Friday, April 10, 2009

Barcelona: Art, Rain, and Tapas

Today, we went up to Montjuic and visited the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Here's a view from the outside of the museum:

We'd intended to tour the Joan Miro foundation's museum, but we detoured thinking we'd pop in to briefly check this other museum out first. Well, it turned out to be better than we expected. The Romanesque and Gothic collections (especially the Romanesque) were excellent. What made the Romanesque works particularly interesting was the display: the painted interiors of 11th and 12th century churches were actually removed (I assume to preserve them) and then reconstructed on life-size wooden supports that mimicked, for example, the apses of the churches from which they'd been removed. I don't recall every seeing anything like this, at least not on this scale. It made for a unique and interesting display. The “modern” collection, however, was largely forgettable aside from some interesting Modernista decorative arts.

By the time we left the museum, it was nearly 1pm. So, we opted to return to central Barcelona in search of a quick snack and a stroll through La Ribera and the Bari Gotic. Ideally, I'd hoped to visit the Boqueria Market, which I've heard is a gourmand's paradise. Unfortunately, the weather (rain, again) and religion (most shops closed for Good Friday) conspired against us. So, we mostly wandered about, getting ever more soaked, only to be met with “closed” signs at each destination.

We returned to the hotel by 4pm to dry off. We left again around 5ish for dinner (tapas!). Tonight we ate at Ciudad Condal, another cerveceria / tapas bar.

We enjoyed classic dishes such as patates braves, calamari, “Russian salad” (a form of “tuna salad” really), and croquetes. We also had a really uniquely prepared artichoke dish: hearts, sliced paper thin and deep-fried. For dessert, we picked up something from a local pastry shop near the hotel. And, I enjoyed a wonderful cafe con leche. Oh, how I love coffee in Europe!

Not sure of our plans for tomorrow. It will likely depend on the weather.

1 comment:

  1. great review. We are going on this ship on may 1. Just wondered if there are any happy hours? Also, was there a welcome back latitudes party? How was the casino - do they penny and nickel slots? Thanks Lisa