Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Barcelona Part 2

We made our way through the Borne District on Sunday, trying to get to those things that would be closed on Monday. Right around the corner from the apt is the Santa Maria del Mar cathedral-central to a bestselling novel I recently read-kinda neat to see the actual place. And it is very impressive.

We also had the Picasso Museum on our agenda for the day, along w/a special Picasso/Degas exhibition. This took a good part of the day, as we were enthralled with both of the exhibitions. It was a beautiful day (the light rain of Saturday had passed) and we spent a good part of the rest of the day walking around, window shopping, sitting for coffee, etc. We then treated ourselves to a lovely dinner just down the block-we’ve learned our lesson from Seville and are using the “TimeOut Shortlist” guide for dining recommendations-hasn’t failed us once in Barcelona.

We designated yesterday as our Gaudi day-and that it was! We headed up to the Sagrada Familia on the metro, with a plan to walk our way back, stopping to see other works of his along the way. Now, I had heard of Gaudi, had seen a couple photos of his work in Barcelona, but was not at all familiar with his work-his brilliant architecture/creativity/avante garde design. Simply amazing. Once again, we were absolutely enthralled. And to think he started this amazing project in the 19th Century. So far ahead of his time, even by today’s standards.

We made our way over to Casa Mila and toured this additional Gaudi building, which includes viewing one of the several apartments that are privately owned.

We had done a lot of walking, had sat only for lunch, and were pretty pooped by the time we made it back to the apartment. Each day we managed to walk anywhere from 7-10 hours, so I’d say we got our exercise-and our feet and lower backs felt it. We were both just fine w/bread/cheese (from our cheese tasting shop)/ham/wine/fruit for dinner in the apt. Why wouldn’t we be, right? Early to bed, as Miek had to catch a taxi at 5am to get to the airport for her trip back to the states and Thanksgiving w/her family.

It was really sweet to share this trip with her. She’s starting a new chapter in her life after the sudden death of John. I’m figuring out what post-Peace Corps life will look like. Inshallah both of our books will include more chapters of shared adventures.

So today was a slow day. Miek gone, Jess coming in late tonight. I decided to just take it easy. Went out to walk around for about 3 hours, mostly just to get out, no specific sights to be seen. Unfortunately saw a backpack snatched just ahead of me, from the chair of a man having lunch at a sidewalk cafe. The waiters took chase, but the guy got away. Everyone-including shop owners and waiters-warns you of pickpockets, but it's sobering to watch it happen.

Got a couple messages from some of the PC group that’s starting to arrive in Barcelona (pre-cruise positioning). None of us have phones in our apartments (we’re split between 3 apts), but texting on our Moroccan cell phones works-if you still have enough credit. I’ve got Jess bringing me another card to load on my phone so I can contact the others about Thanksgiving plans. I've seen the 'sights' I wanted to see here, and now am looking forward to seeing Barcelona thru Jess' lens.

No comments: