November 08, 2010

Barcelona

Press HERE to see a slideshow
of Western Spain.

Whole Cured Hams
IMG_2121: Fresh Cured Hams
Morella, Spain
IMG_2147
The Gaudi Church
IMG_2206: The Gaudi Church
Betty in the Gaudi Park
IMG_2233: Betty in the Park
Pat, Claudia and Betty
IMG_2247: Pat, Claudia and Betty
Dali's Face Furniture
IMG_2256: Face Furniture

We stopped in Valencia for two nights. It was a nice town, but we did not see anything special about it. We stayed at a nice pension on Cadiz street.

Then on Wednesday, we drove to Barcelona. As we avoid the motorways, the going was slow and beautiful. We arrived mid-afternoon at the home of our hosts, Pat and Jean Pierre. They have a nice old dog called Lola and they have a lovely eight-year old daughter, called Claudia. We spent several hours getting to know Pat. Claudia left to spent the night with her aunt Silva. Eventually, Jean Pierre got home from work. We shared a light supper before going to bed. All in all, it was a really great day.

Our Hosts: Jean Pierre and Pat
IMG_2243: Jean Pierre and Pat

On Thursday we took the subway downtown. We spent the day looking at the fantastic architecture that seems to be everywhere in the city. I took lots of photos, so be sure to check out the link Flickr set. Of course the most outstanding buildings were by Antoni Gaudi. His superb workmanship is beyond the norm, even today and when he first designed them they must have caused an uproar. If you want to see photos of his work much better than mine, press HERE to download a good powerpoint slideshow. We also walked through the Gothic barrio and down a fantastic promenade to the harbor. We we so exhausted when we returned to Pat's apartment that I could hardly walk. We spent the evening getting to know Pat and Jean Pierre even better. Claudia was there too. Their little girl speaks such good English. They say it is because she had American and British nannies before she started school and I believe it.

On Friday we went for a long walk. This time we took our time and walked to the two centers of Barcelona. We only had two goals for Friday: Visit the Gaudi church and visit the Gaudi park. The cathedral was in preparation for a visit by the pope. He was to come on Sunday to officially consecrate the church. It is the most amazing church that I have ever seen. It was started in 1882 and they do not expect to complete until 2026 - 100 years after Gaudiís death. All of his works seem a bit surrealistic, but the church is very surreal. After sometime there we made our way to the Gaudi park. It had been originally planned to be a housing development. Only two fantastic homes got built. I really loved the park and the two homes. The park has a wonderful long ceramic bench and very odd landscape structures. Again you will have to view the photos. Finally, as it was turning dark we returned for another delightful evening with Pat and Claudia. Unfortunately, Jean Pierre was working very late.

We left Saturday morning, heading north to the Dali Theater-Museum in Figueres, near the boarder with France. We have seen several Dali expositions, but this museum was by far the best. Salvador Dali was a true genius. Few artists have ever master so many media: paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewelry making and even film animation. His work is whimsical and brilliant. Check out his Walt Disney collaboration Destino on youTube.

There was one huge glitch on Saturday. When we left the museum, we could not get back to our car. The police had cordoned off the parking ramp because of a bomb threat. We waited two-and-one-half hours to retrieve the car. I was only dressed in a T-shirt and it was getting cold. Worse the city and the police really screwed up by not just letting people leave - NO they had to pay for their parking, at least up to when they blocked off the ramp. Total incompetence.
In any case, we were soon on our way to France. The only problem was driving in the dark on roads that we did not know. Thank goodness for that new gizmo - the GPS. It has proved invaluable in our travels.

We will be in the south of France the rest of this week before heading to England.

Taking it Easy at the Gaudi Park
IMG_2222: Taking it Easy

Posted by bill at November 8, 2010 12:40 PM
Comments

Wow! The Dali/Disney was fantastic and beautiful!

Posted by: John Ganapes at November 9, 2010 09:39 AM

Did you go to a soccer game in Barcelona? One of the greatest football clubs in the world.

Posted by: Lenin at November 9, 2010 09:54 AM