Barcelona – a kaleidoscope

John was speaking at a conference here and I was invited along by ‘Atlas For The Future’. This is a company run by two very talented women – Lisa Goldapple and Cathy Runciman. They are both fabulous.

This was my first visit to Barcelona and it would be only for two days. Early evening sun lit up the city. The Jazz hotel is central and our room was probably designed by a female brain because all the mirrors, hooks, lighting etc were in the right places! So often I can’t believe how badly designed some hotel rooms are. Even expensive ones.

We were met in the lobby by Judith and Naledi who spirited us off at a fast pace through the streets to a roof top terrace where bottles of ‘cava’ flowed and exquisite ‘tapas’ were enjoyed by an eclectic group of all the conference speakers.

Barcelona jacarandas
The Gothic quarter
Barcelona – the cathedral
Arriving at our destination for the evening …

Not only were there delicious tapas treats but for my first time we were strapped into a virtual reality gadget, which showed us future scenes of the results of climate change on the planet. I found it very disturbing but we need to be faced with this reality and be encouraged to take steps to prevent some of these scenes happening. Will we be in time?

This conference was made up of wonderful people, all trying to do their best to save us from a tragic outcome. A warmth of spirit and enthusiasm for the good things in life and how we can preserve them prevailed throughout.

Comfortable bed, reviving sleep, day 1 of the conference.

On our way to the conference
The library – an interesting concept …
Entrance to the university
‘Atlas of the FutureConference – speaker

We had a little window of time before the afternoon session and made our way to the Picasso Museum, which stretches across five medieval palace buildings. It’s very impressive.

Picasso museum
Picasso museum – him and her
Picasso’s birds …
Picasso reflections …
Mirrors within mirrors

I’m now leaving the museum but feel like Alice Through the Looking Glass – not sure how this photo came to be but I’m reflected behind the red dot. Somewhat confused, I eventually found myself back on the street … this is a great place to show Picasso.

Near the Picasso museum

There was still a short time to explore and we made best use of it.

Looks fun – maybe next time …
An inviting enclave …
Trapped under a bell jar

I wanted to buy him but he wasn’t for sale. So – trapped for ever …

A quick lunch with the best olives …
Rose tuna
lemon sorbet
the bird awaits the crumbs …

Scurrying back for the afternoon session – do we know the way? Barcelona is so picturesque it’s hard not to stop and stare – so I do a bit of that … while hurrying on in the heat of the day……….

Ever onwards …
People watching and a pretty dress …

The afternoon session goes well – a lot of discussion on nutrition and I am impressed by a British journalist called Bee Wilson and a Scottish/Italian chef who lives in Adelaide and has a top restaurant. The two of them create huge sparks of energy together.

Pan pipes – music fills the street
No, I don’t know – it remains a mystery …

I noticed some small ‘vintage’ boutiques as we were speeding along today and planned to return alone to check them out. John is fast track, while I am slow and love to potter about.

Bona nit
Barcelona boutiques
shoe shop!
pink fashionista
meringues galore!
dog – boutique style
a bar – looking inside out …
‘vintage’ silky purchase in fifties pattern

This is from a tiny boutique near the university called ‘ZIEL’. I think they look through old patterns, then reprint onto new material. This pattern reminds me of ‘jiving’ – great rock n’ roll dance steps of the fifties. It’s also classy, unlike many modern ‘tops’ today. I am so happy!


This looks inviting but time is of the essence as the conference is now coming to a close at the end of the day. We had wanted to see the Sagrada Família but the queues were much too long – a colleague suggested to John that we should go and see the first house Gaudi created, both inside and out, for an industrialist, politician and patron, Eusebi Güell. It now belongs to Barcelona, given by his youngest daughter and has been named a UNESCO world heritage site. It is ‘out of this world’ original and wonderful.

On our way to Palau Güell
City street with Catalan flag
Barcelona bikes

The city has many trees lining the streets – some with impressive seed pods.

Impressive seed pods!
Palau Güellentrance
The stairs beckon …
Ceiling 1
A floral chest
Ceiling 2
Ceiling 3
Could come in handy!

Cut to the roof top. As you are probably aware by now, there was no limit to the budget and Gaudí went on to create Parc Güell, which is a must for the next time in Barcelona.

A magical roof top
Gaudí at play
Captured mistily in a beautiful mirror
Reminds me somewhat of Jack Nicholson in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’?
Palau Güell – garden
Palau Güell – exit

We left and our short time in Barcelona came to its end too … I hope we return.

Adéu Barcelona
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