Friday, 5 March 2010

Storms and Oranges

   The week has gone by so quickly, since we got back.  We arrived home on Sunday afternoon to blue skies, just after a violent storm swept through France.  The Seine had swollen up so that benches and lampposts appeared to be growing out of the river next to the Île de la Jatte, and the streets were a tangle of fallen branches.  Watching the news was shocking; on the west coast only rooftops showed above the water. It was sort of surreal to have come from Barcelona to Paris, hearing that this insane storm had happened in Spain and France but having felt no sign of it, only blue skies and a calm flight with a windy landing. 

   Barcelona was like a fairytale.  There were real orange trees standing in courtyards all dressed in fruit (my first time seeing that).  And then the narrow streets of the Gothic quarter with laundry hanging out of every window, the cathedrals, and, of course, the Gaudi buildings.  Not to mention, every evening after it got dark, a cup of chocolate so thick you could stand a spoon in it! 

We found lots of lovely stained glass windows, both new and old.  The top three are from the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar and the bottom one is from the Museu nacional d'Art de Catalunya:

And some lovely paintings in the cathedral:

Here is some of the inside of a house by Manuel Sayrach i Carreras which was also very beautiful.  It appears to be an apartment building with a posh restaurant on the ground floor.  No one was around when we passed by, so we snuck in to look around.  One of the residents came down the elevator just after the first photo was taken and she just smiled at us... so we didn't feel too bad about all our sneaking.

  Imagine living in there... it's like part of some sort of underwater palace!

   Anyway, since we've been back I've been working away on illustrations for a project I'm working on with a friend.  The only time I've let myself out is to visit a friend from my etching class at the studio where she works so we could drink wine and she could encourage me to take up a team sport and be less shy...  So, I've been working but  I'm too superstitious to show anything before it's done.   I think it'll be a long while before I have anything from that to post here. 

   Tonight I'll have to let myself off the hook again, since we're going to the Ballet Russe.  One thing that is really brilliant about Paris is that you can see the best ballets in the world in the most beautiful theatres for the same price as a movie ticket (or even less if you don't mind lining up).  Of course, the ballet can also go on strike. 



  1. Hi Jodi, that building foyer looks like a grotto, I've never been to Spain and from what I've seen of the fabulous eye popping architecture Barcelona does look like a magical spot plus all their medieval art is icing on the cake.

    The second lot of stained glass windows remind me of Tiffany lamps. I like the painting of the medieval buildings and nuns, is it one of your artworks?

    One of our tv stations here has a daily French news report which had extensive coverage of the devastation that storm left in its wake :(

    I hope the dancers danced their hearts out for you ... ballet for the same price as a movie - only in a dream here*!*

  2. Heisann!

    I love Barcelona too. Have been there several times.
    The city has everything...
    I just came home from Marcco, also an interesting country!
    vilt og vakkert is my main blog. Lia is the blog for our sparetime. We will spend Eatser there in a few weeks! The house is in the middle of Telemark, west of Oslo.
    Have a nice week!

  3. Hi Bimbimbie,

    We were excited about the medieval art too... especially once we heard that the Museu nacional d'Art de Catalunya had one of the biggest collections of gothic art in the world. Unfortunately that entire wing of the museum was closed during our time there, so I guess we'll just have to go back someday.

    Yes, I painted the nuns in the sidebar... thanks!

    And the ballet was great... and I am always so appreciative of it, since being able to afford to see it would only be a dream in Canada too.

  4. Oh no, that would have been disappointing and frustrating to get there and find the wing closed, as you say another visit another day ...

    have you found your way to this blog, I think you might enjoy it

  5. Hi Bimbimbie,

    Yes, I love that blog!