Barcelona Day Five

Barcelona – Wed July 25th 2012

Just sitting waiting to head for dinner, so jotting down some stuff.

Got up early to head to Segrada Familia for our 9am tickets – had to pick them up first – directions were to get them at LaCaiza – however 1st try no luck with English and our attempts to self solve didn’t work.  We found another couple with an English speaking guy – but our card was still not being accepted by machine so went straight there (9:15 by now) – and got in not problem – paid extra E6 for both to go up the left also – was worth it as you could really see the work being done from above, (see photos).

The church basilica was yet again another incredible building – this time much more unique.  It was like being in a canopy – the columns branching out like tree limbs – resulting in none of the typical architectural domes as the weight became dispersed.  And the top layer mad to resemble palm fronds over everything.

Barcelona Day Three &Four

More Barcelona & Some Dali!

Down to just two full days remaining.  🙁 but have seen lots, drank lots and eaten lots, so no complaints.  yesterday morn we all met and after a bit of fiasco getting started (Derek left his bags in our room for some reason that caused some confusion.)

But before 10 Mike and I went down to break the E500 – paid GL back the E200 from La Riaja – now just owe him for the car.  Well use MC a great deal for last few days so we don’t need to take out any more Euros.

Also found Moviestar to add to our phone time, but didn’t know our phone number (fixed that on Tuesday).  Very funny on bank, a short nun with her shopping cart in line adead of us.  Pulled out her massive zip lock bag full of coins (pre-rolled at least) and got bit bills (couple of E100 at least were in a pile of other cash).  Expect she was cashing in the collection plate from Sunday.

Derek’s last day so we let him make the calls – so we walked down to Los Ramblas all way to the ocean.  The monument to columbus.  He sort of looked for ideas for Brit on the way.

Then took subway back up and went for a nice lunch.  Had a lobster pailla as a salad.   By the end of the meal I was not feeling well and headed back to the hotel.  Mike and Derek went to do shopping.  Derek finally got something for Brit, but hot himself.  then came up to say farewell and pick up bags.  Sort but sweet visit, was nice he made it here.

After Derek left M&GL went for open top bus four of Barcelona.  Mike and I went shopping – got four shirts and I got a dress and skirt.  Found a great pair of shoes too, but haven’t bought them.  got some yummy cookies too (wheat free).

When all back, M&GL came in for wine/cheese/bread/olives/cookies and ham (bought @ market with Derek & Marucia found gluten free bread at a backery).  We had the white from Bia Gorui and we still like it a lot.

M&GL also went to Casa Batllo and insist we should go.  This afternoon we were going to Figueres to see the Dali museum so Mike played (streamed) some Dali stuff, interviews by Mike Wallace, Dali/Disney film and Dali on what’s My Line – great prelude!

I booked the tickets online – could only get 5:30pm!

GL also found a Guitar concert @ Palais de Musica on Thursday night for 33E so we’ll go to that too, (I still owe him for the tickets less the 12E for Dali).

Mike and I got to the CASA Batllo for opening @ 9:00am – at least less crowded.  Amazing space – every detail artistic and functional at the same time.  His use of light thru the central “Courtyard” space – From 7 stories @top with darker tiles to the base with lighter.  Top floors smaller windows, bottom largest to balance the light – each room had multiple light sources – external or skylight or windows over doors.  Ventilation on throughout via louvres on the doors/below windows.  Use of wood, iron, glass, ceramic all show great skill.

Overall effect of being in the sea – which ceilings with swirling vortexes and ripples on walls.  Many walls detailed with “scale” effect painted everywhere.  Even the rear facade from the back patios was ornate with great balconies.

The attic space was elegant – clean which arches throughout with laundry room and storage space.  The roof also was well thought with “groups” of chimneys to create turret type sits to match the dragon topping the façade.

From the roof you could see the design aspects of the drainage and plumbing and lighting.  Bought a book on Gaudi – so can get more info there!

