Barcelona – art, architecture and other antics
My first sunny day in Barca was spent alone, and after a few hours of wandering around, I could safely say
“Pammy, I am so jealous you get to live here for the next 3 months!”
Barcelona introduced itself to me with its bustling main tourist square Plaza Catalunya, and huge boulevard Las Ramblas, which I noticed had very distinct stages:
– Tourist stands everywhere
– Poseurs in their garish garb smiling for photos with the hope of coins
– Bird stalls?!
– Flower stalls
– Merkat Boqueria (love!!!)
– Street sketch artists
– Street art vendors
On either side of the Las Ramblas, cafes had their tables pouring out onto the street in al fresco glory, pharmacies were everywhere (a common trait in France too), grand theatres, huge shiny shops and dodgy tobacconists…and alleyways that piqued my curiosity, branching off into the old mazes of Barri Gotic (to the left) and shabby chic Newtown/Surry Hills-esque streets of El Raval (to the right).
All of this finally led me to the glistening Port Vell, where I happily sat watching the sky darken, writing in my journal amidst the enticing smell of waffles, and the ominous presence of huge gulls and tourist hordes.
At first we stayed in a hostel about 15mins away by Metro. Loving the city centre, I decided we would be happier staying at one of the party hostels near Plaza Catalunya. Lucky there were spots for our last 2 nights!
Barcelona gave me a variety of nights. From quiet romantic girl-dates with Pammy, over good food and water views…to clubbing by the beach, climbing structures on the sand at ridiculous hours of the morning and getting my all-purpose-moshpit-purse stolen (thank goodness nothing important was in there).
PS. Don’t buy 1 Euro beer from the shady guys selling it on the street – they store them in the sewers. Sewer beer!
New friends and funtimes all round.
Dali theatrics in Figueres
Dali could very well have been the crazy old man sitting outside the entrance. The moustache and eccentricity fitted like a glove. Had Dali not died in 1989, I would have been tempted to pursue my theory further. The museum is a converted theatre, the largest surrealist piece of art in the world. Dali’s aim was to create an entire surreal experience for the visitor!
One thing I didn’t realise was the amazing range and depth of skills Dali had. He wasn’t just a fantastic painter with intriguing surrealist themes, but he did EVERYTHING! Loved the pop art installations, the sketches, the sculptures, the squid ink paintings…
High Holiness in Montserrat
Another daytrip landed us in a cable car up to a bulbous mountain range (that was ridiculously phallic up close, everywhere) and a high-up monastery and cathedral. A day of fine views and further enlightenment.
City of Gaudi
I don’t even know what to say about this – but wow.
Gotta say, I wasn’t expecting Barcelona to be so ‘radical’. Gaudi put these strange buildings up back at the start of the 1900s – can’t even imagine something like this back in the day in Ausor even now!
To be honest though, don’t know if I’m the biggest fan? They are amazing regardless!
Overall, Barcelona has a little bit of everything, and I leave it with mixed feelings. It’s bustling and cosmopolitan, with fantastic culture, an amazing art scene and an abundance of establishments I could easily turn into regular haunts – as well as being one of the dodgiest places I’ve seen – oh what character!
A special place in my heart 🙂
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