Woke last night and felt like I was trying to breathe through cotton wool. I sat up and tried to get out of bed. The room is quite small and it was hot and stuffy. I told Gilbert I needed air and was going to the terrace but he opened the window above our head and I sucked it in like I was starving. It was a horrible feeling that I might not have enough air. I fell back to a fitful sleep and didn’t wake again till nine. We breakfast on juice and fruit and Meusili and head off.
We decide to head to Picasso museum first. I’ve learnt from Nice to do most important first and Picasso, Cezanne, Monet all figure strongly from sixth form Art class so I must visit Picasso first.
The Picasso museum is not far from here and we decide to buy the Six Museum visit card to get a cheaper rate and head off to find it. Beautiful lanes with tall buildings not unlike a mix of all our previous stops actually. More relaxed than Italy. Friendlier than France. More animated than Croatia and more cultural mix than anywhere else, we feel very comfortable. In fact we are loving Spain. I love the colours and feeling of freedom without the hassles we are told Morocco will be.
Picasso museum is perfect. It houses the most complete collection of Picasso’s work. First we glimpse him as a person through an exhibition of photographs by David Douglas Duncan who has captured him at home, and out and about so we see the real man. An entree to the art work we are about to discover.
This is how most of us probably think of Picasso’s work but there is so much more besides. We see his work as a thirteen and fourteen year old which looks like paintings by the old masters right through to his work as an old man, which look like they’ve been done by a ten year old, and all the stages in between. Gilbert’s never looked at art like this before and tells me quietly he quite likes this bright coloured work, even if it’s a little crazy. Gilbert then directs me over to the pencil work, perhaps thinking I could do with some help in that department. I go to where he points but find its actually prints from copper etching. Hmmm. We leave there and grab coffee and croissant before heading to our next stop.
I spy what I think might be La Sagrada Familia but it’s just the Cathedral. So big I can’t fit it in my camera and I’m not going to even try to do it justice but to say it’s the fairytale building behind this one. The weather is perfect for shorts and tee and because we are clothed like this and Spain being as strongly Catholic as it is, we can’t enter the Cathedral.
From here we head to another museum but discover it’s closed on Tuesday’s which is Ok. It wasn’t a big walk and we’ve enjoyed it. We wander through shops and notice an awful lot of police around which is apparently normal for this area. We find a table at a bar and while I enjoy Limoncello and Gilbert a beer in ‘La Ramblas’ we watch ‘Mossos des Espagna’ which we find out later are the Catalonian Police, come in and check a couple of mens IDs at a table near us.
It’s serious stuff and they are surrounded and guarded while checks are done. Of more of a concern is a crazy lady who has wandered over and is accosting people in a tirade of what seems like abuse and then kisses them profusely at the tables around us. “Maybe don’t make eye contact”, I suggest to Gilbert as she approaches our table but one look at the sketching I am doing and she wanders on to the next table. Lol!
I am trying to remember ‘Hola’ and everyone must say Mucho Gratsias at least once in their life! Listening to the different languages around us Spanish sounds quite different to Italian to me. It sounds a bit like gargling. Words have no familiarity at all. It’s just one big long…well gargle? Everything is a bit brighter, a bit more fun, while being a bit more relaxed at the same time.
It’s interesting how your image of a place is so coloured. Coloured by now you feel. Where you go and what’s happening there on the day. The weather. If you relax at the beach or tired or apprehensive. Have a good shopping experience or feel ripped off at every turn. All these things throw you a little one way or another and make it bad, good or amazing! We leave the bar feeling pretty good and I must say Limoncello is my new like. I will try Spanish Sangria sometime too!
We throw a salad together at home have a feast with some wine and French bread, followed by coffee and Baclava. We have seven days planned here and I am looking forward to the rest. So far I love Barcelona!