The train from Valencia to Barcelona had a hostess. She handed out headphones and sweets. I was more than a little bit ratty when we got there, nothing to do with the train hostess though. The overnight train from Granada to Valencia had resulted in my brain leaving me for someone younger, prettier and more awake. So I arrived in Barcelona with a little black storm cloud over my head.
Intrepid make the city orientation tour mandatory so after dumping my pack and surveying my hotel room (a triple with views of a classic Spanish construction site complete with grunty apes posing as construction workers) I grudgingly continued being a social animal.
We were wandering down one of the many little alley ways that make up Bari Gothic when I realised that I was smiling. First there was bar with finger food skewered with assorted sticks of different length, that denoting their price. The food was good too, I love tiny food, and it was all so fresh and interesting.
Then the shopping district that featured store after store that seemed specifically stocked as to send me completely broke. These were punctuated with boutique chocolate, lolly, tea and ice cream stores at a frequency found only in an obese 12 year old’s dreams.
Next, just past las Ramblas was the fruit market, furnished with fruit so colourful Im sure I’ve since gone blind. No colour will ever be as bright to me again. And next to the fruit; juice, candied nuts and little pink faced children(and I) staring at the potential banquet in awe.
I was more than happy to walk miles in that city. So we trekked up Las Ramblas, past Casa Batlló and La Pedrera to the Sagrada Familia. And while the apartments and the cathedral were beautiful, awe inspiring, everything the tourists describe them as. I didn’t get really excited until I saw his drawings in the museum, which released that wonderful burst of creativity you get from being inspired.
On then to the Fundacio Joan Miro, Park Güell, Museu Picasso de Barcelona then back to Las Ramblas, always back to Las Ramblas. It didn’t matter where I went that day, I always ended up back there. It was like the city’s spine.
It was an amazing place; all fun, interesting, odd and alive. I drank from the Fountain of Canaletas so I’m going back one day. I’m even glad for the dark little cloud I arrived with because the sudden juxtaposition made it all seem so bright.
On my last day it rained, I caught a train to the airport and stared out windows until my flight boarded.