August 15, 2005

August 5 -- Barcelona

This morning we got up early and walked to the Gaudi Museum in one of the apartment buildings he designed around the turn of the century. He designed everything in the building, even down to the hinges and knobs on the cabinets. The most distinctive element was the way natural light reaches into the building, even in the interior.

After lunch we walked and shopped in the Old Gotic. The walls of the original city were built in the first to fourth centuries AD. This is a great area to walk around and wander. We roamed around the cathedral and its peaceful inner courtyards.

Julie had arranged for a group visit to the Picasso Museum. The museum is located in a collection of very old mansions. Julie had been there before and knew this one room that had Picasso's interpretation of Los Meninanas by Velasquez. There were about 15 of them and she got the kids to find the different people from the original in Picasso's versions. The museum covered his early years through his early cubism.

In the late afternoon we were again sitting on a Placa drinking beer and sangria (the adults), ice cream and cokes (the kids). We spent hours figuring out what to do for dinner that night. We eventually decided that we would get pizza for the kids at a nearby pizzeria and have them eat it at the apartments. Well the pizza joint Brian saw was actually more of a bar with a few slices of pizza. So the kids ended up having a choice ofMcDonalds or KFC, perhaps not the most culturally enlightening meal, but it filled them up.

The adults finally decided that we did not want to go far. There were a couple of restaurants on the placa, one being Taxidermista (not so appetizing a name to our friend CB). The other choice was les Quinze Nits. The reputationn of this restaurant is good, cheap, and long lines. Fair, cheap, and long lines may be a better description. The line moved very quickly which was a good thing. Otherwise Julie and Suzanne would have had a cat fight right in the middle of the placa.


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