Barcelona – art, architecture and other antics

August 12, 2009 at 11:16 pm 2 comments

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

Birds?! Turkeys? Sure, buy them off the street...

Birds?! Turkeys? Sure, buy them off the street...

Flowers! Perty :)

Flowers! Perty 🙂

Jamon! They love their cured MEAT

Jamon! They love their cured MEAT

Oh the amazing Merkat Boqueria! LOVE LOVE LOVE

Oh the amazing Merkat Boqueria! LOVE LOVE LOVE

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.

Old dude rowing at Barcelona Port - wicked :D

Old dude rowing at Barcelona Port - wicked 😀

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!

Funtimes

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.

Fellow finance chic haha

Fellow finance chic haha

Ibiza girls reunite!

Ibiza girls reunite!

Portugese Japanese American Brit Iranian? Whatever!

Portugese Japanese American Brit Iranian? Whatever!

6 ft 6 is actually quite ridiculous :p

6 ft 6 is actually quite ridiculous :p

Dali theatrics in Figueres

Dali now?!

Dali now?!

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!

Theatrical museum facade

Theatrical museum facade

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…

Face of Mae West made out of an apartment

Face of Mae West made out of an apartment

Wicked ink scribble, as part of a series about Don Quixote

Wicked ink scribble, as part of a series about Don Quixote

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.

See the monastery?

See the monastery?

The "black Mary" - the discovery which triggered to monastery and pilgrimages to touch her hand

The "black Mary" - the discovery which triggered to monastery and pilgrimages to touch her hand

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!

Of course.  Sagrada Familia

Of course. Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia - on the Passion of Christ facade

Sagrada Familia - on the Passion of Christ facade

Sagrada Familia - cavernous insides meant to represent a forest canopy & tree trunks

Sagrada Familia - cavernous insides meant to represent a forest canopy & tree trunks

Gaudi used prolific organic representation - tree trunks much?

Gaudi used prolific organic representation - tree trunks much?

Rainforest canopy insides, with pretty stained glass :)

Rainforest canopy insides, with pretty stained glass 🙂

To be honest though, don’t know if I’m the biggest fan? They are amazing regardless!

St George dragon themed Casa Bastillo

St George dragon themed Casa Bastillo

Trippy rooftop of La Pedrera

Trippy rooftop of La Pedrera

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!

Skateboarders outside the Museum of Contemporary Art

Skateboarders outside the Museum of Contemporary Art

Waiting for a run in the square

Waiting for a run in the square

A special place in my heart 🙂

Xox

Ange

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Whirlwind Cordoba & Granada Riviera tripping

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. FinanceAnna  |  August 13, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Damn straight Barca is skeevy. But if it weren’t, it wouldn’t be so damn lovable :3

    P.S., Finance FTW!!! 😀

    Reply
  • 2. me  |  August 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    i like that flick of the skater where it says “FUN!” on the bottom of his board. mean!

    Reply

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