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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Parc Guell

Sometimes, I’m like a little dog: head out the car window, looking around, and when the car stops, hop out, run around, and sniff all the fire hydrants. Ok, I don’t sniff the fire hydrants, but the rest of it is a fairly accurate description of me (sometimes).

So needless to say, I did not take a siesta. Instead, I headed out to Parc Guell, an 18 hectare park that has a lot of buildings designed by moderniste architect Antoni Gaudi.
Gaudi is Barcelona’s most famous architect. He was also a Catalan nationalist and an ardent Catholic. According to our guidebook, he was beatified by the Catholic Church in 2001, and is now short-listed for sainthood. I wonder what kind of miracle he performed.

Modernisme has been described as art nouveau, and while I see some affinities, it seems very different stylistically to me. I’m a big fan of art nouveau architect Victor Horta, whose buildings are all full of delicate, flowing lines. The Horta House in Brussels is a masterpiece; if you’re not familiar with his style, the Godiva chocolate shops in malls across America are decent copies of Horta’s style.

Gaudi’s style, in contrast, relies much less on line than on space. They’re playful, but you wouldn’t describe them as light and airy. His stuff is fun, though it also strikes me as a little gauche. I snapped some pics before the sun set. We’ll see a lot of other Gaudi buildings, and maybe my opinion will change, but for now, I like it, don’t love it.

My other fun stop was the library. It seems to be quite the social center, rather like a Starbucks. There’s a cafeteria, for one thing. Groups of friends and old men sit around the periodicals section, chatting. Upstairs, groups of students study around tables. And best of all – there’s free Internet access! Good thing to know for our next trip.

In other news, our suitcase arrived! This actually worked out better, since we didn’t have to schlep the #%$#@ thing on the train. Well, it’s 11pm now. We’re off to get some dinner, Barcelona style!