have a glass over it.


We were still tired so we headed to Pret a Manger for an espresso.  I was sitting in a comfy sofa chair.  I could have fallen asleep at any moment that’s how tired I was.

We walked to Wyndham’s Theatre to see Abigail’s Party.  It’s an old play written by Mike Leigh.  The play is set in 1970’s suburbia. Beverly and her husband Laurence host a cocktail party with their neighbors Angela, her husband Tony and Sue.  At the same time, Sue’s 15 year old daughter Abigail is throwing a party across the street.  It was funny in some moments, but awkward in other moments which was part of the play.  There’s always a few tense moments with Beverly and Laurence fighting.  It wasn’t the best Mike Leigh play we’ve seen.  It was definitely gritty and real which is typical of Mike Leigh plays.

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