Saturday, March 28: Barcelona

I began today reading emails and Facebook, and Twitter, and the newspaper headlines over a cup of coffee in the hotel restaurant. Facebook reminded me that one year ago at this time, I posted birthday wishes to my son. I figured they knew what they were talking about, so I posted birthday wishes anew and carried on, believing that today was March 29. Of course it’s not (and last year I posted at night, the day before, because I had scanned a photo). In any case, vacation is taking its toll. We only have tomorrow, and leave early Monday morning.

Today we went to the Picasso museum.  He was born in Spain and spent much of his adolescence here in Barcelona. The museum isn’t as big as the Picasso museum in Paris, but it does have about 3,800 of his works. He set this museum up during his lifetime ( in 1963) and his widow donated more to the collection after his death in 1973.

It was overwhelming to see this huge chunk of his work, and I’m not sure all of the collection was even displayed. I enjoyed seeing how his style and focus changed through his life. If I lived closer, I think it would be great to be able to look at even just a wall at a time since it is too much to take in in just a few hours.

From there we walked around in that part of the city, went down to the water for lunch, bought a new piece of luggage to hold everything we have bought over the past two weeks, and ended up at a very small leather goods store, owned by a husband and wife.

Roger wanted to buy a belt and the selection displayed was nice,but not exactly what he was looking for. Rafael, the owner said he’d make a belt and brought out a nice piece of leather. He asked us to come back in two hours.

So we walked around, window-shopped, actually shopped, people-watched, and came back for the belt a little early. Carmen, his wife welcomed us back with excitement. She dragged two chairs out for us to sit down, gave us water, Spanish magazines to read, and opened Google translator on her laptop to help us communicate. We found out that she and Rafael have also been married for thirty years, and that they’ve had the shop for 28. He makes beautiful briefcases, purses, wallets, and other goods and seems to do well.

We talked for a while and eventually the belt was ready. After we said goodbye, they asked where we were going next. I said we were going to dinner, but we were not sure where. Carmen jumped up, waved to her husband, and escorted us to a really nice tapas restaurant about ten minutes away. We were sort of amazed that she brought us in, walked us downstairs, and showed us the unique setup before hugging and kissing us goodbye and returning to Rafael.
We enjoyed dinner at this place we never would have found on our own, and sat with a nice couple from Frankfurt who were there for a long weekend.

Tomorrow we need to wind things down: pack up and prepare for an early start for our journey home on Monday.

Adios,
-Susan

The clever restaurant Carmen led us to. You walk up and select with tapas you want, then they write up a bill based on the number of toothpicks you've placed in a holder on your table.

The clever restaurant Carmen led us to. You walk up and select the tapas you want, then they write up a bill based on the number of toothpicks you’ve placed in a holder on your table.

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At the waterfront after lunch

At the waterfront after lunch

At the leather shop. I wish the photo with Carmen had come out. She was adorable and so kind.

At the leather shop. I wish the photo with Carmen had come out. She was adorable and so kind.

At the Picasso museum today

At the Picasso museum today

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