Sunday, September 21, 2008

The ecstasy and the agony

Since our arrival in Barcelona, we have been enjoying the convenience of having our own washing machine:

We have done seven loads of laundry, including three of dark clothes. Please note that our washing machine is certainly not a jumbo capacity work horse, but we are glad to have it just the same. The only downside is that we don’t have a dryer, so clothes are hanging from the shower rod, the door handles, the appliance handles, and draped over the backs of chairs. We do have a fold out drying rack, which is perfect for delicate items. One pair of wet jeans would cause this thing to collapse.

We feel right at home because everyone else in our “neighborhood” has hung their laundry out to dry too. Here are some views out of our front window:

With our laundry situation under control, yesterday we headed out to the National Museum of Catalan Art at the site of the Palau Nacional, which was built for the 1929 International Exhibition. Obviously, people in 1929 liked to climb stairs. There are at least 15 flights of stairs that one must scale to reach the door of the museum.

Two views of the city from the hill where the museum sits:

The fountain in front of the museum:

Some of the stairs:

From the main street, this is the walk toward the museum:

Mother of Ken was perspiring profusely in the mid-September 1000% humidity here in Barcelona. Keep in mind that all of this occurred after a 30 minute walk from our apartment. Ken and Mother of Ken have nearly come to blows over how many miles this actually was. Mother of Ken called it the Trail of Tears. At any rate, we got right to work, beginning with the Romanesque art. We spent the majority of our time in the Gothic art section with Ken dictating notes regarding the works of art to Mother of Ken. We found several works that are important to Ken’s dissertation as well as several images of Mother of Ken’s favorite saint, Peter Martyr. Do a Google image search for paintings of him--he always has a knife stuck in his head.

There were also many fine examples of St. Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon, including one of particular interest painted by Francesco Maffei.

For the uninitiated, medieval people seem to have a fascination with a subject we will call the “Lactating Virgin.” These are paintings that depict the Virgin breastfeeding the baby Jesus. The Virgin’s breast bursts from her clothing, as you can see in the following example by Pedro Berruguete:

Mother of Ken counted no less than 13 of these types of paintings and expressed her disgust at each sighting.

A mere five and a half hours later, we emerged from the museum, descended the endless stairways, and began our journey back to the apartment. We were grateful that we could fix supper in our apartment instead of having to go out in search of food.

Just for laughs, we thought we would include a picture of the hamburger bun wrapper. This is a common brand of bread in Spain, like Wonder Bread is in the US:


Leah said...

Better Bimbo bread than Mimbo bread. "I made you tuna, Tony, because I know you don't like peanut butter!"

Melissa said...

Where are my royalties from that bread? Actually, this reminds me of a picture my friend, Joseph, posted from his new home in Kiev. It was a poster for the Viagra Burger.