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Monday, 18 April 2011

What's So Special about Barcelona?

So what's Barcelona got that we don't have at Casa Blighty ?

Photo courtesy of Boy 2 and his New Camera which is already a bit not working, no idea who that lady is in the corner

Well it has the Bus Turistic.  An easy way to get round the city. And great fun, what with me sitting on the top deck and flinching every time the audio guide mentioned Gaudi -  the cue for Boys 1 and 2 to jump up from their seats and shout "Gaudiiiiiiiiiiii!" at 7000 decibels.  (Pretty soon I developed a nervous tic below my right eye and roared "Sit Down!" at frequent intervals...a bit embarrassing when you're not even on the bus anymore) . And just when I was getting all interested and cultural as the audio guide burbled on about Miro or the Sagrada Familia or Park Guell, Boy 2's infernal twitchy fingers would switch me to Japanese....which was nice.  In the end no member of the Blighty family wanted to sit next to Mr Twiddle Fingers on the bus, such was his dedication to channel jacking.  However, reports of small boys being catapulted off buses are vastly exaggerated.

But when we visited the Gaudiiiii  designed La Pedrera, I really could not see much difference between it and our own dear Blighty HQ or should that be Blightiiiiiiiiii?
Ok, so maybe the outside is a lot bigger and more impressive than Blighty HQ
But the maid's rooms were very similar.

La Pedrera maid's room with Consuela's uniform (Consuela is Faux Fuchsia's Imaginary Maid)

Maid's room at Blighty HQ

La Pedrera Ironing Room
The Blighty Mountain of Ironing - do not attempt without oxygen

The childrens' bedrooms at La Pedrera/La Blightera were virtually indistinguishable:

Boy 2's room with his darling little sailor outfits

Some Spanish kid's room

 
But some things were a bit different.  La Pedrera boasted the very latest iPhone.


This looks like it should be Faux Fuchsia's room


 
I have to admit  Park Guell (another Gaudi design) was a bit different than your average park - this looked sort of North African:



And to us English seeing oranges growing on a tree, rather than in nets at the supermarket,  is exotic and exciting.

 

Barcelona has the Fundacio Miro - entrance below.  Reminds me, Boys 1 and 2 need baths.

 

I got all earnest middle class mummy in the Miro place - saying to Boy 1: "Darling, you know that picture you used to have in your room at home?  That was Miro."*

It amused me No End when I saw that Miro had a friend called Prats.  Prats had a hat shop in Barcelona.  Prats Hats?

Pictures below are of another Gaudiiiii building, the Casa Batllo.  Ok, I admit the tiling is a lot fancier than chez nous.




This is Placa de Sant Felipe in the Barri Gotic and is a sad reminder of the Spanish Civil War.  The outside of the church is pitted by bullets and shrapnel from bombs: during the Civil War people were executed by Franco's men against this wall, and  a number of refugee children died when the church was bombed.



And oddly, Gaudi was on his way to this church when he was was knocked down by a tram, and later died.


I can't end on a sad, reflective note, that would not do at all.  So here's a picture of Las Ramblas with stalls selling palms ready for Palm Sunday.  And Mr Twiddly Digits himself, planning his next move.
When we get back on the bus I'll turn the volume right down on Mummy's audio thingie and then switch her to Swahili...

 
*Of course when we got home I discovered said picture was in fact Klee.  Guess I don't know my art from my elbow.

23 comments:

  1. Barcelona looks amazing. Miro, Klee, I get them mixed up too.

    Come to California sometime, we'll show you lemons on trees too!

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  2. We did the Bus Turistic a couple of years ago too, wish there would have been a channel with your fun commentary! Looks like you had a fab time, loved seeing the pics of the Gaudiiis we have missed.

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  3. What a fantastic trip! Despite the Twiddler! I love Gaudi - I find his designs whimsical and fairy tail like and I really enjoyed wandering around Barcelona, looking at all the designs and buildings.

    I can't get over how much your house looks like that Palace, though. Next time we come to the UK we are staying with you!

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  4. Dear Mrs Blighty, I too don't know my art from my elbow, coming from a long line of peasants on both sides but I quite like a relaxing stroll through an art gallery or stately home or Woolies so long as I am rewarded by a sit down with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake afterwards. I hope that you were afforded similar breaks. I can sympathise with Twiddlefingers - I once attended a conference with simultaneous interpreting and it was fun hearing the large former Soviet chap apparently speak with an elegant Parisian French lady's voice. I know, you can't take me anywhere. Rather sobering to see evidence of Franco's handiwork. I suddenly thought of all those young English intellectuals who went to fight against Franco and of course I then thought of Linda from The Pursuit of Love arranging passage for the Spanish refugees in Perpignan which is really only some 200km from Barcelona. I have the atlas and book out as I key. Thank you for taking me there, Mrs B! love Lindaxxx

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  5. I've never been to Spain. I am living vicariously through your photos though.

