I first experienced Barcelona life 20 years ago. My lasting memory of the place was a grid of dark Gothic buildings, giving a claustrophobic atmosphere to the otherwise buzzing city. This time around, I was looking forward to seeing how far the Sagrada Família (the ambitious enormous Gaudí-designed cathedral) had progressed, and finally getting to see the Casa Milà (the Gaudí house without a straight line in the place).
Well, I’m afraid to say, I didn’t really achieve either of these goals. The house was shrouded in scaffolding—although I did go inside, after being right-royally fleeced. And I skipped the queue for the cathedral, which was as monumental as the building itself. Regardless, I enjoyed the trip for more unexpected reasons, despite being regularly ripped-off.
Like my cultural trip to Paris last year, Barcelona involved several art galleries and lots of walking. I saw many places I’d previously missed. I had a few nice surprises, which I’ll share with you over the next few posts. But this time, overall, I felt that I had gained a better appreciation of Barcelona life. Barcelona, frankly, is a mental bustling place (albeit in a laid-back sort of way).
There was something going on wherever you looked. Frantic activity filled the streets, shop owners pushing stock on carts, skaters and cyclists narrowly missing each other. But, all the while there was still the feeling that things would get done mañana.