Friday, November 2, 2012

second chances can be worthwhile

This isn't my first trip to Barcelona.  

In 1981 on a Eur-rail (aka Inter-rail) trip I also arrived by train into Barcelona. Unfortunately I had arrived there via several weeks in Scandinavia and Switzerland with their pristine winter snow laden whiteness and northern European efficiency.  

The train rolled into the station through the arse-end of Barcelona loooooooong before the place was smartened up for the Olympics in torrential rain. It was dirty and grimy and I was suffering from a (rare) migraine.

Once at the station my usual m.o. of leaving my backpack in the station lockers while I searched for a hostel was ruined by the fact that the left luggage office was shut down because of Basque bombings.   So I had to wander around the backstreets of Barcelona in pouring rain with a sick-making headache looking for somewhere to sleep. Because of some big European football match being played in the city the first for hostels I found were fully booked.  

So I returned to the station and got the hell out of there.  

My travel philosophy has always been to give a place I haven't liked a second chance if I get the opportunity as circumstances and not the location can ruin your experience.

looking towards the national museum

Below are some works from the National Museum:

14th century paintings looking almost art nouveau

easy to forget much early sculpture was polychromed

something a little monty python here

above and below are screaming out for captions

The museum also has some excellent Romanesque works:

fin de siecle dragonfly lamp

head of picasso by gargallo

head of terry by terry

As the house I am returning to Australia to build was strongly influenced by Mies van der Rohe I was pleased to get to see his Barcelona Pavilion:

From school days I was a big fan of Miro so a visit to the Miro museum was a must. They didn't allow photography inside so there was a solitary sculpture outside!

miro bronze sculpture

Another absolute must to see in Barcelona is the Casa Mila - a superb example of Gaudi architecture:

casa mila

casa mila balconies

The following are various chimneys and air vents from the roof of Casa Mila:

attic brick arches, casa mila

Some other Barcelona buildings:

One of the finest examples of Gaudi's work was his collaboration on the remodelling of Casa Batllo:

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