Change of Scenery
Men's basketball hits the road again, traveling north along the coast to Barcelona.
Aug. 23, 2010
BARCELONA - As the international tour of Spain enters its final week for the LMU men's basketball team, they embarked on their final bus trip through the vast European country, this time heading north along the coast of the Mediterranean to Barcelona. It was the second four-hour bus ride of the trip, but it was completely different to the landscape of Madrid and Valencia.
The Lions left Valencia around noon. Prior to leaving, Jarred DuBois, Godwin Okonji and Ayodeji Egbeyemi became a highlight for a vacationing family from Madrid. The two young boys were taught "Go Lions" and saw them more as juggle gym equipment than anything else. Check-out the photo through the Day 8 photo gallery on LMULions.com.
DuBois will also talk about that experience and many others as the latest guest on Inside the Lions special from Spain.
As the party traveled north, the landscape was much more mountainous, similar to that of the central coast of California. Barcelona is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea, on a plateau about five miles wide that is limited by the mountain range of Collserola, the Llobregat river to the south-west and the Besòs river to the north. The city is about 100 miles south of the Pyrenees and the Catalonian border with France.
After arriving, the team took a walking tour of Spain's second largest city and was joined by another member of the LMU family. Joseph LaBrie, S.J., joined the team and will be part of the Lions' party for the week, which will include leading the team on visit to Montserrat Hill Wednesday.
The tour in Barcelona started at the Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona's most elegant avenue and a showcase of turn of the 20th century architecture. The city itself has become a Mecca for the world's top architects, who flocked here to conjure up an array of modern structures and avant-garde designs.
Following the Passeig de Gracia, the tour headed into the very heart of the city, the so called Gothic District (The Barri Gothic). The area of the city is where it all began, around a small primitive fortified Roman settlement. Many of the buildings date from the Medieval times, some as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona, including remains of the squared Roman wall.
The team strolled through the ancient streets, which still retain the labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares.
The tour ended along the Las Ramblas, a 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall in the Gothic Quarter, which connects Placa Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. Many locals consider this the emotional hub of the city.
The Lions, whose game schedule for Tuesday was cancelled, will spend a day among the many sport monuments in the city on Tuesday, including tours of the 120,000-seat stadium of F.C. Barcelona and the 1992 Olympic village. They will then end the day with a scrimmage.