FashionSueann in a Spanish looking dress

If the weather keeps behaving the way it has been, neither Jeffrey nor I will be able to stop wearing layers of long sleeves. So, let me say a word about what the natives wear: Jeans.

That's pretty much it. Jeans in blue, gray, black, tan, pressed, raggedy, with and without lots of  pockets and zippers. With those jeans, the women's preferred footwear is boots and the men like athletic type shoes of varying colors. Tourists, both male and female also wear athletic type shoes.

Young women frequently have a number of facial piercings; lips, cheeks as well as the usual multi ear pierces. It's rare to see an older woman with gray hair unless she is very old. Men have gray hair.

A spin through the Corte Ingles, Spain's largest department store chain, revealed the usual name brands one would see in any Macy's  in the states; Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Benetton, that sort of fashion. The street markets have the kind of fashion one might see in Target or Walmart. I did see one street stall with very cute, one of a kind, long waisted dresses that I'd be happy to wear if I were 40 years younger. The high fashion shops are just that, high fashion, the kind of thing you can't imagine anyone actually wearing. We have seen a couple of shops with beautifully tailored, extremely expensive clothes for both men and women.


                                                                                                                                                               This is not the dress I would buy

The Rain in Spain

It's Easter Sunday, 6pm.  Sueann and I just had a delicious dinner at the Petit Sune, a Caldetes restaurant specializing in fish and other seafoods.  Then we slowly walked for 25 minutes up the hill in a slight rain to our Caldetes home.  The walk was not hard because we walked slowly and we have had much practice in the 11 days we have been here.  The walk is good for us.

However we had understood from our home swappers that it was a ten minute walk and that we would be 30 minutes from Barcelona by train.  Turns out we are 50 minutes by train from Barcelona.

We didn't expect particularly warm weather and we have not had that.  We did expect some days of sunshine and so far we have had one, possibly two days of sunshine.  The rest of the days have been rainy or mostly rainy.

As it turns out, mid April is not the best time to visit Barcelona.  The city is filled with tourists, most of them much younger than us and more willing to stand in long lines than I am.  The upshot of this is that all the museums we want to visit have been too crowded for us to wait in line.

Since it has rained so much and since we are 50 minutes each way from Barcelona, and since Barcelona is filled with tourists, we thought we might rent a car and visit some of the smaller towns in Catalunya.  It took us two days of running around to ascertain that cars are not readily available in Matero, a town 10 miles away.  We were told we could find car rental agencies near the Placa Catalunya in Barcelona but all we were able to find out is that the car rental agency used by Corte Ingles, the largest department store in Spain, was closed.   Finally, yesterday someone told us that car rental agencies could be found at the main train station in Barcelona, Sants Barcelona.  So today we got there as early as we could (11a.m.).  One agency had a half reasonable price for a tiny car (45 Euros a day) but had no cars for the next four days.  The other agency, EuroCar, wanted 90 Euros a day for a tiny tiny car.   Well friends, that was beyond our car renting budget - so no car.

We then decided to visit one of the many interesting buildings in Barcelona but it involved quite a bit of walking and my feet are not the best and it was raining.  So we got the train back to Caldetes and arrived at 4:10 pm, just when most restuarants close from their lunch service.   But we were lucky and the Petit Sune was still open and served us a great meal of duck pate, caneloni, succulent cod fish cheeks, splendid monkfish and a great bottle of white wine which cost us only 14.50 Euros.

What's a story without pictures?  Not good, so here are some of the great buidings we have seen in our brief exploration of Barcelona.

Barcelona building   Barcelona Building

The two photos below are of Gaudi's Casa Mila also known as La Pedera of which one source we read commented "this is architecture that has burned its passport, gone native, feral even ... there is no other architecture in Europe that resembles La Pedera.".

Gaudi's Casa Mila  Gaudi's Casa Mila        

The following three photos are of  Gaudi's Casa Batllo.  John Gill, in his book "Gaudi" writes of Casa Batllo: "The gloves came off with Gaudi's first house on the Passeig de Gracia.  The sinuous animal shapes, the hints of bone and skeleton, and the unbridled use of iridescent color fused together in a synthesis of Gaudi's architectural obsessions in a way that still stupifies observers today."  To me, the Batllo is a fantasy, more real than amost any other, which excited not only my eyes but my mind and heart as well.

Gaudi's Casa Batllo    Gaudi's Casa Batllo     

                                                                Gaudi's Casa Batllo

Sueann and I hope you are well and happy. We look forward to seeing you before long.

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