Tuesday, 23 July 2013

From Picasso to the casino

We went to the Picasso Museum this morning.  Don't really know why we went there because we hate Picasso.  Until now, all we'd seen of Picasso's paintings were those really weird pieces where human beings have square heads and the like.  Jean and I were pleasantly surprised to find that Picasso did actually draw, sketch and paint some decent quality material, but to our minds there wasn't enough of it.  We're still not fans, and we went around the museum rather fast.

From the museum, we strolled slowly to Las Ramblas, having lunch on the way.  We are presently very tired.  Especially me.  I had a bad night, and my head cold that began in Paris has returned.  The heat has started to get to me.  But I'm not blaming the European summer.  To be fair to me, the hottest place in Barcelona that's in the shade happens to be the room we're staying in.  We've got two cooling fans, and they're both going full bore all night.  The corridor outside the room is much cooler, and we've noticed some guests have taken to leaving their door open.  

We're still getting out and about, heat or no heat.  At the bottom of Las Ramblas, where the tall statue of Christopher Columbus points out to the Mediterranean, Jean and I laid down to rest on the grass under the shade of three palm trees.  This is something I never do.  I hate sitting on grass, unless I've got a chair, and I hate laying on grass even more.  But you know, when you visit a different part of the world, you often do things you would not normally do.

After about 15 minutes on my back with my eyes facing skyward, during which time I noticed that the famous Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi was right about the sunlight shining through the leaves of the palm trees (see blog post 'Sagrada Familia'), Jean and I strolled along by the water, taking in the sights, such as medals being given out to event winners in the Barcelona 2013 swimming championships being shown on big screens.  Further on, we saw boats, and, eventually, we found the beach and strolled along it again.

We've made tough decisions today, whether to have coffee, where to have lunch, what flavour ice cream to have, and what beer to have.  Estrella is not exactly pronounced like 'Australia', as reported yesterday, but more like Es-tray-ya.  It's available in Australia, too, we read.  Probably in Fyshwick.

I must apologise to readers for my comments several weeks ago about the Visigoths.  I said there were Visigoth ruins under Barcelona and that they pre-dated the Romans by 2000 years.  The truth is, the Visigoths moved into the Iberian Peninsula after the departure of the Romans.  Their presence here was replaced by the arrival of the Muslims after 711 CE.  But I've not been able to find any evidence of ruins existing in or under Barcelona.  There might be something in Toledo about an hour from here.  But the word is they left almost no evidence of their existence behind.  And today, I've felt too hot to worry about it.

If Barcelona is too hot, you can always take refuge in the cool climate of the Barcelona casino.  I've taken a break to have a drink, and write this post.  Jean's off somewhere, hopefully earning money for our dinner.  If not, it might be baguettes, with cheese and asparagus for a while....

Tomorrow, we're flying to Nice.  It's back to France!  I love speaking French.  It's a beautiful language. Hopefully, Nice will be very nice.  Pun intended.

Christopher Columbus points out to sea
Scenes of the waterfront.

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