On November 6, we enjoyed a lovely train ride from Valencia to Barcelona as much of the route hugged the Costa Brava coastline.
With only two days in the city, we made a point of hitting venues we had passed over in 2013, when we spent three weeks in Barcelona. Our priority was the large Picasso museum. At the age of 14 the artist’s family moved from Malaga, where we had already visited two small museums of his works.
Through five connected houses, the works are displayed chronologically. It begins with Picasso’s classical training (aka his homework) in drawing and painting both the human form and formal landscapes. Then the exhibits progress through his award-winning realism works and on to the distinct style of painting he is most remembered for, and into his old age.
Among the many paintings, sculptures and ceramics on display, my favourites were Picasso’s homage to Diego Valesquez’s painting Las Meninas.
From the Picasso Museum we took a stroll around Port Vell to admire the toys of the one percent of the one percent. surely entire African villages could be sustained on the cost of these ostentatious vessels.
From the port, you can see gondola cars travelling up Montjuic to to the fort on the top. We’d hiked to it previously, but the easy way up appealed this day.
Disappointingly, the Puerto Telerifico ends at a viewpoint about halfway up Montjuic. From there it is a fair walk to a second pay-per-view gondola; that’s the one visible from Port Vell. Of course, there is nothing at the lower ticket office to inform visitors of the short port ride; we were not the only people fooled and we felt it ripped off.
On our way back to the hotel we meandered up the overpriced and overcrowded crowded pedestrian street La Rambla. Shortly after turning off it, we happened upon another of Barcelona’s must-do sites, the historic Boqueria market. It had been closed for renovations when we visited Barcelona in 2013. That was a happy accident and a very nice way to wrap up what was likely to be the last time were set foot in Spain.