Visiting Barcelona

13 Nov

After our first night in Barcelona, we ate our breakfast and went by metro to the Arc de Triumph. After climbing up and down the metro stairs and walking a bit, Marlene’s knees were hurting her horribly. We walked from the monument toward a park with Marlene resting periodically. While at the park, we found a nice, but overweight, American couple. They told us that we could catch the Barcelona Tour Bus at the Catalonia Plaza. We then found a restaurant, where we ate.

Outside the restaurant was a bus stop, where I saw a bus that went to the Poble Neu area. After eating, we attempted to board the bus I thought was correct and to communicate to the bus driver where we wanted to go. We did not know one bit of Catalan, which is similar, but distinct from Spanish and French. From the perspective of the bus driver or the bus passengers, I must have appeared comical. At my first attempt I confused Poble with Picasso and instead of pronouncing Neu as ‘No,’ which is closer to the correct pronunciation, I pronounced it like ‘Noo,’ twisting my lips around wildly. Almost instantly, I tried a second time, replacing Picasso with Poble, but mispronouncing the three syllables again. I gave up with a little embarrassment and Marlene spoke her weak Spanish to the bus driver. He told Marlene we were at the wrong bus stop and which bus to take and where to take it. We then walked to the other nearby bus stop and caught the correct bus. Some miscommunication occurred between the bus driver and Marlene, because we missed our stop. Later on the bus, Marlene explained again where we wanted to go. The extremely polite bust driver was so apologetic he actually let us off near the apartment, where we were staying.

Our third full day, we made it to the Catalonia Plaza by Metro and caught the tour bus, the couple the previous day told us about. We spent the whole day on the bus. I highly recommended taking a local tour bus in any big city, because it gives you a perspective of the city, it allows you to see from the bus the major sites, and allows you to get off and on the bus at your will. Most of my attached photos are from the top of the bus. Marlene wanted to visit the Miro Museum (and foundation) the next day, so we did. Barcelona has so many museums, choosing what to see in a few days is a daunting task. This is my second trip to Barcelona. On my first trip, I had been to the Picasso and Dali museums, so I allowed Marlene to indulge herself. I’ve learned over the years that because Marlene and I have similar artistic tastes that I invariably enjoy myself, when I allow her to decide how we entertain ourselves. The next day in the afternoon, we took the tour bus to the museum. Of course, no photography was allowed even without a flash, but I did shoot outside a couple of Miro pieces, which are attached also. Being quite ignorant of Miro’s life, I found the video presentations enjoyable. Marlene and I differ how we see the world. She is much more visually orientated than I am. I tend to prefer words.

Our last full day, meaning the afternoon because Marlene wakes up late and must exercise her old, broken-down body was spent at the Catalan Modernism Museum and later at the Casa Batllo. Modernism in this case is synonymous with Art Deco. It is a small, but beautiful museum of two floors. Some of the paintings could also, in my opinion, be considered impressionist. The museum, besides the paintings, had stained glass and sculptures. After leaving the museum, we ate a small bit at a nearby café, which was playing English rock videos from Club VH1. We walked some, where Marlene bought a small blue business card case at a nice stationary store. We then walked a little further and Marlene found a store, where she bought a gift for Lesly, her friend and our house sitter, while we are gone, and some housewares. Our last stop was the Casa Batllo, a world heritage site, which was designed by Antonio Gaudi. While beautiful, I found it a little overwhelming to my senses. I prefer much simpler things and my guess is that if I lived in such a place, after a short while, I would be bored with it. Marlene and I took a taxi back to where we were staying. We then took our host out to dinner with us, went back to the apartment and went to bed. The next morning we packed and left to Valencia.

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