I’m loving Barcelona so much that I’ve been too busy to keep in touch with the outside world, although news like Saddam Hussein’s execution is difficult to ignore — even while on vacation.
In all honesty, I did not expect Saddam to be executed any time soon, much less today.
Considering Barcelona’s left-wing reputation (it’s similar to San Francisco in many ways), imagine my surprise to find myself toasting the tyrant’s death here today!
But that’s just what happened:

toasting.jpg

Toasting with me is Pajamas Media’s Barcelona Editor José Guardia (also of Barcepundit), and the location is a fantastic restaurant called Galería Gastronómica, where Jose took me to lunch.
Not that we needed Saddam Hussein’s death as an excuse to celebrate, but it didn’t hurt. The tapas were to die for, as was the seafood paella, and the art by Lorenzo Quinn (actor Anthony’s son). So if you’re ever in Barcelona don’t miss it!
And if you can’t make it to Barcelona for the wonderful food, don’t miss Barcepundit. Seriously, I think it’s fair to call José the Instapundit of Spain.
Today he’s not only been posting about the execution of Saddam, but about the terrorist car bomb which exploded at the Madrid airport. It appears to be the work of Basque separatists, and José sees it as a byproduct of government appeasement policies. (I agree with José, and not only am I not surprised, I think there’s a lesson for Americans in this.)
I’d love to drink a toast to the end of terrorist appeasement in the West, but I’m afraid that will have to wait.
Today was a thoroughly delightful treat, and my thanks to José, whose gracious hospitality made it a special occasion all the way around!
AFTERTHOUGHT: Hey, speaking of the Madrid airport, I just remembered that I was just at the Madrid airport a few days ago! I guess I’ve been having too much fun to waste time being afraid. (Probably the hospitality!)
MORE (01/31/06): “EVERYONE COMES DOWN to Barcelona eventually,” says Jose.
To which I say “Heh.”
However, I must disagree with Jose’s assessment of himself as unphotogenic. (I’m the king of that department, and I consider most of the photos I post of myself to be awful.)
On a more serious note, I should add that despite Barcelona’s reputation as an anti-American, leftwing place, I have found the people uniformly friendly and helpful (aside from an occasional crazy sign or graffiti), and notwithstanding my sophomoric celebratory remarks, I’m sure that the average Barcelonan is just as supportive of Saddam Hussein’s execution as David Kaspar (via Glenn Reynolds) reports.