We now resume our interrupted broadcast of our travels from Spain. It was just two weeks ago that our three brave heroes found themselves in the capital of Catalonia…
The road to Barcelona is well-trodden, and every tour of the city includes its iconic monuments to Antoni Gaudi, the well-known Spanish Catalan architect. This might as well be the city of Gaudi, we had to conclude after three days of wandering around. Our first stop was Park Guell, on a hill in the north of Barcelona that affords a picturesque view of the city. Gaudi designed and built the park in 1914, and it has come to be known for his signature touch of modernist and naturalist architecture, built of strange, organic shapes and encrusted with mosaics. The winding park terrace which is also covered with mosaics are well-known to me, and recall to me the films like L’auberge espagnole and Vicky Cristina Barcelona where I first saw them.
Sit down, pour yourself some cold sangria, and put on some Counting Crows. I’ll tell you about what we’ve been doing in the seaside city of Barcelona. When I started writing this entry this afternoon, Steve and I were sitting in our Airbnb apartment watching the sun set on the city. Our large window opens up onto a giant city-block sized courtyard space dotted with countless balconies, terraces, and laundry racks. Beyond that, the city of Barcelona slowly fades north into green hills and mountains. The air is a little dry but it has attained the perfect balance of being a warm and comfortable breeze.
Barcelona is at once what I’ve expected from all those movies (I loved L’Auberge Espagnole but rather hated VCB) but also not quite. The subway felt warmer and stickier, at once more gritty and real of a place, but more earthy than grungy. The Eixample district we are staying in is fairly upscale, the neatly gridded streets meeting at diamond-shaped intersections that allow for parking in each corner. Spanish is not everywhere — this is the capital of Catalonia, and feels like a natural continuation from our time in Perpignan. Catalan is the language of choice and the language of state, from subway signs to top billing on restaurant menus. Thankfully, between the Catalan term for something, its Spanish (or Castellano) translation, and the French equivalent, we can almost always make out what items are on the menu. Continue reading Holiday in Spain.→
Well I woke up in mid afternoon cause that’s when it all hurts the most I dream I never know anyone at the party and I’m always the host If dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast
– “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” by Counting Crows
Counting Crows is one of my favorite bands from the ’90s, which is also to say one of my favorite bands ever. I thought of this song because tomorrow, we’re moving south down to the coast of the Mediterranean. Tomorrow, we’re picking up our friend Lele from Chicago at the train station in a nifty little Renault Clio or whatever the Europcar office sees fit to bestow upon us, and Steve will get to try out his manual transmission driving skills which have been rusting for about a decade. And we will be on our way to the Pont du Gard and eventually to Rivesaltes, a little town right outside of Perpignan, the biggest city in the very southwestern corner of France, within sight of the Pyrenees and Spain. Continue reading you can never escape/ you can only move south down the coast→