Tuesday, March 20, 2007

impressions of barcelona

we arrived back to paris at 11 pm on monday - I calculated that we had about 52 hours of time in barcelona (excluding travel time) and we tried to make the most of it! I'd love to write a detailed travel narrative, but now we're back in paris, the city and my family here calls - so instead of a narrative - I'll try and provide a little taste of barcelona in words and images.

had the cleveland museum of art not had a show last fall, I don't think I would have considered making a trip to barcelona, but both emma and I were bit by the 'gaudi bug' during the barcelona exhibit. when we found a cheap flight from paris to barcelona (I mean CHEAP - thanks ryan air) it was too good to pass up. barcelona is truly a glittering gem on the mediterranean, the city is steeped in history and shaped by an artistic sensibility that I've never experienced anywhere else before. other cities are infused with art - but somehow barcelona is different - the public, street and high art here are palpable. of course, my impressions may just be the glow of being away, on vacation, and away from grey days and winter clastrophobia and cabin fever. but there must be something special about the city to have nurtured and 'turned out' such artistic genuises such as picasso, miro and GAUDI - gaudi, who I stand in total AWE of - to me he is the leonardo da vinci of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

emma and I spent most of our time walking the city, taking in the sights, sounds and trying to get a feeling for the ebb and flow of daily life. one thing barcelona is not is a sleepy city - the place is ALIVE with movement, color, and passion. people everywhere and the people on the streets of barcelona seem to hail from every where -such an diverse city in terms of both residents and visitors.

barcelona is....
...a city of amazing buildings
...wide avenues, narrow streets and alleys
...cobblestones, granite, marble, brick, and mosiac tile
...people strolling - movemento
...laundry on balconies
...high public art
...wandering minstrels and street musicians
...playgrounds filled with the laughter of children
...soccer being played by young, old, male and female
...lovers embraced and friends with linked arms
...men gathered in twos and threes chatting and smoking
...happy babies, crying babies, and everywhere babies and their mommas and papas
...spray paint grafitti artists
...tapas, paella, cervaza, sangria, olives, and sea salt
...street mimes and living statues
...pickpockets and hub, hub, hub and coochie, coochie
...the ring of the ubiquitious cell phone and the peel of scooters and motocycles
...a city of so much, a place to return to again and again

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So happy to experience your trip vicariously! Love the pics and sounds like you and Em are having a great time. Thanks for educating us too on your experiences in Spain. oxoxoPaula