It would be wrong to give the impression that 11-M (see earlier blog) dominated this weekend away. With no English language television or radio, we remained well sheltered and even in March (one of Barcelona’s wettest months: damp at times, but mostly warm and bright) the city was packed with British and American tourists.
Instead of a hotel we booked a recently refurbished apartment on Carrer dels Tallers, just off La Ramblas. This was a good move – saved a little cash gained a lot of space – as the apartment was just what we’d hoped. While the communal hallway was a little uninviting, the flat itself was bright and spacious and, following Katharine’s feedback, now has egg cups. (No mention of the toaster I suggested. Never mind.)
This was a side street packed full of music shops – records and instruments – and Ganpatti, a small organic restaurant where we had a meal on the Sunday night (food okay, but not as friendly as they could have been. Katharine made the faux pas of asking for Coke). Having forgotten to bring any CDs (always something) we bought in Beck’s Odelay and the Black Eyed Peas Elephunk.
There is almost too much to do in Barcelona. We sort of focussed on Gaudí, less the Sagrada Família which we’d visited in 1999, with Casa Milá’s roof and Casa Batlló’s interior major highlights:
The Joan Miró Foundation disappointed at first with a display of some of the most pretentious modern art (and I say this as a regular contemporary art exhibition attendee and almost fan of the YBAs) mainly from late-1960s and early ’70s. Examples include film of howling naked man throwing himself around in front of others, presumably to get in touch with his animal side and stills from some artists’ Vietnam protest e.g. dead mouse in hand of man dressed as Dick Tracy. To be fair, we should always remember they took different drugs in the ’60s. Miró himself saved the day with some great sculptures:
Let’s not forget the cable car from Montjuic to the beech at Barceloneta or Park Güell, Gaudí’s attempt at an English Garden Village (like what Chorltonville is). However, unlike Chorltonville, Park Güell was a commercial failure and hardly any houses were built, so it became a public park like no other.