    The curving buildings and colour suit me just fine.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

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  6. My wife was peering over my shoulder when I was staring goggle eyed at the roof tiles and feeling totally inadequate in the roof department, when she said, "Oh, Gaudi," to which I replied, "Oh Lordy".
    After getting the dope slap I deserved, she left the room with one of those loud exasperated sighs reserved for morons.

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  7. OMG, this is hysterical! I'm new to your blog; it came highly recommended. Having tried to Take Children To Interesting Places and Show Them The World, I totally relate to this whole scenario. You are hilarious; I needed the laugh!

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  8. Thankyou Blights for this informative guided tour of Barcelona. There are some interesting sights by the looks. How sad is the church wall with the bullet holes.
    Isn't everyones ironing basket like yours and mine?
    Excuse my tardiness in replying late to previous post but I need to say ta for explaining the pronunciation of Moana (please refer Lou's blog). I am a dill.
    Polyester. Yukko. Dreadfully hot in my climate dahling.
    xx

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  9. Oh Now it's bloody working! have to go find the damn letter/comment I wrote, be back in a sec.

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  10. Blighty, who massaged your feet every night after the long walks?

    I almost mistook the photos from the Casa Blighty for La Pedrera photos, no kidding! Please tell the Spanish Kid up in the UK how well organized his/her room is.

    And please tell Kate and Will to alter the wedding time to another hour of the day. I know they don't have to go to work an time of the day any day of the week. Mette, Maxima and Letizia, too. So please, could they be more considerate of the people who don't wear a tiara most of the time?

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  11. Dear Paula, feet ok as lots of sit downs for small boys who can run after a football for hours but get exhausted after 5 mins of museums! Excuse my ignorance, who are Mette and co? I don't move in the right circles xx

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  12. Lou - don't tell me the Evil Cyber Monster has eaten your comment, noooooooo!

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  13. Dear Anne-Marie - the church was very sad and shocking, I want to learn more about the Spanish Civil War - I don't know what history at school is like in Aus but here (well in my day) it was amazingly narrow and dull - WW2 (our finest hour???), Tudors and Stuarts, and the Holy Roman Empire and the Decline of Spain - apart from WW2, never got beyond the 17th century - so I am horribly ignorant about so much that has shaped the world recently - Ireland, Middle East, India/Pakistan. Oooh, I feel an evening class coming on!!

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  14. Welcome Mrs Faux Texan, thank you for taking the time to comment and I am glad this post gave you a laugh. This blog is my little place to be silly and chunter on about whatever I want! Faux Fuchsia (I am sure you know her already but if not,see my blogroll) got me into blogging.

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  15. Dear SSG, I think you would like Barcelona - it was the first time I went there, shocking when you think how close it is for us but somehow I missed it out..
    Dear Legend, love the expression "dope slap" feel that will come in useful as regards self on regular basis! I do think Gaudi was completely bonkers..but in a good way

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  16. Dear Linda, it made me think of Linda in Pursuit of Love too and how she gave the best cabins to all these families called "Labrador" because it reminded her of a dog she had once and really loved...the scary thing is how recent it all was and I read somewhere that Juan Carlos was a protege of Franco...

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  17. Dear Deja, I love seeing fruit like that on trees, I would love to live in a Mediterranean climate
    Dear MaiTai - I thought of you as I saw the Hermes shop on the Passeig de Gracia, I will put it in my next post
    Dear Miss Kitty - yes Blighty HQ is rather magnificent what with boy pants draped on the radiators, flattened footballs strewn round the churned up lawn and paw prints all up the walls...

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  18. Louise has just sent comment (evil Cyberthing messing her around - Louise says:"Oh I just KNEW that you would be visiting all those seriously flash Spanish Art Masterpieces, DESPITE being in an "only 1 out of 4 people in these family are female" kinda girl!"

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  19. Mister twiddly fingers still has be in stitches. Oh boy. I hate to tell you but that bed is way to knowlingly undercushioned for F.F. But I do luff the little baby cradle. Who the heck is clee, is he related to glee?

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  20. Dear Moerky, Clee, Glee, they are all just foreign chaps to me xx

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  21. Mette, Maxima and Letizia are the other crownprincesses, such is Victoria. I have no idea what is going on in Blighty. I feel a bit lonly with my passion for this wedding. How are your boys preparing or not at all? My mum already critized that I don't quit wearing the camel-toned cashmere sweater. I keep wearing it day in day out, chanelling the Testino-engagement-photo. (you know this photo, do you?) Unfortunately my blonde hair does not match the camel at all. But I could pimp the appereance with pearls. And sapphire.
    Have a nice day!

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  22. loooove it! Love the Gaudi photos. It's funny that FF should have an imaginary maid called Consuela because I often joke that Tartarus' 'other family' in Mexico consists of a wifelet called Consuela and a little boy called Jesus. I've been begging him to bring them home because I too need a maid called Consuela and Sonshine could do with a bit of Jesus in his life.

    Would love to see the Segrada thing that Gaudi built. He was a bit like Salvador Dali, but without the sadistic undertones and mental 'tashe.

    AX

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