Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Barcelona - 4

Saturday morning  October 5th three of us headed to the Picasso Museum.
Description from our unTours guide book: "Housed in a series of stunning medieval palaces, the Picasso Museum is Barcelona's most popular museum.  The collection is quite comprehensive in his early work but also holds his exhaustive 58 piece series Las Merinas from his later work, as well as a variety of sculptures and engravings by the artist."

 The museum was a beautiful space.  We used our Articket to access it, one of 6 museums we had access to.

I liked Picasso's early work but not his modern pieces.








The Las Merinas paintings and studies.







I sat and people watched in this space for quite a time.  Both Dan and friend, Janet are really into the art techniques so they took much more time.




Dan eventually showed up.


Once Will met us we headed to Montjuic by Metro then funicular.  Once as high as we could go without using the cable car we found a restaurant for lunch.  One of our first almost three hour lunches!  Food was excellent but took such a long time.  Fortunately we had a gorgeous views.




After we ate we split up again.  Dan and Will took the cable car to the Castle of Montjuic.  Janet and I walked to the Miro Museum (no photos didn't like his art) and used our Articket again.

From there we walked to the National Museum of Art of Catalonia housed in the former National Palace.  It was free on this day so no need for Articket.

We limited ourselves to the frescos salvaged from churches in the Pyrenees.  It was an amazing process to save these frescoes.  They are displayed as they existed, in church/chapel settings.








The museum was huge but by this time we had had our fill of museums for the day.


We had to wait to connect with Dan and Will but then we walked down to the Place d'Espanya where we could get the Metro.


Above the museum in the former palace.


People watching as we waited.










On Sunday we were ready to tackle something else.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Barcelona - 3

Friday we left early for our meet up with our resource person in order to view the Cathedral beforehand.  We navigated the Metro and probably came up to the street at the wrong exit because the cathedral was nowhere in sight.  Just some old walls and tower.




Eventually we turned a corner and saw the spires ahead.







Here's what our unTours guide book said about the Cathedral.

"Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona: Known more commonly as La Catedral or La Seu, this outstanding Gothic church is a Barcelona landmark and one of the loveliest churches in all of Spain. The cloister should not be missed.  Construction began on the Cathedral at the end of the 13th century, but a Roman temple and a mosque had previously occupied the same land.  The Cathedral is dedicated to one of Barcelona's female patron saints, Santa Eulalia, whose time can be found in the crypt."


There was a line to enter the Cathedral but it moved quickly.  It gave me time to capture the gargoyles and statues.








There was a hushed atmosphere inside this active church as it should be.  (Not the case when we visited Sagrada Familia the next week.)


Walk with me through this sanctuary.






The side chapels were all fenced off.











Below was the crypt.









From the sanctuary we moved to the cloister.


There have been 13 ducks living in this cloister.  It's a tradition related to the patron saint.






From the Cathedral we went to see one of the largest preserved sections of the original Roman wall.





Next stop was the Mercat Santa Caterina (market).


Its the oldest covered market in Barcelona and one of the most modern.  Built in 1848 and reopened in 2005 after a major renovation.  In the rebuilding the foundations of a 19th century convent was found as well as ruins of a Gothic church from1271 and remains of a late Roman necropolis. 


We walked around admiring all the produce and fish, and meat and breads.

Notice the very large eggs below.  Ostrich I think.








After tasting olive oil and purchasing three bottles we settled down to have a tapas lunch ordered by Edlira who knew what to order.  She's on the end.  We were joined by two women who were doing a week long stay after being outside of Amsterdam for a week.



Some of what we had: roasted patron peppers, potato with sauce, bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil.


Anchovies, calamari, eggplant thinly sliced, lightly bread and fired then drizzled with dark honey (my favorite).  Not pictured: crispy artichokes. There was more but didn't capture it all.


In early evening we headed to the Block of Discord on the Passeig de Gracia home of three extravagant houses.

Along the way we spotted this statue on top of a building which many days later we learned was a boy riding a phoenix and the symbol of two insurance companies that merged in the 1800s.


Below one of the strange houses.











The architecture of the surrounding buildings was interesting too.





The one below was by Gaudi.


We looked on the outside only.  Tour prices were exorbitant and lines were long.


We found a tapas restaurant and had an enjoyable meal.  Dan takes the photo for a change.


This was the tapas dessert - an ice cream sandwich.


Lots of pictures yet to come, 11 more days worth!

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