Spain: Part 2

My Spanish friend Rafael, who is also a history buff, kindly corrected the information I gave in the last post about the ancient city underground in Barcelona.  It was called Barcino, a pre-roman name of an ancient Cartaginean town founded by a military leader and some years after that named Barcino Nova in Latin (presumably by Romans?) and eventually of course Barcelona.  Admittedly history has never been my strong point!

I will skip several pages of my sketchbook here or it will take forever to get through this trip!  The first part of day two was spent at an open air “collectibles” market in the Gothic area of town and at the Picasso Museum.  But here you see my first attempt to capture the spirit of the greatest creator of sacred structures in the modern age, Gaudi.  There is no way to prepare for the experience of Sagrada Familia by looking at pictures or reading about it.  It simply knocked the breath out of us and made us giddy.

We recovered eventually and then the next day dove into the morning with yet more Gaudi, and never got our fill of it.When it was time for lunch, we wandered around and found a restaurant with a table near a big jar of the most colorful olives I’ve ever seen, and we both sketched it while eating.

Our energy restored, we took the Metro to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya on the hill in Montjuic and walked around in there until my feet were so sore I plunked down on a bench and, with the last 10 minutes before the museum closed, sketched what was directly in front of me. . .

a graceful art deco vase.  And here I must insert another photograph, because from a perch on top of a wall we climbed to have a good vantage point, we watched the Fuente Magica, the magic fountain which danced to music correographed and lit by colored lights, after dark.  My sketching skills did not extend to capturing this phantasmagorical experience in the dark!

Stay tuned:  next, the Costa Brava



  1. Wonderful photo of you and your friend Susan!
    And I am devouring your words and lines and colours like tapas, as if I was starving!
    So great to see all that!
    Big Hugs


  2. Ah! La Sagrada Familia! I can stand and just gaze at this unfinished masterpiece for hours (and indeed have) No wonder The Alan Parsons Project were inspired to make an album on Gaudi, and a track about this modern wonder in particular. His work permeates the city like fairy dust, bringing the place alive. Don’t skip too much in your sketchbook, Susan – I’m enjoying this!


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