I’m a bit behind with my reportage. Let’s see. I went on another free walking tour. This time it covered the exteriors of Gaudi’s buildings including Sagrada Familia. The city was overflowing with people EVERYWHERE because it was Sant Jordi day so I expected that the tour would be filled up by the time I arrived – I was running a bit late due to a snafu – but there were only twelve people. After the 2-1/2 hour tour I asked the guide to point me in the right direction and, even though two subway rides got us places, I decided, after looking at the map, that it was entirely walkable. Of course I told myself that I should get ice cream if I survived.

The walk took me in the direction of FundatiĆ³n Antoni Tapies so I stopped there for a little while before proceeding to the book festival in Placa Sant Just. I passed, by chance a small restaurant that we had eaten in earlier this week so I stopped, got the bestest pizza and even the bestest coffee and was totally revived. Even my feet got a second chance at life. The book festival was wonderful. It was crowded with artists displaying/selling their artist’s books, an opera singer and her pianist, poetry reading, harpist that also sang and a clog dancer that I missed. When I arrived, Gwen was at her table making a trade with another artist. The site was also crowded with passersby – a steady stream – stopping, looking, touching the artwork, asking questions. I spotted one of the fellows from last Saturday’s sketchcrawl sitting on the church “stoop” sketching. Unfortunately I arrived too late to see two people I was hoping to see, Silvia and a facebook friend. Oh well.

When they packed up at 8:00 I left, walked up a short passage, turned a corner into a large square and found a brass band and people holding hands and dancing in ever larger circles. I lingered for awhile. No. I didn’t dance.

That was it for Wednesday. I think I hit everything. Oh yeah. I got ice cream. Funny how I can remember which streets lead me there.

Today was a leisurely wandering day for me. After breakfast I strolled along La Rambla to Mercat de la Boqueria where I walked back and forth through the whole place. It was a good thing I had just eaten. I found a spot next to a pillar where I would be in no one’ way and sketched in my journal.

I went across La Rambla to a cash machine. AND THEN two motorcycle cops with flashing blue lights speed by from the side street. Then another and another. Hmm. I cross the road and can see that there is smoke billowing from the roof of a building, or maybe from behind it. I watch for awhile and realize that Placa Reial is just behind the building so I walk into there and watch the policemen set up a perimeter just in front of me and then two teeny tiny fire trucks (remember, the streets in the Old City are very narrow) arrive and firemen spill out and search for the fire. And then blah blah blah everything is apparently under control so I resume my walk, ending at the Columbus Monument where I turn around and walk until I decide to enter the Old City. I found the little restaurant again, this time on purpose, had pizza and a large coffee, read and sketched the same scene twice – once in my journal and once in iPat.

My ears led me to a small square just one street away and there was a convenient bench-like ledge to sit on.

Still walking I ended up in front of the Cathedral. There were lots of booths selling antique and “antique” jewelry, books, coins, etc. I studied everything and walked on.

I planned on going to MACBA (maybe Museum of Art & Culture Barcelona? Maybe) and I got there about 4:30 and promptly hit a wall. I was soooo tired all of a sudden I almost fell asleep while watching an incomprehensible film and had trouble getting one foot in front of the other. I forced myself to enter every exhibition on all three floors. Honestly, I only enjoyed a Kentridge film in trilogy and a couple of very large Tapies pieces. Everything else? I didn’t have enough oxygen in my brain to make any sense of it or even to want to. It took me forever to walk to the hotel even though it was only a block away.

Phew. I did it. All caught up.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Pen & Ink app.