Saturday, May 18, 2013

Whimsical Barcelona

It's been a month and a half since I traveled to Barcelona, Spain! Not only does it seem like just last week, but I am afraid that my memories of that trip have already started to fade - truly unfortunate, because I remember feeling like everything in the world was absolutely perfect when I was in that city. Although I can't make myself truly experience those pure and absolute feelings again (except maybe with another trip - I wouldn't complain!), I can reflect on them and hope to rediscover some of the infatuating affection I felt for the city of Barcelona.

Barcelona was one of those cities where I step off the plane and immediately smile. It's just that kind of place - I couldn't help but be happy when I was there. Just from my walk down Las Ramblas to my hostel in Plaça Reial, I knew Barcelona would be my kind of city. The shops, the people, just the airs of excitement and happiness - it was all infectious. The city is full of enthralling Spanish architecture - colorful buildings, balconies, shutters - fountains, palm trees, plants, and sculptures. My only complaint? Tourists. Barcelona is chock full of 'em. Yep, I know that I am one. Wouldn't it just be dandy to explore the world as it exists without other tourists?


Besides the crowds, I don't think I could possibly have any other complaints about this city. From the amazing Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria marketplace where every morning I ate a walking breakfast of delicious, vibrant fruits and amazing, authentic empanadas, to the astoundingly, intricately beautiful and truly overwhelming Sagrada Familia, to the sublimely charming and expansive grounds of Parque Güell, to the calming and relaxing Parc de la Ciutadella, to the sapphire (and surprisingly warm) waters of the Mediterranean, I have simply fallen in love. Yup, writing about Barcelona has definitely awoken the city's spirit in me once again. My entire being is now twitching with longing to just go back. What is this pull?!

I think I've also fallen in love with Antoni Gaudí. The fact that I would never have recognized his name or works before visiting Barcelona is simply astounding. Gaudí's impact on the city is beyond obvious, from the previously mentioned Sagrada Familia and Parque Güell, to the lamp posts in Plaça Reial, Palacio Güell (directly across the street from my hostel), and Casas Batlló and Milà (La Pedrera). In my mind, "Gaudí" is simply synonymous with "Barcelona," and of course, "Catalan architecture." The character, wonderment of Barcelona? For me, it's Gaudí.

Not only does this city boast the whimsically delightful works of Antoni Gaudí, but also the lion's share of Pablo Picasso's rearing into the progressive artist he became. It's almost possible to imagine Picasso experiencing Gaudí's work and drawing inspiration, isn't it? At least in my mind, the two artists, although preferring different mediums and styles, share a certain expression - one that I am invariably attracted to and infatuated with. The pair of Spaniards are quickly developing into two of my favorite artists.

So what's next? Good question. Between the attraction I feel towards bustling Barcelona and the contentment I felt while visiting Madrid, I truly think some time spent throughout Spain in my future is necessary. Add it to the list, right? Sometimes, though, it seems like it would be just plain old ignorant to ignore your own feelings, especially when they're so strong. I guess we'll just have to wait and see where this life takes me!


  1. It's certainly been priceless following your journey through uncharted (to you) territories. Brings back memories of the times we spent years ago traveling to unknown places and meeting new people, many who became very good friends. When you come home you'll be able to fill volumes with your experiences. Press ahead and don't look back. It's great you've been able to have this opportunity, it comes around rarely. Like Grandma Martens always told me, 'Save your ticket stub, you never know if you'll have that chance again.' Enjoy. We love you.

    Uncle Rick

    1. Love you guys, too! It's such a blessing to know how much love travels so far to reach me. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support!!