Saturday, 18 June 2016

Bad Tourist in a Museum

la Pedrera

Been there, done that...

I finally visited La Pedrera, or Casa Milà, as it's also known. Yes, I have been visiting Barcelona for the past 12 or so years once or twice a year, and it has taken me this long to see one of the top attractions...

You see, I don't do queues. Nope, I'm not spending hours waiting to get into a museum (yes, this is just one of the reasons I call myself a Bad Tourist...). Life is just too short for that, and I don't need so see anything that badly. And I hate crowded places. And I don't like big museums...

But I'm digressing here. This time Professor M and I just happened to be passing Casa Milà and there was no queue!!! That just doesn't happen. Or at least I've never seen no queue in front of this building, ever. It didn't hurt that it was my birthday (that was way back in early June when we were in Barcelona), so it felt extra special. Because of course I've been wanting to see Casa Milà for ages, for the past 12 or so years that I have been visiting Barcelona...

The tour consists of the rooftop (with this fabulous view of Passeig de Gracia), the attic and a model apartment. The rest of the building is off-limits: some lucky people actually live there...

Barcelona
Casa Mila

The ventilation towers on the roof terrace look as if they had stepped out of an early 20th century science fiction film... But it was the ventilation courtyards in the middle of the building that really fascinated me:

la Pedrera
casa Mila
Casa Mila

Small is beautiful...

I have to admit that I don't particularly enjoy touring huge museums (actually, I'm quite good at finding excuses not to visit them because they wear me out). I prefer a curated collection that is big enough for me think I've seen something worthwhile but small enough so as not to overwhelm me. Such as the small and compact Museu del Modernisme.

This is my kind of museum: a small collection of interesting items that you can see in 30-45 minutes. The museum houses a collection of Art Nouveau (or Modernist, as they call it in Barcelona) furniture, sculptures, paintings and advertising posters, originating from a private collection of two antique dealers.

The collection of furniture is big enough for anyone not familiar with Art Nouveau / Modernisme to get an idea of what it's all about. Yet, it is small enough to entice you to study the details of each piece. And that's what a museum should be about, in my opinion: giving you an overview of something while letting you get absorbed in the minutiae if you so desire.

art nouveau
art nouveau

There are other interesting (and small) museums in Barcelona, too: Chocolate MuseumErotic Museum, and the Motorcycle Museum, to mention just a few.

And then there are the beautiful buildings everywhere, my favourite way of studying art and architecture. This time around I was particularly taken by various textured facades. Look at these pictures, for example: it's as if these buildings were covered with wallpaper...

Barcelona architecture
Barcelona architecture

Do you like museums? 

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6 comments

  1. Beautiful architecture! Barcelona must be a stunning City!

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    1. Oh, it is! I've been there over a dozen times and always look forward to going back.

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  2. I agree with you and prefer smaller museums to the mega-sized ones. Yesterday, we went to a shoe exhibition at a museum here in Toronto. To get in, we had to pass through metal-detectors and security searches. Is that new? Who's gonna bring a weapon to a museum?!

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    1. That sounds like fun! The shoe exhibition, I mean, not the metal detectors. Unfortunately, the world we live in is far from safe (just think what happened in Paris and Brussels not so long ago...), and tourists are a high-profile target, so I for one am happy to pass through a metal detector and feel safe(r). I'm always a bit worried about safety when I'm abroad (yes, Finland is still a relatively safe place, for now...), especially in big European cities (again, referring to Paris and Brussels...).

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  3. Beautiful photos! I do like museums, but like you, if it is too big I can overwhelmed and tired. The smaller, the better, in my opinion!

    Thanks for joining my On the Edge of the Week link up! I look forward to seeing what you link up next week!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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