Thursday, 8 November 2012


City view, National Palace terrace
Thursday 11 October: The Spanish city of architecture and art. Top of my list is the most visited attraction in Spain, Antoni Gaudi's unfinished Basilica de la Sagrada Familla. Work started in 1891, be great when it's finished, but when will it all end? Further north, near my hotel, is Park Guell, another delightful Guadi creation. With a fairy-tale feel, there are magnificent views across the cityscape to the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
Friday 12: Today I buy the Art Pass and head to a museum dedicated to another one of the city's famous sons, Pablo Picasso. Truly fantastic images, including his blue period, but no photos (other than through the shop window and of the temporary Vilato Gent exhibition).
Saturday 13: Travelling east along the coast I meet friends Robin & Debie holidaying at Pieda de Mar from where we drive out to the Roman site at Empuries where, apart from a few well-kept mosaics, little remains. Back in Pieda there's a beer festival happening, rich dark ales from Portugal are the most flavoursome choice. Four-fifths to the wind I end up staying the night.
Sunday 14: Still fuzzy headed, I'm back in Barcelona early and visit two Gaudi designed apartment buildings: Casa Batilo and, my favourite, La Pedrera. A masterpiece of Modernism the light-well and roof terrace with decorated chimenys are a delight. Housed in the National Palace, the Museu National de'Art de Catalunya (non-flash photos permitted) has a fine collection but, for me, Picasso's Woman in Hat and Fur Collar epitomises his unique Modernist style. There are fantastic views from the museum terraces. Now, I'd like to visit the nearby Fundacio Joan Miro but it closes early on a Saturday, another time. So, instead I travel across town to the Centre de Cultura Contemporania where I discover how to recycle my old wine corks and LPs in a novel and creative fashion.
Bloody Ryan Air have brought my flight forward by seven hours so I now need to get to the airport in the middle of the night with no connecting public transport, the bast***s. But, a new country awaits . . .
Photos of Barcelona.

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