December 17, 2010 Barcelona

Amazingly, we all slept pretty well last night. Our room overlooks the street. Barcelona-ians (?) are quite a lively bunch and they are out in the street having fun until around 3 AM. But tiredness trumps noise and we just incorporate the noise into our dreams.

This morning we go next door for breakfast. It’s pretty empty. Apparently the partiers get up later. Our choices are English or Continental breakfasts. John and I opt for the English breakfast that has fried eggs and bacon. The bacon is delicious and the eggs are fried. And when I say fried, I mean fried. Like deep-fried or confited. There are crispy tendrils but the yolk is creamy. I am not sure how you do that. But I think I’ll go with the Continental breakfast tomorrow, that’s a lot of grease first thing in the morning.

Our plan for today is to go to the Picasso Museum in the morning. Stop for lunch. Hit the Fundacio Miro in the afternoon. We have purchased a Barcelona Card that lets us use all sorts of transportation and get discounts besides. Our hotel is near a major subway hub, so it’s all good. The Picasso Museum is amazing. It has a lot of his early, early works, like from when he was a teenager. Most of the early stuff is very literal. He quit art school after two years, chafing under the regimen of copying the known masterpiecess. The museum shows a lot of paintings that he painted under the influence of Degas or Velasquez or other major painters. There is an interactive display showing how he reinterpreted Velasquez’s great work, Las Meninas. We really, really enjoy it.

Mary and Sarah in front of Picasso Museum
No pictures inside allowed!

Next we stop for lunch. It’s heading on to 1PM and we know the next time we eat will be close to 10 PM. We stop at a place called Mar dela Rivera. John has lentils with squid, Sarah has assorted fried seafood and I have fried calamari. We also have some fried artichokes. The frying here is strangely soft and not crispy.

Assorted fried fish
Assorted fried seafood

Lentils with squid
John’s lentils and squid

Now onto the Miro Museum. We get the audio tour. It’s very helpful in explaining the artist’s work. Sarah loves a lot of the imaginative figures and jots them down in her notebook. We make up fanciful names for some of the works. Both Picasso and Miro lived long productive lives and it is interesting to see how their works change over time. There is also an outside exhibit where we can take pictures and have a panoramic view of Barcelona from atop Montjuic.

A "couple" of stools and Sarah
Miro’s interpretation of a man and woman or a “couple” of stools and Sarah

Open to interpretation
Sarah and I thought this was a sculpture of a farmer but it is called Woman with Bird

Barcelona view from Montjuic
View of Barcelona from Montjuic

We manage to stay awake all day and tonight we are having dinner at a restaurant, Els Pescadors, that Sarah’s friend, Eddie, has recommended. We are not the first people there! Tonight is a fancier dining night and we have a sea snails amuse bouche. I have sea anemone fritters and rice with blood sausage and mushrooms. Sarah has cod tripe with head and trotters plus rice with cuttlefish. John has white beans with clams and rice with hare and a touch of chocolate. We finish off with bread with air chocolate and lemon sorbet. The dinner is successful although we are craving some texture in our food as everything has been pretty soft.

Sea anemone fritters
Sea anemone fritters

Cod tripe with head and trotters
Cod tripe with head and trotters

White beans with clams
White beans with clams

Rice with mushrooms and blood sausage
Rice with mushrooms and blood sausage

Air pudding and wind sauce
Bread with air chocolate

On our way home, we pass by the Carrer de Fernando Poo. We have to take a picture. It reminds us of our picture of Via Crapolla in Pompei.


We have enjoyed Barcelona immensely. The people have been friendly and helpful, the transportation systems, great, the food, delicious, and the sights, interesting. The city is beautifully decked out for Christmas and it would be easy to stay longer but we are off for France tomorrow!

Xmas outside our hotel window
Xmas outside our hotel window

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