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last day in Barcelona

I’m in my very small room, drinking a large glass of wine, remembering the day, listening to Spanish teenagers holler at each other in the park down below. Our last day in Barcelona is ending, and what a fine visit it has been.

Today, the miraculous Mr. Bruce had downloaded the Barcelona bus map to his iPod Touch and plotted our itinerary around town, to the Parc Montjuic, to the art gallery and the Miro gallery there, then back to the centre of town and up the other side, to the Parc Guell, to see more Gaudi. So we had four great bus tours of the city as we headed for our usual feast of art, and as we rode, we feasted on the art nouveau buildings outside the bus window. (First photo.)
The city is an explosion of art nouveau, the swirls of modernism everywhere – even in the art gallery, which had a beautiful collection of extraordinary Art Nouveau furniture.
And lots of other stuff – we had no idea the collection was so big. I noticed a Catalan altar there from the 1300’s with the same tapering towers, topped with puffy topknots, that Gaudi designed for his cathedral. Maybe that’s where he got the shape from. (Second photo.)
And there’s a piece of pavement Gaudi designed, that is now, we realized, the pavement used in downtown Barcelona. Even the pavement, here, is art.
We saw an extensive collection of Spanish impressionists – pseudo Cezannes, Monets, Gaugins. In another world, their canvases would be wonderful, but not in comparison with the real thing. A Picasso room, of course – with one large portrait of his lover Marie-Therese Walter in 1937 and another large portrait of his new lover, Dora Maar, two years later. He was a busy priapic man, that Pablo, one gorgeous woman after another. Par contre, I noted later at the fine Miro museum that Joan Miro married one woman, fathered one daughter, and remained happily married for the rest of his life. Did Pablo have too much testosterone, do you think, or did Joan have too little?
Joan Miro, like Pablo, went to Paris, where he met the great French poets who changed his life. It was a time when writers influenced the world; when artists of all kinds fertilized each other. Does that happen now? I hardly know any painters. My world is writing. That’s a flaw.
The Parc Guell, after our long bus ride and a hefty hike uphill, was jam-packed – tour-bus loads of schoolkids and tourists. It must be a great place when it’s almost empty, with Gaudi’s imaginative, fun buildings, benches and mosaics. (Gaudi adored mosaic, sprinkled his buildings with them, like freckles.)
But we didn’t last long.
Home late Friday afternoon, to find the streets around the hotel, Las Ramblas and the others, overflowing with Spaniards and tourists, out for a stroll. What a street life this city has. I will miss it.

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3 Responses to “last day in Barcelona”

  1. Clothing says:

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.Any way Ill be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Testing this comment for Ruth.
    Hello World.

  3. Beth says:

    Hello Ruth. Reading you loud and clear.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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