Wednesday, 13 October 2010


The end of the trip is rapidly approaching. Why does time seem to race at such an accelerated rate? It has been a busy day. We left Madrid at the crack of dawn, so it seemed, in order to catch a train from Atocha station for Barcelona. This is our last city so inevitably thoughts are beginning to turn homewards. Naturally none of us slept well last night and thus are not at our sparkling best.

Most of our time in Madrid was spent in galleries and so I have little sense of Madrid as a city, except that it is large and well laid out with wide streets and splendid parks. The streets are crowded and everyone enjoys the street night life. They all smoke much, and there seems to be more smoke than that created by the Great Fire of London. And nobody moves aside for anyone - you just have to get out of their way, while they head straight for you. How come they do not bump into each other all the time?

We had long days at the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and El Prado, which were both amazing and fabulous places which fulfilled all my hopes and wishes. The Reina Sofia, where we saw Picasso's Guernica, was disappointing, as to my mind and tastes the art was greatly inferior to what we had seen in the previous two days.

After our early start and journey on the very fast train, which was great - and why can we not manage to build one on Australia - we were taken around Barcelona to see La Sagrada Familia, which is quite extraordinary and inspiring, and then to Guell Park, also fabulous, and then to look at various others including El Pedrero, an apartment building which apparently almost bankrupted its owners. It was amazing from the outside and from  its high and windswept rooftop, but it seemed to me to be a strange combination of Dr Who, Disney, Star Wars and other digitally created structures, and it was all in muddy ochre-ish shades. We saw the apartment, and by the time I got out I was almost writhing with distaste and unease. I hated it. By this stage, having been up since 5am, we were almost dead on our feet. Oh it is hard work being a tourist, and all those other tourists are pests and menaces, who insist on posing for their photos on the aisles of cathedrals or other places, where they get in the way of ordinary mortals.

As a major disadvantage of using an iPod to write blogs is the use of only one overly large finger, and the not knowing at any stage quite how to undo anything. So I stop asap, and crawl into my bed, rejoicing in the fact that I will not be doing any more handwashing.  Spain is wonderful, apart from the endemic smoking and the crowds, and the people are terrific. I would love to return .


molly said...

Sounds like a wonderful time---no pity her! Safe home.

molly said...

Of course I meant "here!"