Saturday, February 7, 2009

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Thursday 5 January 2009
Yesterday may have been a perfect day; today however, is another matter. A battleship grey sky is a prospect for a cool day and no rain – yet?

Maria is still battling the effects from the “Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler from Barcelona-On-Sea”, and she isn’t prepared to venture too far from the apartment.
However I do, and decide to visit The Museu D’història de Catalunya, which was closed the other day. I have to admire Spanish people, as they certainly have the knack of developing fine museums. I wasn’t disappointed with the stewardship of this museum either.

As the museum is a brisk walk across from where we are staying, I decided to reconnoitre, via the bay area, in lieu of a more direct route. This digression had taken me east along the Ronda Litoral, which is lined with office buildings and parklands. After walking for almost a kilometre, I arrive at the Parc Cascades where the casino is located nearby.
Now, most of the modern buildings are architecturally appealing and designed to suit the environment. However, the casino is another matter.

The architecture in Barcelona is a myriad of styles, reflecting specific eras and locales. The visual appreciation of Antoni Gaudí’s creations is a personal experience. Regrettably, viewing the casino is a regression from the splendour that is Gaudí, to the lifelessness which is just gaudy. Oh well, it must work for the Trustees, as both of the casino’s carparks were full!

Taking the promenade through the Parc Cascades is where I pass by the casino; which is located at the beachfront called Platįa Barceloneta. In the casino’s forecourt, stands a monumental sculpture which appears to be made from geodesic stainless steel with an external bronze coating. I haven’t quite decided whether it is representative of a whale or a sea cucumber? However, I continue with my promenade, west along the foreshore.

Perpetual wind gusts attempt to hamper my progress, including the other wanderers. The foreshore is made up of small beaches, and some show signs of tidal erosion. Apart from the esplanade, the beaches are deserted, which I have no doubt is a different matter during the summer months.

I eventually arrive at the museum, which consists of five storeys each of which is a time capsule of Barcelona’s history. Albeit, the ground level is dedicated to two temporary exhibitions documenting Spain’s’ involvement in two travesties: The Great War and the Spanish Civil War. Regrettably, picture taking was not permitted in these two exhibitions due to the delicacy of the exhibits on display. However, I was permitted to photograph some exhibits from other areas.

After, two hours I returned to the apartment and Maria.
As Maria is still not confident to venture forth, I am sent for some plumbing bog (Imodium) for her, which will hopefully provide relief. (sic. Yes, I finally succumbed – realising that I was not going to be able to get over this without intervention!)
As a consequence I will have to continue to sightsee for the both of us.
Again I set forth for the city; and my first stop is to visit the Casa de L’ardiaca Catedral which is undergoing repairs. I am not religious, so my fascination with cathedrals is aesthetic in lieu of inspirational. This particular medieval edifice is quite imposing with its gargoyles; towers; spires; integrated and flying buttresses. The interior is rather ominous, as it lacks clerestory; however, after my sight becomes accustomed to the low light, the interior is just as imposing as the exterior. It’s compelling through the high
cross-ribbed vaulted ceilings, long knave and a high apse and presbytery. The rotunda and aedicule form the nucleus of this structure, whereby pilgrims can progress, on their missions, by stopping at the multiple chapels aligning the knave!

Leaving the cathedral, I catch a tourist bus and alight at the “Gaudí” corner, to take extra photos of Antoni Gaudí’s creations. Mind you the clouds are becoming denser, and the natural light begins to darken.
After this rendezvous I proceed onto my next appointment, the Museu Egipci de Barcelona which is displaying a temporary exhibition on discoveries from the Valley of the Queens. The exhibition covers the period from early Amana to the XIX dynasty.
Upon leaving the dead, I catch the following tourist bus for the heights to take photos overlooking Barcelona. Shortly after catching this bus – the heavens open and another downpour commences. My chances’ obtaining any photographs has gone down the storm water channels.

Another wet afternoon/evening, so it’s back to the apartment and Maria.

No comments: