Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year’s Eve

Today was the day we planned to go to the Picasso museum about two minutes away from our apartment but unfortunately it was raining so everyone had the same idea. Not willing to queue up we walked over to the Palau de la Musica and got a guided tour of it. This is the building where the Barcelona symphony plays. The actual building is 102 years old and was built privately by the acapella choir and is still owned by them. Words cannot accurately describe the beauty of this concert hall. It was built out of ceramics, glass and stone, all found locally. The architect used a lot of stained glass and natural lighting. The pictures do it more justice than my words but I will say it was a real feast for the eyes. At the end of the tour the guide started the organ. The sound was amazing. There are twenty tunes that it can play by computer. This is done to blow any dust out of the over 3,000 pipes as well as to entertain tours.

While we were there we bought tickets to the Strauss New Year’s Eve concert. Our tickets were up in the gods as that was all there was left but we were happy to just be there to hear the Strauss Festival Orchestra. The sound of the orchestra and singers was crystal clear. It was a beautiful thing to do on New Year’s Eve.

Then it was off to our New Year’s Eve dinner at one of our local restaurants. After eating too many courses and thinking we were finished along comes a plate of nougat. We had only one piece. Then we got little bags of grapes. I was going to eat some, when one of the locals said no you have to save them for midnight. One grape for each gong of the clock. Everyone began diligently peeling and seeding their grapes. Then we were given a bag with a party hat, mask, moustache, horn, balloon and streamers in preparation for 12. It was pretty funny looking at a restaurant full of people all decked out in their New Year’s gear. I must say that everyone got right in the spirit. Maybe masks and moustaches should be included at Christmas in Cinnaminson. When the gong started everyone began eating his or her grapes. There is no way I could eat that many grapes that fast. I now see why they make the grapes all mushy. It was champagne and Happy New Year’s and a bit more partying then we were off.

It doesn’t matter where you go in Barcelona at New Year’s everyone is out and about. People come from all over for New Year’s. We decided to go for a walk and watch some firecrackers. Then it was back to our apartment where we thought we could get a couple of hour sleep before our taxi pick-up at 4:30 am. I lay there listening to all the partying outside, gave up and had a shower.

As we sat in the taxi there were loads of revellers still out in the streets. It’s always sad to leave here but we’ll be back.

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