Sunday, March 11, 2012

Around the World: Barcelona

March 11, 1992

Arrived in Barcelona at 9am, somewhat sleepy because the trip was pretty bumpy, and crowded.  Unlike India, crowded just means that all the seats were occupied. With preparations for the Olympics underway, it looks like Barcelona is attracting a lot of attention.  Checked my bag at the station and went on a search for tourist information, indicated by a carefully hidden "i".  It's always a little game trying to find it.  I have the best luck determining which part of the station is the least likely to see anybody and sure enough, there it is.

The Lisbon groceries have been consumed so my first stop is a grocery for cheese, salami, and sardines (I think they are sardines.  It's some kind of canned fish) and further down the road for croissants.  Set up a picnic in a nearby park to feast and start a day of exploring.

Casa Mila
Photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons

Wandered around Barcelona enjoying the Olympic preparations and an unexpected visual gift, the architecture of Antoine Gaudi.  His architecture reminds me of ocean waves captured in concrete.  Still under construction is the Sagrada Family Basilica, a building that was never intended to be a cathedral, just the size of one.  Work on this project started in 1882 and completion is estimated around 2026, one hundred years after Gaudi's death.

Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família
Photo courtesy Wikipedia Creative Commons

While Barcelona sleeps, I seek out more pieces of Gaudi Modernism which lead me to a shoe store, soon to reopen after the daily siesta.  When the store clerk returns, I'm glad he's well rested because it doesn't take long to discover that any of the shoes I like all come in my size.  All of them.  I choose a funky pair of burgundy brogues set on chunky black soles.


Back at the train station, a guy from Sweden asks me if I have a plastic bag to give him.  He is an artist working on a piece constructed entirely from plastic bags from around the world.

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"Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe