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
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
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.
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
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
the great buidings we have seen in our brief exploration of Barcelona.
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.".
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.
Sueann and I hope you are well and happy. We look forward to seeing you before long.
Click here to return to the list of stories>