Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day 118: Around Barcelona - Sun 31 Aug

Day 118: Around Barcelona - Sun 31 Aug   
Caught R1 train into Catalunya, in rapidly increasing heat. Gaudi and Picasso were our targets for the day, firstly took hop on-off bus to orient to old and newer parts of city and waterfronts. Our extensive tour passed through the Gothic Quarter, parks, UNESCO landmarks, La Pedrera, bullfighting arena, and El Cap de Barcelona (by surrealist pop artist Roy Lichtenstein).

Pop graffiti
El Cap de Barcelona

Bullfighting arena

Love the rippling shadows on this facade...

La Pedrera

Located in Gothic Quarter, thoroughly enjoyed Picasso Museum, made up of 5 palaces situated in a once aristocratic street inhabited by noble families and rich sea merchants. Browsed room after room of the artist’s different/evolutionary styles, including early copies of Old Masters, the blue period, and his crystal then more vibrant cubism works. His signature abstract paintings and ceramics certainly drew the crowds (really love those two-faced pieces!). His later works fetched millions, but they seemed to become increasingly stylized and “commercial”. No photos allowed of course, so had to be satisfied buying and photographing postcards including of his second wife “Jacqueline Sitting”, and “The Wait” (Margot), Picasso’s unique version of pointillism. 

The Wait
Jacqueline Sitting

Exploring Barri Gotic


Supermarket trolley chairs

Resting sore feet waiting for girls...

Peered into Poetic Expendeduria – take away poetry… give them some personal details and words important to you and they will create a unique poem for you!!


Paused outside Barcelona Cathedral admiring outdoor art, but the legendary Sagrada Familia beckoned more strongly...

Gaped in awe at works of famed architect Antoni Gaudi, best-known for his legendary church, La Sagrada Familia, still unfinished 100 years from commencement. Its hard to get a feel for the synergy of the whole cathedral - both exterior and interior are overwhelming in size and d├ęcor, some garish and lavish, some exquisite and finely chiselled. Each part is a piece of art in its own right, deserving of time to view and reflect. 

With its vast spaces, soaring ceilings and interplay of either vibrant or muted light on otherwise plain structures, the interior is truly beautiful – a fitting crypt for its visionary. 


Our couple of hours did not really do justice to this architectural wonder, however, our exposure to Gaudi made it much easier to recognize his work in other parts of the city (eg ceramic benches, ornate lamp posts).

Took train back, had Catalan meal to avoid our having to cook in the continuing heat.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Day 117: Outskirts Barcelona - Sat 30 Aug

Day 117: Outskirts Barcelona - Sat 30 Aug
Hot morning. Gathered sheets, towels and dirty clothes and left them at reception desk for washing (7€ load), will need lines everywhere to get it all dry... late breakfast, de-scaled kettle, sorted out clothes, summer now in front drawers, winter in rear, deep-freeze clothes back in duffle bags on bed. 
Offending cactus plant looked innocent up front

Big ouch - whilst hanging out the washing, GirlRob got the back of her hand full of hundreds of tiny spikes from flowering cactus at back of vehicle - an hour of painful tweezing later still wasn't able to see them/pull them all out. Gave up spring cleaning and followed shade around to work on blog/photos or read instead. Squawky parrots in trees with berries - what a nice change to the boring cold country birds. 
Not our kind of beach....

genteel residence

Walked downtown with John and Ann, seedy neighbourhood, most shops closed down, good house wine with platter of Iberian meats before going on to restaurant for paella and slimy fish throat (truly!) Took in remainder of washing, hot sultry night, difficult to get off to sleep inside. 

Local cake store very creative
El Cantina