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Monday, April 16, 2018

Return to Barcelona 2017! Figueres and Girona Bus Tour

I took another bus tour to Figueres, to the Dali Museum and to the charming town of Girona. I have to admit I've never been a huge fan of the work of Salvador Dali, but being so close to it, I felt it warranted a visit. It was just as crazy as I expected and the tour was fun for the most part (except for the baby who cried nearly the entire ride back to Barcelona) I found the town of Figueres charming and enjoyed a sangria and some tapas at a cafe near the museum and a conversation about love and loss with the waiter after my self-guided tour through Dali's craziness. 

The bus also stopped in the breathtaking town of Girona where I totally lost my heart! The view across the bridge is so enchanting I couldn't get enough of it! Here's a link to a blog with 9 reasons to visit Girona and I have to agree, it is well worth your time! Click here for the link. 

My photo essay follows:

The Dali Museum Exterior

Exterior courtyard, Dali Museum

Interior courtyard

I must admit this was one of my favorites! No explanation!!

The Dali Ceiling is extraordinary

The car that rains inside. Seriously.

From a certain distance you see Abraham Lincoln clear as a bell.



One of Girona's bridges over the Onyar River

Placa Independencia where I had lunch

Brdige in Girona built by Eiffel of Paris fame

Several locations in Girona were used in Game of Thrones

Stones from Roman times

Another view of Girona

Return to Barcelona 2017! La Merce with Urban Sketchers Barcelona

One evening of La Merce I met Urban Sketchers Barcelona to sketch at The Casa Amatller, and the adjacent Casa Batlló, designed by Antonio Gaudí, part of the "mansana de la discòrdia" or block of discord of Barcelona, so-named because it features buildings in sharply contrasting styles. We were invited to sketch at this historic location by the organizers of the festival and so we did, after which we were treated to private tours of both! What a treat it was! I had visited Casa Battló the year before and had not planned to do it again but it was a delight to see it in the evening and to go up on the rooftop as well, with lights strewn across the expanse and a special evening event going on at the same time. 

Casa Amatller

Casa Battlo

Interior, ceiling Casa Amatller

Tile floor at entry, Casa Amatller

Dining Room, Casa Amatller

Detail, Casa Batllo

Deteails, Casa Batllo

Rooftop, Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo at night

Cafe and Chocolate Shop at Casa Amatller (a chocolatier)

Tile and Wood Carving Details, Casa Amatller

Flooring, Casa Amatller

Ceiling, Casa Amatller

Bench and Fireplace Detail, Casa Amatller

Chandelier, Casa Amatller

Ceiling Detail, Casa Batllo

Detail, Casa Batllo

Urban Sketchers at Casa Batllo

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Return to Barcelona 2017! More of La Merce Festival

The Festival of La Merce took place over the course of a weekend, and I traveled all over the city to enjoy the festivities! Museums were open and free so I took advantage of that to visit the Maritime Museum with full size ships inside and plenty of room to spare! The Museu Marítim (Maritime Museum) is one of the most interesting sights in Barcelona. Housed in the former shipyards of Drassane, it is located on the southern edge of the old town and at the end of the Rambla, and has an extensive collection of ships and boats and a large exhibition on the construction of medieval sailing ships. I was too overwhelmed to sketch and of course I'm sorry now that I did not, but here are some of the photos I took that day.

Afterwards, I wandered around the city where so many interesting things were going and the streets were so very crowded there was literally no room to take out my sketchbook until I found the Basilica Mare de Dei de la Merce, the saint for whom this festival is named. A service was going on in the church but the square was quiet and relatively empty. I sat on the ledge of the fountain and did this sketch, enjoying this quiet moment, trying to capture the scene.

The Independence rallies went on all weekend as well.  

You get an idea of the crowded streets from this photo!

Basilica Mare de Deu de la Merce square during services

Covered walkway in Barcelona

Placa S. Jaume crowds waiting for the entertainment to begin

Modern Scultpure contrasts with the old city

Another covered street with barrel vaults