Saturday, 16 October 2010

Almost on the way

Here I sit at Barcelona airport at a proper computer, rather than the iPod which has been my electronic connection to far far away for the last three weeks. It is a relief to be able to use more than one finger to type, and to see a whole line at a time, and to know how to correct mistakes.

As our group left the hotel dark and early this morning, I exchanged email addresses with one of the group. Now the iPod has this clever trick of guessing what you mean, so that errors can readily be fixed. Not having worked out how to reject suggestions, I had a lot of trouble enetering ´wa´which the iPod insisted meant ´way´.

Will any of the group meet each other again? It was a interesting and pleasant group, and conversation, and laughter never flagged, despite the tiredness which afflcted us, and the travelling respiratory germ. This travelled around the group, and once within a body, it hunted around for vulnerable parts. Mine is lingering a little, but I had only one rather miserable day, most of which was spent on a bus, which doubtless helped in the general transmission.

Enough of germs.

We spent our last night at a guitar recital in a gorgeous concert hall, lavishly decorated with horses plunging from the sides out towards the audience, an impressive organ, decorated frosted glass windows, and a general ornateness. We sat upstairs, on chairs, carefully arranged so that it was possible to see through the gaps. The guitarist played all the lovely Spanish guitar music, and finished with a melange or medley, selected, almost, it seemed at random, of the classical pieces, interspersed with the Beatles, the James Bond theme, Deep Purple, (I was sitting next to a relatively young member of the group who explained all the pop tunes to me) and numerous others, while the guitarist looked about him in a puzzled way as though searching through the ambient air for whatever he was really supposed to be doing. We all loved it, it was totally brilliant.

Then back to the hotel, to finish packing and to get as much sleep as possible before our early start.

Yesterday we went to the Picasso Museum. He is not an artist I am very fond of, but the early works were interesting and demonstrated his technical competence, and there was a fascinating exhibition of Picasso and Degas, comparing and contrasting their treatment of women washing, and dancing. We also saw Picasso's variations of Velazquez's Las Meninas, and these made me feel rather queasy. Seeing so many Velazquez paintings in Madrid was a wonderful experience.

Earlier we had visited Barcelona's Cathedral, which I loved, an austere Gothic building, immensely high, and with such old looking stones. There is a lovely cloister with a garden, fountain and a pond with a whole flock of geese. no one seems to know why there came to be geese kept here, but they are certainly a great attraction. They demand to be fed, with many aggressive honks and thrusting of heads towards the enarest hands.

It is time I had some food, so Adios. I hope that there will be a substantial Bienvenido on my return.


Relatively Retiring said...

At Christmas time that cathedral cloister also hosts some sheep and a real, live nativity scene.
Safe journey home.

Getting Better Everyday said...

I just stumbled across your blog and found it to be very interesting. I'm trying to get my Mom to start blogging, so I sent her your link for inspiration. Thanks for sharing your adventures - it was fun to read!

Meggie said...

I would have love to hear that Guitarist, having always loved guitar music for some reason.
What an interesting experience it has all been for you.