BARCELONA: PART 4: TOURING AROUND

After lunch we hit the Museu Picasso (no pictures allowed) dedicated to Pablo Picasso’s personal art collection and life. One half of the museum covers works that he collected through friendships with artists of the time and through his travels. It is an extensive collection with works from Matisse, Renoir and a host of unknown artists who were clearly his friends and colleagues.

The other half of the museum is dedicated to his life, tracing his early days, through the various periods (blue period, rose period) culminating in the works that made him famous – cubism and surrealism. Personally, I enjoyed his early works much more than his late works. But in the end, you left with a feeling that he lived a very rich life and there is no doubting his talent.

Our next stop was hill Montjüic (Jewish Mountain) the 17th century fortification that sits on top. Our goal was to take the gondola up the mountain to the castle, then take the gondola from the mountain to the harbor. Again, the public transportation made this remarkable simple with the subway actually going up the mountain.

Unfortunately, the first gondola was closed for repair so we forced to bus up the hill to the top. The views of the city were spectacular and the boys loved climbing over the World War II era harbor guns.

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The ride down the mountain afforded a great view of the city. I found the contrast between the old world architecture and the 1970’s style – square – brick and concrete – featureless building interesting and in stark contrast to my experience in England. While people in the UK complain about the planning councils, it seems that one impact is that ‘the old’ is more prevalent than in Barcelona.

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The craziest thing was the ocean. Sure, it was 65 degrees out and sunny but when the wind kicked up on the beach, it was cold. But not cold enough to stop these guys. Yes, they are kite surfing and wave surfing. It must have been REALLY cold.

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As we walked back to the hotel we came across this architectural anomaly. Whale? Fish? Bird? Big copper thing that is supposed to make the office building look different than other office buildings? Government funded boondoggle? Probably.

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In the short time we were there, we saw quite a bit – but there is more and as I mentioned, it is a perfect ‘couples’ city. The adventure continues.

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