It's not as though this is the first time I've been in Barcelona, or in this sort of street, but it's one of those things that come as new every time. I shouldn't be surprised at Mediterranean night culture, either, especially in the 30+° heat and humidity; but it is a bit of a shock to see toddlers running around at nearly midnight, and to hear occasional bursts of noisy conversation from balconies and out in the street, far into the night. Last night I was awoken by some sort of machinery running outside. On it droned, like a car permanently stalling and with the repeated hissing of vacuum brakes: it was just the refuse lorry moving slowly up the street as the crew emptied the recycling bins.
At 3.45 a.m.
On the other hand, there is always something to see when so much life is lived on full view, as it were. Huddled under a café parasol during a very brief shower, I was entertained by the sight of a woman struggling to keep plastic booties on her tiny dog, who was clearly humouring her by even tolerating the things, but couldn't see the point of all the fuss when one or another came off (as they all did in the first few steps).
And down on the port, among the pompous public buildings, there are exotic flowers and giant bubbles to see: