Seeing Monsters Everywhere

Under the bed, behind the door, in the attic dusty attic, in the damp basement, in the rustling leaves, in the shadows outside the window… As a child prone to nightmares I was pretty good at monster spotting. I’m still prone to nightmares—I had a doozy when I was in Argentina with coati turning out to be an invading alien species—but most of the time I just amuse myself with another kind of monster spotting. I look up and find gargoyles and wander through museums finding dragons and other beasts.

So it’s not strange that I’d look up at the Arc de Triomf (Arc de Triumph in Catalan) in Barcelona, but what I found was intriguing—BATS!

On each side of the arc, below a semi circle of heraldic shields, and the King & Queen there were bats—two, oversized bats on each side of the arc. It turns out that the bat was the symbol of King Jaume l (AKA James of Aragon) 1213-1276. He was an important leader, during a prosperous time in Barcelona. He also liberated Valencia, Menorca and Mallorca from the Moors.

But why a bat? I don’t know. I’m curious and tempted to spin a vampire story around it. I’ll have to learn more about King Jaume and his reign. Maybe it’s a batty romance?

Dragons dominated the rest of my week in Barcelona. The patron saint of Catalunya is Sant Jordi (George) and I found some lovely Saint Michaels, too. Majestic, fanciful, and fearful dragons were all over the city in Gothic and Art Nouveau incarnations.

Now that’s my kind of Monster spotting!

Sometimes I root for the hapless dragons.



One of the triumphant bats.



  1. I’m envious. I spent about 3 days in Barcelona, back in 1974, and I loved it. Didn’t see the bats though. I suspect I was too busy eating! Twas the first time I tasted goat, and I can still remember the explosion of flavours on my mouth when I tried fresh goat cheese? curds? drizzilled with honey… And back then, I didn’t even /like/ cheese!
    Ahem…sorry, good memories. 🙂

    • Candy Korman

      The FOOD!!!
      What food city! I started to order anchovies at any given opportunity. They were marvelous smoked, friend, marinated… I ordered duck the last night only because I’d eaten so much seafood I was making gill jokes. Honestly, between the MIRO Museum, the Spanish guitar concert, and the Gothic Quarter, I was in perpetual surprise about what captured me the most. It’s a fiction inspiring place!