Then a quick bite and meet GL & M to head out just past 1 pm to find the train – bit redundant walking between stops as the train platform entry was under construction.  Nice guy pointed us in the right direction and we managed.  Had a 1/2 hour prior to train so we went for a beer and I left 1/2 of mine, may be a first.  We got to Fig. with just enough time to have a bite before our 5:30 entry.  (Good Lunch – 2E Rioja wine cup @ a four cheese sauce ravioli – enjoyed despite my condition).

Then to Dali – another day of being amazed.  He was quite the “genius” – his mind was definitely unique – as his perspective – he was big on logarithmic patterns, cell biology and felt himself as much a math/science/philosopher as a artist – and he certainly was not restricted to paper/paint/pen.  His “structures” and his jewels collections show that he really needed to express in many ways.  As per his interview, it is the Dali genius of his personality – painting or art are just one way to express it.  Hoping the photos do justice as I’ll be hopeless at trying to describe his work.

Then back at 8:30 for the 2 hour train ride back – for another cheese/bread/ham/cookie snack and here I am just wrapping up @ midnight.  Mike still photoing.

We want to head early to Segrada Familia – so bed soon.


Barcelona Day Two

Barcelona Day One Continue & Day Two

From the wine stop we headed straight to Barcelona, with just one stop to eat and swap me in for Mike.  Mike had a very good pig knuckle meal and Marucia found more Santiago cake (no gluten!).  GL and her both love it.  We got to the airport around 6 – lots of time to return car (one week early), what a fiasco.  In the end Hertz agreed to take it early for no extra fee!  GL and Marucia argued for quite some time to little avail, (other then extra fee voided).  GL will need to take it up when back at home.  Also tried to do seat check-in and flight confirmation with Air Canada/Lufthansa but no luck; we will have to try on-line in Hotel.

We met Derek with no problems and we shared 2 taxis to the hotel.  Had a welcome champagne on the 8th floor.  Our rooms are on the 2nd with a view of a wall!  but roomy and big bathroom and easy to walk up to.  Se we unpacked then headed for dinner to place recommended by friend of Derek’s   Was quite good.  You got a drink and a plate, then took the tapas you wanted and paid per toothpick when done.  Had chorizo/bread, herb cheese with jam, tuna tart with artichoke, pate with chutney, slice goat cheese/cherry tomatoes.

Again lots of street activity especially on a Saturday night.  But the restaurants all closed by 12:30.  Guess the bar scene starts then.  We decided to meet and 9am to hike up to Parc Guelle.  Marucia had asked to move for a better view and so at 9am we had to fully pack up and leave our luggage in Dereks room for the day.

By 10 we started off for the day stopping for coffee and croissant.  After headed to the Gaudi church Familia.  There were huge crowed with the line up going around half the church.  We decided to check the outside and return a week day to see the inside.  We then headed up to the park; a good walk up; but there was an escalator 🙂  Walked through the upper park first then to the main section.  It was so crowed that you could not even see it!  I got frustrated with the volume of people and we decided we had enough and so back down with eyes open for lunch en route.  We found an ok spot.  M&I shared shrimp and a waldorf type salad and frites.  Decent meal and funny waiter.  Then back for a map.  We got our new rooms on the 7th floor with a nice view but smaller bathroom.

After a quick nap we reconvened for wine in our room.  Marucia went to mass during our nap.  Had a very good Rioja from the winery.  Mike/GL/M went to in Abalos and the Granache was great.

Got Jasmine on Skype too.  Gave her lots of confusing chatter.  Lent Derek a cable to charge his phone – which he immediately misplaced so spent time searching everywhere for that – did eventually find it.  Made him use it here!

After much trip adviser/googling found a place open on Sunday with good reviews.  It was around the corner so that made GL happy too.  Cerrezeria Catalanya – was a great find(had to leave our name – 1 1/4hr wait so left for a beer elsewhere and returned in 1 hour).  Well worth the wait for E100 all five of us ate with bottle wine, coffees and deserts too.  Favourites were the shrimp skewers, the veg with goat cheese, crispy Camembert, (also prosciutto on toast, potato, veal/gorg on bun)…probably more … then back for bed.  Derek took his phone/computer.  and will meet up @ 10 this morning.