Spain - Barcelona - Miro, Picasso, Dali and, Above All, Gaudi

Author: Sue Rogers
Date: 1st May 2000

La Rambla, Barcelona

  • The main street of Barcelona, La Rambla, wide and flanked with plane trees, is over touristy with its gold painted posing mannequins and acrobats, but there’s always something intriguing to watch - I discover you need to watch out for your belongings too.

The Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona

  • The Mercat de la Boqueria, where the locals shop, vibrant, very camera - rewarding.
  • The shops are good - El Cortes Ingles and the many shoe shops for some affordable Spanish chic.
  • A first time for squid ink risotto (not bad at all once you get past how it looks) - a specialty in the local restaurants- particularly down by the, much quieter, harbour area, where there’s also a great deal of disappointing, overcooked paella.
  • A bus ride to Parc Montjuic, perched above the city for the views, fat finger shaped peaks and the Olympic village.

Sitges

  • An easy train ride to join the throngs on the sands at Sitges – we can just about find space to put the towel down.

Picasso, Dali and |Miro

  • Above all, the amazing art - the Miro Foundation, the authenticity of the stone roomed Picasso Museum, the sheer bonkers-ness of Dali’s work, especially the house at Portlligat (a bus ride away)

Gaudi

  • And of course, Antoni Gaudi. All his beyond exotic palaces, like La Pedrera and  Casa Batlló with their extraordinary sculptures and the madcap mosaics of Park Güell are must - sees, involving much map reading, wandering and more bus rides. But so rewarding. The most sublime of them all is La Sagrada Familia, the still unfinished, straight out of Mervyn Peake cathedral, incongruously surrounded by cranes. In my opinion this is possibly the most interesting/beautiful building in the world, (in the interests of equality I have to report that other cathedrals are also available in Barcelona), best observed illuminated at night. There are plenty of bars in the square opposite.

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