We had a huge day yesterday. First we walked up to the Joan Miro museum. I was very hungry for my lunch by the time we finished, so we found a place along Las Ramblas which had seafood paella, a tourist trap joint but still okay, with a jug of cold sangria to go with. We then headed on to the Picasso museum which was very good. He lived out this way for several years and donated something like 2,500 pieces of art to the museum. It shows work from all of the different periods of painting he did over his life. He started when he was 9 years old and actually was a very good portraitist. I made a memorable quote to Cailli that Picasso could paint quite well when he wanted to. Anyways there were no particularly famous paintings at the museum but it was a good history of his work.
Hams for sale in a shop in Barcelona
Then while we were walking along Las Ramblas, a big group of bicyclists went past, all nude. Yowch, that just has to hurt. So we have seen some reasonably weird stuff. Saw the nude bikies, then a while later rounded a corner and saw a massive group of old people standing in little rings of about 8 people, all holding hands and holding them up high, and doing some weird pogo stick dance jumping up and down in place to a Germanic sounding band. There was a booth with a bunch of trophies too so I guess the most stylish pogostickers must get points and a trophy.
Wrought iron detail outside a Gaudi apartment building. Gaudi's father was an ironmonger.
After dinner we were walking back along Las Ramblas and heard a crowd of people running up behind us and shouting and screaming. In front of us, another crowd running towards us and shouting and screaming. All wearing red and green and white and wearing flags and yelling numbers over and over. The two groups of screamers met right where Cailli and I were standing, and they were just gleeful, jumping up and down, waving their flags and jumping and yelling. We figured the Mexicans must have won their World Cup game against the Iranians, which they had, we saw it on the news later, I think it was 3-1 or 4-1, and they were shouting the score over and over again. It was fun to watch, they were so happy.
Art Nouveau building. Note detail under overhang at the top right.
Today we did a huge walking tour of all of the Gaudi buildings including the Park Guell, and then some modernista stuff, which is Art Nouveau to everyone else. A big day walking, then to celebrate Cailli's birthday, and my new job, and went to a very flash restaurant, I think it's the nicest Cailli's ever been to. We started out with a glass of champagne, then they gave us a bunch of complimentary appetisers, like a little mussle with seawater gelatin, then some interesting little nibblies. For my starter I had steak tartare with two potato french fries, Iranian caviar, and mustard. And for my main, caramelised veal cheek with bean foam. They did quite a few foamy things, Cailli had some kind of cod foam and cheese foam, which she liked. Then for dessert I had sage sorbet with honey fettucine and seagrass soup. A little weird.
Gaudi's Casa Mila apartment building
So now we are a bit sleepy and dopey, finished our tour of the modernista stuff, and are headed to look at some more buildings in a bit. Tomorrow we will hit a few more museums. I think we will also go to a flamenco show one evening. We still have two full days to fill up. It's quite cool here, lots of good architecture, interesting shops and restaurants and cafes and things, and the weather has been perfect, blue skies, dry, warmish but with a breeze to cool things down. And our hotel is very nice with a very good air conditioning system and some very fluffy blankets and pillows so I can snuggle under the covers and breathe cool air but still be warm.