Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Picasso and Universitat

My friend Kathy arrived on Friday and will stay through the rest of the trip. The conference continued through Saturday and my presentation went well. I certainly am glad to have attended as there were so many interesting sessions and I met and talked with people from all over the world. The conference dinner was held on a beautiful evening in the University gardens where I ate with colleagues from Australia, Canada, Thailand, and the United States.

I am finding how different Catalan is from Spanish, but still trying to muddle through. At times I'm sure it's quite comical. I think I'll break down and get a dictionary since many of the words don't appear in the one I brought.

Barcelona is an architectural dream and I wish I knew more to fully appreciate the diversity and creativity. Of course art played an enormous role as well. My friend Kathy and I toured the Museu Picasso which featured a temporary exhibit about Picasso’s friend artist Klees von dongel. The building was beautiful with rooms and rooms of Picasso’s artwork from 1890-1968, much of which I knew nothing about. Of course there were some recognizable ones. He certainly was gifted, but also seemed troubled.

The museum also has a nice cafĂ© and gift shop with lots of items (e.g., notebooks, book marks, magnets) with favorite works of Picasso’s art. I am impressed with the level of politeness around the city which the large museum crowd reflected. I haven’t encountered any rudeness and, aside from Las Ramblas which is noisy and bustling, pedestrian and automobile/scooter traffic move along quite civilly.

From the museum we walked to the Museu de la Xocolate which unfortunately was cerrado and then to see the Catedral Gotici. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera, so will have to return for photos of this magnificent structure.

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