Monday, September 16, 2013
Day trip to Barcelona to see Tintin exhibit and renovated market
Herge drew on the news stories and books of the day. On display were clippings of articles about fascist plots, ships, pictures of the desert and the race to the moon. There were postcards, catalogs and even a book about Rasputin. Entertainers such as Rudolph Valentino were also included in his books, Valentino in Cigars of the Pharaoh. Each display featured a different book and all the clippings and other materials that Herge used for that particular book. The pictures, when compared with the originals, are remarkably accurate.
It was really interesting to see how Herge had developed his colourful books from events of the time. And of course it is easy see how the books still retain their popularity today.
After a short walk we arrived in El Born. Our first stop was the new Mercat de Princessa, which is really a number of tapas bars with beautiful displays of meats, breads, sausages, desserts and wines on display. We didn't stop for anything to eat today but we will go back there the next time we stay in el Born.
Initially we were quite surprised that there is no market on the site today. In fact Seamus had some difficulty coming to grips with this. It didn't matter though, the building is magnificent with its high ceiling and 19th century cast iron architecture.
Notarized documentation exists about the area so that it is known who lived in the buildings. At the sides of the market or cultural centre are museums showing daily life in the area with lots of ceramics and displays and a war room. We will visit these next time we are in Barcelona.
We did visit the restaurant or tapas bar for a beer and some beautiful pan tomat, grilled wonderful, multigrain bread with tomato rubbed in it. Delicious. At one end of the restaurant was a huge nine-screen display showing the stages of the magnificent renovation.
After a quick visit to the nearby Santa Catarina market to admire the food displays, we went to the adjoining Market restaurant, our favourite, for lunch. We had an odd non Spanish lunch of a 'melt in your mouth' Thai chicken curry and oriental ribs that came with rice wraps, strings of cucumber and a black bean paste. We were instructed to eat them like Peking Duck. Never having had Peking Duck we were a bit baffled for a minute but managed to eat the delicious concoction with no difficulty.
A window shopping walk up the incredibly busy Passeig de Gracias finished our day. Unsure about the time of the Figueres train, we made it to the platform with two minutes to spare.