Diary entry from Syndia:
Our second day in Barcelona was almost as action-packed as the first. We got up early and ran around looking for a patisserie for breakfast, then looked for the Picasso museum. There was a queue of 20 or so at the entrance, and the museum hadn't opened yet (it was 10.00), so we went shopping first, thinking that we would thus avoid the queue. We came back half an hour later, only to find the queue had expanded to 50 or so, with the doors open. (Okay Karen, so it may have been a little bit more than half an hour. Fine. Definitely more than half an hour. Let's say an hour and leave it at that.) We decided to wait in line. The museum had lots of paintings from Picasso's earlier, pre-Cubist works and were therefore much more traditional paintings. There were lots of Blue and Pink Period paintings as well. I always find it strange to see the original paintings that I've seen reproduced in textbooks.
The second stop for the day was Casa Batllo again, this time the interior. Once again, we used the audio-guides, but I got sick of using mine and had Karen summarise all the interesting bits for me J. The guides were a bit too full of praise for Gaudi's creative genius and kept pointing out obvious things, so I decided to take pictures instead. We both agreed that it was a nice place to visit, but living in the building would undoubtedly cause restless dreams.
The final big stop for the day was Parc Guell. We really hadn't intended to go to Barcelona on a Gaudi pilgrimage (especially since I'd never seen any pictures of his work until I got there), but there were pictures and figurines of his famous mosaic lizard in every souvenir shop, so we had to go and see the original. We had to climb an enormous hill to get to the park. It was so steep that outdoor escalators had been installed in the middle of the street in the worst bits. The bits that were deemed non-escalator-requiring were still really steep. The photo doesn't do it justice. And then, when we finally reached the park entrance, it was a dusty, dry and dull garden. A lizard at this point would have made it much more interesting. We climbed a little higher up the mountain, but although we had a good view of the city we couldn't see any sign of the lizard, or any signage to it (I was a bit fixated on the lizard).
I was starting to feel a bit grumpy about the whole lizard thing, but we then saw the Gingerbread houses (not their official name) and lots of people down at the very bottom of the other side of the mountain. If anyone reading this is planning on going to Parc Guell, please be aware that there are two entrances to the park, and you definitely want the lower one, unless you're really keen for a view of the city. (Please note that this is a very biased view of Parc Guell. Karen thought the gardens were lovely, and enjoyed traipsing around in wooded avenues, especially after spending so much time surrounded by buildings.) I took lots more photos of mosaics and mosaic-covered structures.
We briefly stopped in at the Gaudi museum, but there wasn't much there to excite us, then we went to the Doric Hall and the lizard, and took the obligatory photos. We also saw the gingerbread houses and then decided we'd had enough of Gaudi and headed home, stopping in at a few chocolatiers and cake shops along the way.