Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spain Entry #5 Barcelona

We made it to Barcelona! Our train ride was very nice and we were right along the water a lot of the time. We found our hostal relatively easily and dropped our stuff quickly so we could take advantage of the day. Our hostal is not nearly as nice as the Purple Nest was in Valencia. There is no kitchen and the dorm is very cramped. There are a lot more people and the room is quite warm. Oh well. We wanted budget travel and that is what we are getting for now. We will have a few comfortable places on our way to Madrid though. We decided to go with renting a car to drive back to Madrid and we will be staying in Zaragoza and Guadelajara in a B&B and a hotel. It will be a nice treat for the end of our trip.

Anyway, we headed to the Picasso Museum and checked out Picasso´s collection of works that span all of his painting career. I knew he was talented but I had no idea how great of a painter. Everyone sees his abstract stuff but rarely do we see as much of the earlier stuff. It is super interesting to see the evolution of his work. He was first really noticed for his work ¨Science and Charity¨which depicts a sick woman in bed with a nun next to her holding her child. There is doctor taking her pulse on the other side. It is a super depressing piece of work but very impressive. It is not surprising that he received over 150 awards for it.

The other part of the museum I liked was the section on Las Meninas. Picasso became obsessed with Velasquez´s work ¨Las Meninas¨ and did a whole collection in abstract form. He also did a lot of the same pieces with little difference. In his down time while working on the pieces he painted pigeons from his window in the same manner and he considered those pieces a part of the ¨Las Meninas¨ collection. It is quite apparent that he became very involved in his endeavors. Emy and I are convinced that all great painters had some serious mental issues. That is what creates amazing art though right?

I would like to recap our last day in Valencia! We decided to rent bikes and we worked our way along the arts and sciences park to the beach. We made a big loop and rode along a fantastic bike lane to the Royal Gardens. We also took a trip to the Plaza de Toros and ended our trip with a bite of Paella, a tradtional Spanish meal consisting of rice with either meat or seafood. We had a paella that consisted of squid, peas, and garlic. It was great! It reminded me a lot of arroz con mariscos from Peru.

In the evening we relaxed and I ended up going to a little cafe by myself to read while Emy did her own thing. It is important to have a little bit of alone time when traveling. We haven´t gotten sick of each other by any means but having some alone time doesn´t hurt!

We are going to get up nice and early tomorrow to check out Gaudi´s La Familia Sagrada, one of the coolest churches I have ever seen a picture of. I am excited to see in person!

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