Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oh, The Places I've Been - Barcelona!

About this time two years ago, I took a trip with my ‘rents to sunny Spain – home of Picasso, Miro, Gaudi, El Greco, Dali. So much beauty & art & not nearly enough time to see it! I thought I’d share a bit of what I was able to see though in Barcelona. This is me & I’ll be your guide for the day.

So, how European do I look? This was taken on the upper deck of one of those Hop On/Hop Off buses & I swear the recorded tour voice sounded just like Dame Judy Dench. Maybe that’s her side gig when she’s not busy collecting Oscars & being honored by the Queen - you know, just for a little pocket change.

The city itself is like an open art gallery. First, there’s the architecture of Gaudi. With all those curves & whimsical details, it looks like something that belongs in a Dr. Seuss book! I would love to have gone into one of the buildings to see what the room proportions looked like & if the inside details were as fanciful as the outside. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a decent shot of any of the buildings - either the angle was wrong, we were moving too fast or something was in the way. Google Gaudi though & you'll see what I mean.

I love modern, abstract art & it’s obvious this city does too. This is just one of the statues that are scattered about the city. I don’t know the history or the artist, but it reminded me of Picasso – one of my favorites.

I have to give it up for the street performers too. This guy was set up in one of the ancient alleys around the Barcelona Cathedral. He had his pan flute hooked up to a little amp & the acoustics among all that stone was just amazing.

Then there was this guy who had his Janis Joplin marionette singing & dancing to “Piece of My Heart” in one of the plazas. He had all the moves down – hilarious! Don't you just love the shorts, cap & tie combo he's rockin' too?
The one thing we were cautioned about while in Barcelona was to be very careful while watching the performers because, unfortunately, Barcelona has the reputation of being the pick-pocketing capital of the world.

The most awe inspiring thing in all of Barcelona is the La Sagrada Familia Basilica – it is simply breathtaking. Gaudi became involved in the construction in 1883 & it still isn't completed. I got there about mid-morning on a sunny day & when I walked in just the light alone struck me speechless. It’s one of the very few places on earth that I’ve visited where I actually, truly felt peace & serenity. The pictures cannot possibly do justice but here are a few.

Despite the fact that there were tourists everywhere, the place still somehow managed to feel tranquil. I could have spent hours here absorbing the atmosphere & the art.

I only had a couple days in Barcelona so just barely hit the highlights there. With so many places in the world that I want to see, I rarely want to revisit a place, but Barcelona is someplace I'd definitely like to return to for a much longer stay. Aside from the art, I loved the city, the food, the energy of the place - it's one of the few places outside the U.S that I'd consider living. 

So, for when I return, anyone have any tips &/or suggestions as to what I shouldn't miss next time? I'll happily drink a sangria in your honor while I'm there if you do. :-)