Barcelona, Spain – Day Two
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
After a good night’s sleep at the Hostal Grau (hotel), we stopped for a quick breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, whole wheat croissant warmed with cheese and ham, and a cup of coffee and orange juice. We are ready to face the day which finds us off to tour La Padrera, an Antoni Gaudi apartment designed for the Mila family, thus called Casa Mila.
Gaudi has been hailed as the world’s greatest architect, and we are hoping to discover how he earned the title. We hailed a cab and were on our way. Here are some of the features of this apartment. He designed the otside of the entire building as well as the inner courts and stairs.
There are still residents, both private and commercial housed in this building.
The rough trim on the forward chimney is broken champagne bottles. He uses forms and images from nature in his designs and engineering formulas.
He also designed furniture for the apartment; this is a sofa he designed. Looks like two joined chairs to me. Still, quite beautiful!
This is one of many beautiful vases.
The design for the door is simple with an intricate border.
Below is the front window based possibly on a honeycomb design.
Norm caught a little shut eye while I rested my feet. Smart man!
After touring La Padrera, we had a snack in the adjacent café, grabbed the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus and found two seats in the upper roofless cabin. We traveled all around Barcelona, gaining a foothold on where we were. One interesting sight was this bullring which has been converted into a shopping mall. Barcelona has outlawed bull fighting as too cruel to be a sport.
When we returned to our starting point, we grabbed the second tour bus and saw the other half of the city.
Then we hopped back on the first bus and took it to the Picasso Museum. No picture taking allowed here, so if you don’t know Picasso’s work, it’s time to google him. I especially like his work entitled “Guernica” because of the historical story it portrays. It envisions an attack on a little town in the northern Basque Country called Guernica. The Spanish dictator, Franco, gave Hitler permission to practice an aerial bombing run on this little town at the request of the Spanish Nationalists during the Spanish Revolution. The results were horribly predictable, and Picasso painted this graphic depiction of it as a war protest, but also as an historical record for the people of this village.. We have seen the painting in San Francisco, and may see it again in Madrid at the modern art museum there. This museum was interesting in that the range of Picasso’s work could be followed from his early years of representational perfection to his experimental years with abstraction and surrealism to the last years of simplicity when he presented the simple “Dove”, so familiar to many.
From the museum, we walked through the El Born section adjacent to the Barri Götic section with its Ramblas. El Born has a higher percentage of Barcelona residents than tourists, and has many quaint shops and sidewalk cafes. From there, we walked to the largest Barcelona Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. I’ll only post a couple of pictures as its style is so similar to others.
From there, we grabbed the bus again and headed for the beach front area called Barceloneta where we are eager to see Frank Gehry’s sculpture, “The Fish”.
Then we stopped to eat our evening meal at a boardwalk restaurant while watching the volley ball players on the beach play a game of soccer-style volley ball. I had tempura prawns and vegetables, but neither of us can remember what Norm had. Madrid is also facing off with Barcelona in Barcelona in a very important “football” match tonight. The whole city is excited about that. The restaurant has four TV screens showing the game, and our waiter eagerly gave us play by plays. Barcelona won, but we didn’t stay to see it. We had been out and about from 8:30AM until 10:30PM, so we grabbed a cab and went back to the hotel for some shut-eye. This tourism stuff is hard work!!