A travel journal
to Barcelona by Barb B
Quote: Barcelona is one of Europe's most vibrant cities; Spain's most important port and second largest city. It thrives as a cultural, commercial and political center while providing a magnificent introduction to the autonomous region of Catalonia.
Progressive, avant garde and independent; from strolls among the kiosks of Las Ramblas to museums featuring Miro, Dali, Picasso and Cassals and the superb architecture of Antoni Gaudi-- Barcelona is truly a city of Art in Architecture!
From the Statue of Columbus to the medieval streets of the old Barri Gotic quarter, Barcelona offers constant reminders of its glorious past.
We found Barcelona a wonderful city for walking. We never felt threatened or uncomfortable; however, we did discover that at one point someone had unzipped our backpacks! (Another reason why we carry only sweaters, umbrellas and water bottles in our back packs!)
Note: Many street signs are posted on the sides of buildings rather than on actual "signs".
On our 1996 trip to Valencia, I was lucky enough to take a short course about Lladro sculptures and I have since become a minor collector of these gorgeous porcelain sculptures. I’m now lucky enough to own over thirty of these lovely art objects.
Therefore, when we made this current trip to Barcelona I wanted to find a few of the "best bargains" in Lladro porcelains to take home as souvenirs. I checked many of the shops in the downtown area, along the Ramblas and several local boutiques and gift shops. We found numerous "Replica" (read that as FAKE) items and lots of unscrupulous dealers.
Over my years as a collector, I’ve picked up a few hints and pass them along here, for what they are worth:
There are three important elements to remember when shopping for Lladro creations:
ALL authentic Lladro items are marked with the distinctive Lladro symbol on the bottom. (the family name accompanied by a flower).
JUDGE THE PRICE BY THE FLOWERS - Since each flower petal is hand-crafted, the more flowers on a design, the more expensive. Many creations have NO flowers, and are therefore the least expensive.
Lladro also produces other quality sculptures under the brand mark of NAO. While these porcelains are lovely and also of very high quality, they are NOT Lladro and will generally carry a price tag of 25-50% less than actual Lladro pieces.
Lladro began in a small town near Valencia in 1953 and today it is the leading manufacturer of quality porcelain. Each Lladro porcelain piece is of the highest quality and all are made and signed in the Old World artistic porcelain tradition. Each is made using a painstaking process involving quality craftsmanship with each tiny detail the result of the years of skill of an artist who personally strives for perfection in every creation. All Lladro creations are kiln fired at 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit and this gives them their unmistakable finish and glamour. The delicate shapes, textures and subtle colors of Lladro a unique and offer infinite possibilities in decoration.
I found the best buys at the city department store located at the Diagonal Avinguda and Avinguda Gran Via Carles III.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 16, 2001
Shopping for Lladro's
Along the Diagonal Avinguda
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