Monday, May 14, 2007

Barcelona Day 5

This is our last full day in Barcelona. Mom wants to try and find another Gaudi building that according to the map looks to be just a few blocks away. It's a lesser known building the Palau Guell. We wander up and down La Ramblas but can't seem to find the side street it's supposed to be on. I take a look at the map and figure out where it should be and we turn down onto a narrow little street. Nothing seems to indicate a Gaudi building anywhere. However as we walk back I make a comment like 'for all we know it could be that building underneath all the scaffolding'. Just as I said that I read the construction sign and that's exactly what it is. I guess it's undergoing a major renovation so it's closed off. But we found it.

We wander back into the Gothic quarter and up and down some little side streets and Mom picks up some dark chocolate dipped Churros for later. We go back to the apartment to eat lunch as we have some cheese, olives and ham left that needs to be eaten up before we leave.

Mom stays behind to have a nap and Dad and I head off to find the Museu Picasso. Not only is the collection interesting but the building as well. It's housed in 5 adjoining medieval palaces on Carrer Montcada. It's a 3,000 piece collection of his early works. They show how even at age 15 he was painting major works. There are a few pieces from his Blue and Rose periods. Most famous is his series of 44 paintings, Las Meninas inspired by Velazquez's masterpiece.

The museum is laid out chronologically so you can see his style evolving from the very classical style to the cubism he ended with. But I'll be honest here, some of those works I looked at and said ' OK, I could do that'. What is it about a few thick strokes of paint that look almost childish that people call it genius? Is it because he was the first? Anyone out there like to enlighten me on that one?

Still, I felt very cultured at the end of it.

Dad and I wandered back again through the labyrinth of the small side streets, again trying to get lost but not succeeding. We stopped off at a gelato shop to get cones for everyone before heading back up to the apartment. Once the yummy afternoon treat was finished Dad popped back to the Business Centre as he needed to print off their shuttle voucher for tomorrow. Apparently he had a bit of an adventure trying to figure out how to do this as he is one for never asking. However, eventually he did have to ask as getting pop up error messages in Spanish isn't all that useful when you don't speak the language.

Last night in Barcelona and neither Mom or Dad want to go out for dinner as they are both too tired. However, I do manage to drag Mom out the door and down the steps one last time. We went back to the same restaurant Dad and I ate in our first night as the meal was good, but as Mom had been sick she couldn't really taste the leftovers we brought back for her. So she wanted to get a meal there again now that she was feeling better. As the first time I was there it was late at night I hadn't really noticed the area. But directly across from the restaurant was a mini archaeological excavation of some Roman tombs, complete with sleeping feral cats curled up in amongst them (I'm a sucker for the furry creatures).

Mom ordering some Paella for take-a-way was also a bit of an adventure for her. I guess the one waiter that spoke English, this was his first day. I had run to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine. When I came back I found my Mom sitting at the bar surrounded by 3 waiters and the chef trying to explain the menu to her. I could tell she was having fun with this. Then they brought her he a complimentary espresso with milk while she was waiting. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the restaurant but if you are on C. De Portaferrissa walking towards the Cathedral, take your first left and you will see the Restaurant sign down on your left across from the park.

Don't forget to look at the tombs and the cats.

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