Barcelona por favor….

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The Senyera, the flag of Barcelona

Barcelona. We rented a little apartment from Federico for 9 days in the inner suburb of Villa Gracia. It proved very handy to the beautiful old city of Barcelona, the fiercely proud capital of Catalonia, eternally opposed to all forms of government domination by foreign power, including Madrid! Gracia is downtown, easy, Metro-connected, inner suburban lifestyle, middle-class, super stylish, and complete with Gaudi credentials, Casa Vicens being just around the corner from our street. We even caught a couple of arthouse movies – in English….during…

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The procession begins…

.

Santa Semana

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…and continued for the true believers….

…with not a single Easter egg in sight.

Santa Samana (Easter) was a little underwhelming. On Good Friday Janet was looking forward to observing some local penance for her sins and the sins of the world. Some latitude had to be given because it was her birthday! Ho Hum the life-size crucifix, the priests, the bishops, the candles, and the silently reverent street crowd, just raised her incredulous-ness to new heights.

Speaking of which the birthday girl celebrated with a beautiful symphony concert at the Palau de la Musica Catalanya. So grand…..so befitting for the grand old dame!

The sun shines through the ceiling of the Palau de la Musica Catalanya...

The sun shines through the ceiling of the Palau de la Musica Catalanya…

...and all the flowers bloom...

…and all the flowers bloom…

We wore out our Metro passes and spent oodles of euros visiting as many Gaudi buildings as we could. If all our not-quite uncomplaining queueing and strategic/defensive jostling with our 5,000-plus, daily fellow-travellers for glimpses of this or that other exquisite aspect, or this or that better photographic vantage point, is anything to reckon with, then Barcelona’s economy is well on track to a Gaudi-led recovery!

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Keeping company on the roof of La Pederera

...almost alone..

…almost alone..

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Lunching at Barcelona’s oldest building site

On a hot Gaudi roof...

On a hot Gaudi roof…

In our less Aussie-inclined, laid back, “go Barcelona!” moments, we agreed the term ‘Gaud(g)ing’ may suit the common garden Barcelona variety tourist experience quite well, but then again – what price this ineffable magnificence? Gaudi’s legacy to his native land and thereby to the world is massive; his breathtaking brilliance just dazzles and how could anyone get enough? Moreover, according to our very own ex-pat Barcelona (as well as NY) tragic, Robert Hughes, in his impoverished, old man years, Gaudi unashamedly accosted those with ample means, demanding a certain financial sacrifice of them as appropriate tribute, not to his personal glory, but to the work he believed The Creator directly rendered through him, for the greater glory both of humankind and of Catalonia – and in particular as his sole means to complete his most passionate expression of religious devotion, the Sagrada Familiar – ironically still unfinished despite the daily hordes making top dollar sacrifices for the bountiful pleasure he endlessly provides.

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A new take on ready-mades.

Adjourning to the terrace, Casa Battlo with guide

Adjourned to the terrace at Casa Battlo with guide

Where to after Gaudi? Why to Dali of course! Mmmmm…that man was his own religion and his coffers were never wanting, thanks apparently due to his wife/bookkeeper/Muse, Gala.

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One of his several hundred portraits of Gala

Is that enough said? Not likely, but much has already been written and is there for the record…it was a fantastic excursion. And while we are no great fans of Dali, we fully appreciated that opportunity to be further vexed and overawed by his vast and splendid body of work.

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Dali Museum, Figueres

I think this portrait he did of his father when he was only 14 years old very moving.

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Salvatore Dali Senior, the tree the apple fell from, painted 1919

We have 2 more days back in Barcelona before we move next door to France so no doubt we will do Park Guell, the one Gaudi icon we missed due to the very poor timing of the rain in Spain.

About The Moles

Although moles hold no particular attraction for us, when we moved to Tasmania in 2003, we lived in Mole Creek. With hopes of fitting in sooner rather than later, we embraced the name in our e-mail account. Now that we are heading off on our globe-trot we thought we'd maintain solidarity with moles and even give them an outing, hence the curious id.... -And since Annie's late Mum, Gwen, was pleased to call herself Molesmama, she's coming too. Not lost on us is the marvellous ambiguity inherent in the word and the notion that very little is known about these small, sleepy, dark-dwelling creatures....
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5 Responses to Barcelona por favor….

  1. Loretta says:

    Hi Annie and Janet…….just finished reading your blogs……very interesting and entertaining……sorry to hear that you were sick…..gastro and traveling are not a good mix…..I loved your Dubai song……looking forward to France.

  2. Jenny Sutton says:

    Hi Annie & Janet Great reading your blog about Barcelona.We loved Barcelona for all the art,Gaudi ,food & history.Patsy & I are at Ambleside at the Lakes District-enjoying English countryside walks, homemade pies & food & pub ales.Spend a very interesting week last on the Isle of Man.It was wonderful to see Midge again. Hope your travels continue well. Cheers Jenny xx

    • The Moles says:

      Hi Jen, well, well,well, eh? We’re in Santiago de Compostela where we met some friends who walked in from their Camino. Tmrow Salamanca then Cordoba, Seville, Granada and back to Barcelona for a couple more days before we’re off to France. We don’t get to UK til mid June. What’re your plans? Any chance ours may co-incident? Would be great to catch up and swap travel yarns etc. How’s that Midge? What’s her address and I’ll send her a postcard – see if she’s open to another brief encounter….Very glad you like our blog ; we’re a we bit slack on it and the next instalment is way overdue, but that’s what happens when you’re having fun, eh? Go safely Jen, and love to you both, Annie

      Sent from my iPad

      >

  3. I adore Barcelona! I hope you managed to mix it with the locals and have a late evening stroll along La Rambla. I also hope that you’ve been inspired to reimagine the facade of the front of your house. It’s in a prime location to become a Gaudiesque landmark and drawcard for Deloraine. ūüôā It’s great to see you’re both having an amazing time. Have you seen this simulation of the ‘finished ‘ version of the Sagrada Familia? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcDmloG3tXU

    • madihunt4 says:

      Hey Daniel, what a great video and thank you drawing my attention to it. The youtube video is a great propaganda tool for the City of Barcelona and the entire piece is beautifully orchestrated. This is something I hope to achieve in my classroom teaching, that sense of wonder and possibility.

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