Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beautiful Barcelona

Barcelona, what a city, filled with the architecture of Gaudi, tourists galore, middle eastern men using selling strange noise makers that seem to be everywhere. Our airbnb was even exceedingly eclectic, run by a young European couple whose grandmother previously lived in the place and now was taken care of by her former maid, Rosa, who spoke not a word of English and loved to chain smoke and yell at the foreigners. I got at least one smack for trying to turn the stove on. The building itself was fairly derelict, a super old building right in the gothic quarter. The apartment was long and thin with two large bedrooms, three tiny bedrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms and a sort of living room. It was decorated by things found on the streets and no doubt the travels of the people who had lived there. Our room was one of the large rooms with our own living/dining area and the big bed tucked into a separate nook. The room was definitely decorated in my kind of style but it looked onto the street so it was noisy till all hours of the night. I will put up some pictures soon.

Our time in Barcelona was rather ruckus and ill planned. Attempting to go by the seat of our pants with little time to see all the momentous things that Barcelona has to offer after running around London and Amsterdam was quite an experience and of course with mine and Ashley’s love for looking at shopping we spent a number of hours looking in windows and occasionally trying stuff on. I ended up falling in love with a company called Desigual which just had the coolest, brightest, wildest clothes. I was really like a kid in a candy shop and fortunately have more restraint then a child and managed to only come away with one dress.

We found another favourite café called Artisa that had the most perfect coffee and flaky, melt on your tongue croissants. Everything in it was organic and local and it was only two blocks from our apartment. Another gastronomic delight was the picnic store that two of my former students took us to. It was filled with pastries, breads, meat, cheese, oils and vinegars, wine and liquors and in the middle was seating where you could enjoy these delights. Wait there are more Café Oviso done the road from us in a little plaza played hip hop and had roman paintings on the walls, and at the wax museum there was el Bosc de la Fades, an enchanted garden where you drink amongst the trees, waterfalls and fairies.

I am sure by this point you think our trip has been nothing but food and shopping but there has been more. We did manage to see the Picasso museum, which is an amazing collection through time of the evolutions of Picasso. We also saw the cathedral, the marina and of course Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and Guell park, which were so inspiring I cant even believe it. Why are buildings not built like that today with all things natural considered, what people need to be happy like sunlight, heat and breezes, comfortable ergonomic seating and beautiful bright colours. He was an absolute genius and I am determined to return and see all of his works one day.

This journey so far has been an interesting lesson for me around patience. Patience and encouragement for others and mostly for myself. I do not need to know everything or getting everything perfect every time. It has also reminded my how I need to be alone and connect with the earth to replenish myself, which is the opposite of my travelling partner who needs to process everything externally. Life is amazing and constantly surprising. Much love to you all.

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