Helen in Europe travel blog

Dentist discussion

Miro appealing to all ages

my turn to admire this amazing Miro tapestry

Miro and city view

Will Catalonia gain independence from Spain?

Gaudi interior at Palau Güell

sangria at lunchtime

sketch of Solar Bird, Joan Miro

'What's in there?' enquired an Aussie pair at the facade of one of an awe inspiring sculptural building. The curvaceously adorned building was Palau Güell, a 'magnificent example of domestic architecture in the context of modernism. It was the home of the Güell family and López until he moved to the Parc Güell.' And of course, it's all about Gaudi, from the mosaic encrusted chimney stacks to the use of stone, timber, light and space. We just happened to be meandering by on our way to the Gothic Quarter (no, I'm not talking about Robert Smith wannabees) and I looked up! If you look up in Barcelona you will almost always see something either aesthetic or intriguing: from 19th Art Nouveau arabesque architectural details to someone's intimate washing all strung out for the world's eyes. Even though Carol enthusiastically endorsed the Palau, having spent 1.5 hours there, the couple still weren't sure; well I'm not sure what more you could want from a Barcelona experience! See for yourself: http://palauguell.cat/ And this was an unplanned visit. My ICOM pass was burning hot as I also used it for free entry also to the Miro museum which was our planned visit for the day. Gracias Annie y Carol for methodically planning our mode of transportation the night before when my head was a heady mix of jetlag and Tempranillo. Our regular public transport - the bus, cost only a fraction of the tourist bus and gave us the same route and the chance to sit with locals. After experiencing the well laid out Miro museum we were delighted to learn that it was all downhill to walk back to the city. After a tapas lunch with pints of Sangria (and no, it wasn't too early for alcohol as a common morning sight is people, including workmen enjoying a beer or red wine with breakfast or morning tea), and clocking up a good 10kms of walking, we used a rule of thumb for choosing somewhere to stop for a beer or cafe con lecce (coffee) - it must have a cigar smoking old man out the front; this worked wonders when we found a cafe near home, away from the tourists with a character filled local woman popping her head in and out of the cafe with her dog and an empty flower pot. It mattered not that we spoke no Spanish; she was still happy to chat enthusiastically to us. Observant Carol pointed out that most of the dogs are not de-sexed; well spotted, Carol! We'll have to make it our mission to find out why. Watch this space -this is not the last you've heard of Gaudi...

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