Thursday, October 25, 2012

David Goes to Barcelona: Day One

Recently I took my first ever trip to Barcelona, and Spain in fact, in celebration of my friends Droz's 30th birthday. It started characteristically well for me, I arrived to a torrential rain storm and was soaked just going from the plane to the shuttle bus.

Then I found that my mobile (not that most sophisticated grant you) wasn’t picking up a signal. I was supposed to phone ahead to say when I was on my way to Placa Catalunya. Managing to find the bus there, I ended up begging other people on the bus to use their mobile phones. Fortunately, my friend Chris had just happened to have gone to the bus stop at the same time to wait for me, so all was saved.

Our accommodation was not far from the town centre, a B&B that was essentially someone’s flat. It had one of those old fashioned wood panelled elevators, which we used frequently.

After a wet first evening waiting around and then trying to find a restaurant that didn’t exist, we got things going on the next day by visiting Park Guell, an elaborate hillside park designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, displaying his full frothy style.

From these scenes its clear that Gaudi has a thing for cake and sand castles.

And that all manufacturers of ornaments for gold fish bowls have taken their lead from him.
There is, uniquely, an escalator route upto Guell. Shame we didn’t find it until we started on the way back.

After a rather disgusting lunch at an appalling café (fortunately the only culinary disaster of the weekend) we went over to the Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s rather staggering cathedral. One side is quite abstract...

The other more gothic, if it does appear to be melting. The Cathedral has never been finished (and there’s much debate as to whether it should be finished). This is something or a recurring there for cathedrals in Barcelona, of which there are many. All the good ones have taken at least 100 hundred years to get completed.

We were sadly unable to go into the cathedral due to huge queues. We then decided to go to the Picasso museum. Following much walking around in circles, we found that we could get in because of large queues. We spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the sculptures and odd pieces of art along the harbour.

After much wandering about in the evening, we enjoyed a really good meal of tapas and the got badly ripped off at a Ramplas bar. More to follow…